April 6, 2008, Umno organised an assembly at its headquarters
in the PWTC in Kuala Lumpur. More than 1,000 'top division
leaders' were said to have attended this assembly that was
called to conduct a postmortem on Umno's and Barisan Nasional's
poor showing in the recent general election.
Well, the entire 'gathering' was actually a smoke-and-mirrors
stunt meant to create an impression that everything is under
control and that Umno has still got its act together. The
man who engineered the 'show' was none other than Muhammad
son of Muhammad. Does that now answer your question as to
why in heaven's name (Malaysian Prime Minister) Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi would want to recycle 'damaged goods' and bring him
back into the party and then give him the most important job
in the party, that of Information Chief?...
Yes, this is that special person who organised the assembly
of 1,000 Umno division and information heads who were not
even Umno members. And he managed to get Umno, Barisan Nasional,
the media, and the entire country to believe that the assembly
really took place. But one thing this man did not anticipate
is that Malaysia Today has spies everywhere and what our spies
reported was a far departure from what actually was. And get
a load of this report from our spy who had me rolling on the
floor laughing when he told me the story of the so-called
assembly of 1,000 Umno leaders on April 6.
Raja Petra Kamarudin,
Badawi and Muhammad son of Muhammad claimed that they had
a gathering of over 1,000 party members at the PWTC on Sunday,
comprising mostly Ketua Penerangan Bahagian (Divisional Information
folks) and Ketua Bahagian. Here is a report from The Star:
Umno leaders have welcomed Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's
frank explanation on issues affecting Barisan Nasional and
Umno's poor showing in the general election. Umno Information
chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said the party president
had given a comprehensive speech touching on all factors that
caused losses in certain parliamentary and state constituencies.
the sincere explanation by the party president we can understand
the main factors which caused the losses in certain areas
and the steps that should be carried out by Umno," he said
after the closed-door briefing session by Abdullah to at least
1,000 grassroots leaders at PWTC here yesterday. Umno supreme
council member Datuk Khaled Nordin said Abdullah had given
a clear explanation about the position of the party and the
problems it faced."
it might seem. The purpose of the gathering was to conduct
a postmortem on the worst electoral performance by UMNO since
1955. But there are only 193 Umno Divisions yielding 386 Ketua
Bahagian and Ketua Penerangan. Who were the remaining 600
first of all there were very few Ketua Bahagian or Umno MPs
in attendance. Rafidah was not there, Mukhriz was not there.
And neither were Tengku Razaleigh and about 170 other Ketua
Bahagian. They were all just not there. There were only a
handful of Ketua Bahagian like Idris Jusoh, Shahidan Kassim,
Tajol Rosli, Mustapa Mohamad, Najib, and a few others.
see this picture:
were those in attendance? I really don't know. But there were
many teenaged girls there. You can see some of the teenagers
in this picture in The Star:
were definitely not Ketua Bahagian or Ketua Penerangan Bahagian
or any kind of grassroots leaders. Look at the four women
in the first row of this picture. The first two girls from
the left were some of the teenagers who did not seem to know
where they were or what they were doing. There were many women,
like the woman in the blue blouse, who looked like they were
forced to sacrifice their Sunday shopping to attend this gathering.
Dear Raja Petra, this gathering was staged. It was a fake.
It was not a gathering of 1,000 Umno grassroots leaders for
the purpose of conducting any postmortem.
of the 1,000 people were just props (actors or extras) - possibly
Civil Servants, ordinary Umno members and Puteri representatives
- who were given some pocket money to attend so that they
could fill up the seats at the PWTC. They may not even have
been Umno members - the teenaged girls all looked like students.
Being an Umno member let me tell you that bussing people to
make the numbers at events is typically Umno.
the next day, all the mainstream papers carried Badawi's 'blustering'
accusations in his speech to the gathering. It came across
that Badawi had had some vitamin booster shots or had consumed
steroids laced with Viagra (or vice versa). But the fact is
Abdullah was NOT addressing the gathering. If you look at
the picture here, you can see that Badawi is not talking to
the gathering of 1,000 people. Najib is standing behind him.
was Badawi speaking to the Press after the gathering was over
and done with. During the meeting, there were some hecklers
who booed Muhammad son of Muhammad and who was actually the
main speaker. Badawi took the stage and mumbled his way through.
Then, most strange for an election postmortem, Muhammad son
of Muhammad said no questions were allowed. People booed again.
So Muhammad son of Muhammad asked for a vote by show of hands
and, as can be expected, Muhammad son of Muhammad said the
nays outvoted the ayes so there was no need for the Q&A.
has suffered the worst losses since 1955 yet no questions
were allowed. And they call this a postmortem.
had earlier said he would convene an independent committee
to study why the ruling coalition performed so badly. Well,
nothing has been heard about this independent committee since.
Then Badawi said that the BN lost the cyber war and that is
why they lost so many votes. Well, since Badawi has identified
the reason for their losses, does this mean that there is
no longer any need for the independent committee?
Badawi said Dr Mahathir is the one to blame for Barisan Nasional's
poor performance in the recant general election - and so were
Tengku Razaleigh and Anwar Ibrahim. Since Anwar is already
an Opposition figure, I am surprised that he did not include
Lim Kit Siang, Wan Azizah, Nik Aziz, PAS, DAP and PKR. He
also said that Umno saboteurs are the reason why Umno lost
14 Parliamentary seats and 22 State seats.
means that the independent committee will not be formed after
all. Badawi has already successfully identified all the reasons
for their debacle. Even if the committee is formed, its job
will be just to confirm what Badawi has already said. I can't
imagine the independent committee studying the reason for
the BN losses and saying something different from Badawi.
That would make Badawi look like an idiot, again.
the Press asked Badawi how he would punish these mysterious
saboteurs, he stumbled again. He seemed like he never expected
this question. Muhammad son of Muhammad said they would think
about that later as they need to handle matters 'one at a
says, since there were no official complaints of saboteurs,
no action could be taken.
must explain why he thinks there are so many saboteurs in
the party, which caused the loss of 14 Parliamentary and 22
State seats. Even during the 1987 Team A and Team B crisis,
when Badawi joined Tengku Razaleigh, there were not these
many saboteurs. When Anwar was fired in 1998 there were only
saboteurs in Permatang Pauh.
know what else to say. The party is being led by an incompetent
leader and the party appears frozen in concrete and is not
able to do anything about it.
The above article was posted on www.malaysia-today.net (Your
source of independent news). Raja Petra Kamarudin started
the Malaysia Today website and his blog to facilitate open
discussion on Malaysia's political and social scenes. A relative
of a former Malaysian King from Selangor and known for his
hard-hitting commentaries, which are often infused with humour,
Raja Petra is also the author of When
Time Stood Still and From
Prince To Prisoner.
Other articles by Raja Petra:
Ku Li or Anwar? The Race Is On
The Countdown Begins
Between Reality And Perception
The Aftermath Of The 'Bloodbath'
Why We Are Voting Tomorrow
Guarding An Empty Field