Monday, 19 January 2009

Umno should stop looking for scapegoats for its defeat...

...and address the roots of its problems. Until then it will not succeed in removing the perception of arrogance and elitism that hangs over it, says NST writer Zubaidah Abu Bakar on the BN's loss of the Kuala Terengganu Parliamentary seat to PAS.

BN candidate Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh, handpicked by outgoing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi, was defeated in what has been described as a crucial parliamentary by-election, by PAS's Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut.

The wrong choice of candidate, it seems, has been cited as one of the reasons for BN's loss. Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid was perceived as being less friendly, due to his serious demeanour. Concerned about this perception of its candidate, the BN machinery was said "to scramble " to dismiss such notion and explained to voters that his natural look should be used as the main consideration when they cast their votes. And while Wan Ahmad Farid was seen as unfriendly and even "arrogant", Pas believes its choice of candidate had worked to its advantage.

ZUBAIDAH ABU BAKAR: Not the time for witch-hunt but to delve into party woes

THE more questions asked, the clearer it is that the personality of the candidate could not have been the only reason for Barisan Nasional's defeat in Kuala Terengganu.

It would thus not be fair for Umno members to point fingers at Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh. It would equally be off the mark to lay the election loss at the feet of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, with whom Wan Farid has been closely associated. Will the media also be a target of the blame game?

Before Umno members go witch-hunting, they should do a muhasabah diri (self-examination) of the roles played by those involved in the by-election.

Was the election machinery well oiled, yet lagging in strategic planning, implementation and sophistication compared with the opposition's? Pakatan Rakyat has attributed the victory of Pas candidate Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut, who is Wakaf Mempelam assemblyman, to its highly organised machinery and teamwork. Was there a lack of commitment on the part of Umno campaigners to prevail despite the party leadership having declared Kuala Terengganu a must-win seat?

Deputy Prime Minister and Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Razak said many factors had contributed to the BN's failure to retain the seat it had won in the March 2008 general election with a 628-vote margin.

The answers to the questions could shed light on the actual reasons for the defeat on Saturday and pave the way for solutions to address the weaknesses. Wan Farid lost to Wahid Endut of Pas by 2,631 votes while independent candidate Azharudin Mamat @ Adam polled 193 votes.Tens of thousands of Umno members were in the Terengganu state capital but many, including party leaders, were mere political tourists.

There were campaigners who toiled and sweated, but they were outnumbered two to one by those who went binge shopping on Terengganu songket and batik, and spent hours at hotel coffee houses discussing the impending Umno elections.Large groups also spent their time trailing Abdullah, Najib and other party leaders when their opponents were out in the field bringing in votes.

An estimated 10,000 BN members were in Kuala Terengganu on nomination day but more than half were gone the next day. It appeared that the big Umno crowd, with their luxury cars congesting the roads, only came together when party leaders were in town. These are not the sort of people to put up posters or distribute flyers or to stop at warung or gerai to have tea with the locals.

In the opposition camp, university professors, doctors, lawyers and other professionals joined forces with party workers to display posters and hand out election pamphlets. Most of the party workers were young and manned their operation centres round-the-clock.

On the BN side, very few centres remained open after midnight. Members of the press and those who came to observe the by-election were baffled when Umno members packed Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah stadium to watch a performance (read here) of songs and dances organised by the Information Department.

Isn't the last 24 hours of campaigning crucial?

Umno should stop looking for scapegoats and address the roots of its problems. Until it does, it will not succeed in removing the perception of arrogance and elitism that hangs over it. The NST

Related article:
Pasqual's BN would have had better chances if the candidate was not Wan Farid
Nobisha's Rakyat Nak Monsoon Drain, Umno beri Monsoon Cup!
Lawyer Kampung's The blame game


iskandar said...

tok mommy,
first the background: zubaidah abu bakar is brenden pereira's machai.
therefore, her ANAL-ysis, will definitely be nice and charitable to Pak Lah.

The fact is, Pak Lah put the WRONG candidate. Wan Farid is arrogant. No matter how oiled the machinery is...when you have someone who is clearly the wrong guy and not-liked how? and this is given KT Umno's inherent "problem".

The choice was not based on what KT needs. Rather, Pak Lah's personal politics.

Now...Zubaidah's ANAL-ysis, sounds like a rehashed piece. SAME SHIT that Kalimullah laid on us all in the NST after BN's devastating performance in the GE last March.

Kalimullah wanted to divert attention. Umno has got itself to blame. Sure sure,we all know that. But Umno is not an entity that operates on remote control.

Pak Lah, rather KHAIRY, kalimullah and all the 4th floor machais called the shots.

Zubaidah's pathetic ANAL-ysis exposes her weaknesses as an insightful writer. She lacks depth and ability ot argue her points.

PUHLEEZE --- did she cut and paste? old story, lady.

Tell us something new. And please don;t cium bontot Brenden and Kali.

Antares said...

Iskandar, thanks for the "insider" info on Zubaidah's links with Brendan Pereira, Kalimullah, KJ & Co. The image of Zubaidah "cium bontot" Brendan & Kali made me shudder in disgust; I had to quickly reverse the polarity by picturing both B & K "cium bontot" Z (at least that I can endure picturing, might even be tempted to participate ;-)...

What's glaringly absent from your remarks, though, is ANY mention of the Najib Factor. I hope you're not another of those despicable Najibites (sounds like some recently reconstituted Semitic tribe, like the Gomorrites & Sodomites!) Mr Pink Lips is NOTHING BUT BAD NEWS. With all his inherited money he would have done well to extricate himself from politics & just be another King Farouk in some Costa Rican hideaway. Instead, he has made himself into a Malaysian version of George W Bush - a ridicule & hate absorber conveniently covering up the REAL DIRTY BIZNIZ being played behind the scenes by Umnoputra fatcats.


iskandar said...


thank you for pointing that out.I didn't realise that it was a glaring omission.

i did not mention Najib, nor Dr Mahathir in my ANAL-ysis of Zubaidah simply because they did not figure at all .

you know, i often cringe when people have to say "I am not an Anwarist", or "I am not a Mahathirist" or "I am not a Najibite" (wow, that's new!).

I think there's good (and bad) in all of them.

but, here i am. I have to say that I'm neither an Anwarist, Mahathirist nor a Najibite.

Just as i would not regard all Umno leaders as lame, nor MCA leaders. I wouldn't regard all Keadilan leaders as good or honest either. Nor would I call all DAP leaders chauvinists, nor Pas leaders whatever whatever...

I am more detached from all these leaders, than I sound. A "Najibite" (oooh, needs getting used to) I am not. But certainly I will not hang him out to dry because of what's been written about him. Not even inspite of Altantuya's case.

Too much fiction going around.

However, that does not mean that I am blind, nor that I am deaf.

What I am not though, is an Abdullahist. And for the right reasons!

thank you.

iskandar said...


hmmmm...i think i've met some really cool Najibites. And wonderful Anwarists and certainly fantastic Mahathirists.

And there are very despicable ones in all the categories too!