Hornbill Unleashed

April 24, 2013

Anwar on Najib’s shock sacking of 61 members

Filed under: Politics,PRU 13 Election — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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I have never seen this sort of crack in Umno: Anwar on Najib's shock sacking of 61 membersAlaa Soleiman

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim turned the tables on arch rival Prime Minister Najib Razak, pointing out that it was the ruling Umno party that was in “utter disarray” after the latter was forced to sack 61 Umno leaders for defying orders not to contest as independent candidates in the May 5 general election.

Najib, who has been warning voters not to place their trust in a “disunited” Opposition, has come under fire for failing to forge unity and get fractious party ‘warlords’ to accept his choice of candidates for the election.

“Clearly this is unprecedented. We never seen this sort of crack within Umno ranks so close to election in the past. There are some very key personalities involved, division heads, the deputy Umno Wanita chief. Again for example the fact Umno has to concede a seat to the Perkasa president (Ibrahim Ali) in Pasir Mas (Kelantan) which is supposed to be one of the Malay-based bastiona for for UMNO. In 55 years, I have not seen any sort of concession BN conceding to one group which is not part and parcel of the BN. And then again conceding Shah Alam to Zulkifli Noordin (Perkasa vice president), and conceding (Guchil) to Nik Sapeia (of PPP), who was involved in the famous spray incident against Dr Mahathir,” Anwar told a press conference on Tuesday.

“We have 61 key BN leaders openly challenging Umno and BN candidates. This is of course very positive development for the Opposition but it reflects that Umno is in utter disarray. But again as I was in Selangor last night, I have called on our supporters, Pakatan machinery not to be overconfident, to focus in the elections and work doubly hard. The large presence during the Nomination Day is very reassuring but we have to translate this into votes, working together and keep momentum going.”

Indeed, 61 is a rather significant number representing nearly 10% of the total seats to be contested by the 13-member BN coalition led by Umno, There are 222 seats in the federal Parliament and 505 seats in the state assemblies up for grabs in the coming general election, the country’s 13th since obtaining independence from British rule in 1957.

According to national news agency Bernama, 61 Umno members including Kamilia Ibrahim, the former deputy chief of the women’s wing, have been sacked for defying the party and contesting as independents. The decision was announced on Monday by the Umno disciplinary board headed by Tengku Ahmad Rithaudeen.

Among the others sacked are Shariff Omar, a former Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, who is contesting the Tasek Gelugor parliamentary seat and Sepang Umno division Youth head Suhaimi Mohd Ghazali who is going for the Sepang parliamentary seat. Badruddin Tun Mustapha was also expelled for contesting in the Semporna parliamentary and Senallang state seats.

Mat Taib quits, even Rais now hinting it’s Najib’s fault

Already, the rumblings of discontent within Umno are growing louder with outgoing Information, Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim reported by Harakahdailyas hinting that problems that have beset the party were caused by Najib.

As the chairman of the Umno-led BN coalition, Najib does have the final say on the contentious candidates list. Rais was among those dropped by Umno, forced to give up his long-held seat in Jelebu, Negri Sembilan.

“In deciding winnable candidates, the party leader must justify the candidates’ qualification. Age should not be the only consideration, but their productivity too must be taken into account. What is the use of being young but productivity and performance were not taken into consideration?” asked Rais, who also blamed the rebellion by disgruntled BN candidates on the leadership’s decision to unveil its list of candidates at the last minute.

News that another stalwart, Muhammad Muhammad Taib, the former Selangor chief minister had quit the party to join the Opposition’s PAS party is likely to send further reverberations through Umno.

Mat Taib, as he is also known, has been in Umno since 1964 and his last post held was as the party’s information chief. Snubbed by Najib’s faction, he was dropped from the federal Cabinet in 2009. On Monday, he announced his decision to join PAS, claiming it was the only party that could uphold Islam.

Given Mat Taib’s seniority, there is speculation that the exodus from Umno to the Opposition will intensify as the general election date got nearer and is likely to increase even more after the outcome is known on May 5 due to disenchantment with the current Umno leadership.

The only time bomb is in Umno: Zul Noordin’s selection rankles

Anwar also slammed Najib for trying to deflection attention from his own troubles in Umno by using the government-controlled mainstream media to attack the Opposition with “false” reports.

“The past two weeks have seen the unrelenting assault by the UMNO/BN machinery and media in their attempts to drive a wedge among the Pakatan Rakyat parties and to give the impression that the coalition is in disarray. Nothing can be further from the truth. Once again, as can be seen by the massive turn out of Pakatan supporters and the people in our ceramahs, we have proven them wrong,” said Anwar.

“The renewed psywar and dirty tactics campaign began with their circulation of yet another sex video to humiliate Pakatan leaders followed by the use of the Registrar of Societies to precipitate a crisis in DAP regarding the party’s legitimacy and casting grave doubt over the authority of the Central Executive Committee at the eleventh hour. Since nomination day, their media have also gone to town about the supposed split between PAS and PKR over a few overlapping seats. The suggestion that this is ‘a time bomb waiting to explode’ is sheer nonsense.”

He pointed at Najib’s decision to field Zulkifli Noordin in Shah Alam as proof that it was in  Umno that unrest was fomenting and not in the Opposition as the BN press has alleged.

Not only is Zul not an Umno member, he is also hurting the BN’s chances due to the extremist remarks he made reeking of racial and religious prejudice. The MIC Shah Alam division vice chairman and 103 other members have quit to protest Umno’s support of Zul, who had hurt the Indian community when he ridiculed the Hindus for praying to deities.

“It is very difficult for me to comprehend what is the secret. Why is it that people like Zulkifli Noordin is given a seat? What is the secret arrangement? I don’t know. It’s baffling, it’s mind-boggling,” said Anwar.

“If you mention his name, people just giggle — out of anger, out of cynicism. But still, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak seems to be forced or compelled to field his candidacy. I think if you speak at random to Umno supporters, they are also quite baffled.”

National reconciliation: Good BN leaders to be given roles to play if PR wins

Anwar, himself a former Umno deputy president, has previously said there would be no “witch hunt” should his Pakatan Rakyat coalition win the federal government. He is widely expected to call for unity and the nation to close ranks after the May 5 election, widely touted to be the toughest ever fought in the country’s history.

Indeed, his protege Rafizi Ramli, the PKR strategy director, said as much at an earlier press conference.

“BN has a choice. It can go around prosecuting the Opposition leaders but that is not in the best interest of the country. That same goes for Pakatan, we can actually go on witch hunt and prosecute everyone. But that is not in the best interest of the country either. The best one is that the good minds, the good politicians, people of high standing and credibility come together to agree on legislative reform agenda so that we can quickly push through the top reforms that are the most important to the country – reform of the Election Commission, reform of government, reform of the judiciary, policies. That is what I mean by national reconciliation after the next general election,” Rafizi said.

The Umno-BN, which has ruled Malaysia for 55 years, is facing an unprecedented show of strength from the Opposition.

The beleaguered Umno, which won 79 of the federal Parliament’s 222 seats in the previous election in 2008, is now the only party left in the corruption-tainted BN coalition with the ability to win any significant number of seats. The rest of the once-mighty BN has been left virtually toothless by the Pakatan’s surge in popularity as public clamoring for change grew, and components like the MCA, Gerakan and MIC are expected to face huge losses in GE13.

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16 Comments »

  1. The popularity of the KEADILAN is seen. In the fact that it has fewer numbers of party members who have decided to stand as independents. Now the the struggle is beyond individual glory and ego. We must stand with the party Rakyat to defeat UMNO and Barisan National. It is advantageous to Anwar as BN votes get divided among among independents and UMNO/BN. Victory is ahead Anwar!

    Comment by Madison — April 28, 2013 @ 1:11 AM | Reply

  2. Anwar Ibrahim has made a difference.
    The Umno-BN, which has ruled Malaysia for 55 years, is facing an unprecedented show of strength from the Opposition.

    Comment by Mukhtar sd — April 27, 2013 @ 7:43 PM | Reply

  3. The massive turn out of Pakatan supporters and the people in the ceramahs of Anwar Ibrahim.

    Comment by Syed — April 27, 2013 @ 7:41 PM | Reply

  4. Failure of the Government: Najib failing to keep unity among his party, as a result he had to sack 61 Umno leaders for defying orders not to contest as independent candidate.

    Comment by Syed Mukhtar — April 27, 2013 @ 7:40 PM | Reply

  5. Anwar slams Najib for trying to deflect attention from his own troubles in Umno by using the government-controlled mainstream media to attack the Opposition with “false” reports.

    Comment by Puteri Adi — April 27, 2013 @ 7:12 PM | Reply

  6. Big chance for Anwar, as 61 key BN leaders defying and openly challenging Umno and BN candidates.

    Comment by Iman Begum — April 27, 2013 @ 6:29 PM | Reply

  7. “Anwar Ibrahim pointed at Najib’s decision to field Zulkifli Noordin in Shah Alam as proof that it was in Umno that unrest was fomenting and not in the Opposition as the BN press has alleged.
    I think people are smart enough to make a good choice in Anwar Ibrahim.”

    Comment by Muhammad Zahid — April 27, 2013 @ 6:07 PM | Reply

  8. Dayaks voting for CHANGE . Hidup Rakyat Malaysia.

    Comment by Bartholomew — April 25, 2013 @ 7:50 AM | Reply

    • One Dayak may not be enough.
      Please rally all Dayaks to vote agaisnt BN!

      Comment by JYCK — April 25, 2013 @ 10:59 AM | Reply

      • Including BN YB dayaks…anang negalek, (share, dont gut it all)

        Comment by sslk — April 27, 2013 @ 5:58 PM | Reply

  9. JIBBY,HOW CAN U ACCEPT THOSE TWO IDIOTS AS YR CANDIDATES-ZUL NOORDIN N IBRAHIM ALI? I HAVE NO FURTHER COMMENT.HOPELESS N IRREPONSIBLE PM.

    Comment by VINCENT AK PAUL — April 24, 2013 @ 8:50 AM | Reply

    • are you still voting for this HOPELESS sex-party???

      Comment by nainai — April 24, 2013 @ 12:28 PM | Reply

    • They can because other people doesn’t matter to them ketuanan. Just like PBB nominate that rahman daugther after what her sisters said about the Dayaks. They are spitting on our face and dare we spit back?

      Comment by brian — April 24, 2013 @ 5:31 PM | Reply

    • The popularity of the KEADILAN is seen. In the fact that it has fewer numbers of party members who have decided to stand as independents. Now the the struggle is beyond individual glory and ego. We must stand with the party Rakyat to defeat UMNO and Barisan National. It is advantageous to Anwar as BN votes get divided among among independents and UMNO/BN. Victory is ahead Anwar!

      Comment by Zikri — April 28, 2013 @ 1:27 AM | Reply

  10. Ada yang tidak tunggu dibuang parti BN. Mereka berubah…di Sabah!

    Comment by memang bah! — April 24, 2013 @ 8:46 AM | Reply

    • BRAVO,SABAHAN.INI KALILAH MESTI UBAH.

      Comment by VINCENT AK PAUL — April 24, 2013 @ 10:18 AM | Reply


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