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Apr 9, 2008

Magic, sheer magic

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Magic, sheer magic

(...) 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 last Sunday.

Dear Raja Petra Kamarudin,

Abdullah 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 of Ketua Penerangan Bahagian (Divisional Information folks) and Ketua Bahagian. Here is a report from The Star:

"Several 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.

“With 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."

Or so 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 plus attendees?

Well, 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.

Please see this picture:



So who 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:



They 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.

The bulk 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. more...


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