Umno, how much did you spend to bring your crowd?

— P. Ramakrishnan
The Malaysian Insider
May 14, 2012

MAY 14 — Much has been made of the so-called 100,000 turnout of Umno members at the Bukit Jalil Stadium to observe Umno’s 66th anniversary celebrations. Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak was obviously elated in seeing the sea of Umno members dressed in red that greeted him on his arrival at the stadium.

He remarked that they, too, can bring in the crowds. And he was jubilant thinking that support for Umno had returned. You can’t fault him for being carried away by the euphoria of the occasion.

But little does he realise that his optimism was misplaced.

Who were these people who came to the stadium? Why did they come? How did they come?

These were Umno members and supporters. They were induced to come. More than 2,000 buses brought them from across the country to the stadium. They did not come of their own free will, at their own expense. Everything was paid for; everything was taken care of.

Supposing each of the 2,000 buses carried 40 members; that would give a total of 80,000 members and supporters. How much would it have cost to bring all these members to Kuala Lumpur?

The buses had to be hired; that costs money. The 80,000 people had to be fed; that costs money. They had to be accommodated for the night in a reasonable hotel; that costs money. They had to be paid an allowance; that costs money. Taking all this expenditure into consideration, the question to ask is, how many millions did it take to bring them to KL?

The 80,000 members who attended out of a proclaimed membership total of 3.5 million works out to less than three per cent of Umno’s total membership.

The actual attendance was less than 10 per cent of the earlier boast of that the event would draw one million

This lower-than-expected turnout was what was achieved after all the effort to outshine the Bersih 3.0 crowd and after spending millions of ringgit. It is nothing to crow about!

Based on this crowd, it makes no sense to claim that Malay support has returned to Umno. Facts do not support this assumption.

You only brought in a fraction of your members; you did not bring in the crowds — unlike Bersih 3.0. It is as simple as that!

The only non-Umno members who turned up — dressed in red as well — were from Barisan Nasional component parties! But we don’t know whether these allies of Umno who play a supporting and certainly a subordinate role in the BN really have the support of the people. Their presence does not amount to anything to draw comfort from.

Yes, we must not forget the presence of the others as well. According to the New Straits Times of May 12, 2012, “Among the government agencies taking part were the Royal Malaysia Police, Election Commission, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and SME Corp Malaysia.”

Why are these government agencies taking part in a function organised by Umno for its members? How do we justify the presence of these agencies at a political function? How are they aligned to Umno? Or are they actually aligned to Umno? Are they members of Umno as well?

Compare this event where everything was facilitated to ensure attendance at the Umno do to that of the Bersih 3.0 crowd. Many would immediately say, “There is no comparison!” And they would be absolutely correct.

The Bersih 3.0 crowd came willingly and voluntarily and spontaneously. There was no inducement. The only compelling factor that propelled them to come was their desire to support Bersih’s eight demands to ensure that the elections would be clean and fair. They were all fed up with the Election Commission and the way our elections have been conducted all this while. They could no longer tolerate the biased and one-sided electoral process that had worked to the unfair advantage of the BN.

The crowd of more than 250,000 that came in support of what is considered to be the biggest gathering in support of a just cause far outstripped the Umno crowd. It must be remembered that Bersih — unlike Umno — had no members to fall back on. These were all individuals from all walks of life who came freely. There was no compulsion whatsoever.

And they came fully knowing that there would be obstacles and challenges that would be very intimidating. They came ready to face — if necessary — whatever they might be subjected to. They could not be discouraged by the threat of tear gas and water cannons. That’s how determined they were; that’s how dedicated they were to the cause espoused by Bersih.

The Land Public Transport Commission would not grant licences to allow buses to bring in the Bersih crowd from out of town. Otherwise, the crowd would have been even bigger. But this transport commission had no problem in allowing more than 2,000 buses ferrying in Umno members from all over the country.

The Malaysian public will not be lulled into believing that the tide has actually turned in favour of the BN. Facts do not support this presumption.

The BN can claim anything, but it will not make any difference.

Discerning Malaysians will continue to ask, “What happened to your concern for the welfare of the people when you became Prime Minister in 2009? What happened to your compassion in 2010, when people were finding it hard to make ends meet? What happened to your goodwill in 2011, when Malaysians were wondering whether you would uplift their misery and comfort them with the billions of ringgit at your disposal?”

They will ask, “Why is it only in 2012 that are you bothered by their plight and their suffering? Is it because the election is round the corner?”

They can see through your game plan. You cannot hoodwink them anymore! —

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 - 2:29 am

    How much? D little bird sang: CHIP, CHIP! Some more, no need 2 waste $$$ firing tear gas n water cannons; UmnoB members treated 2 watch Hermes Birkin bags n Victoria’s Secret
    N of cos d ridiculously fake geisha wig too on top of d stumpy char bor

  2. #2 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 - 2:52 am

    So, TA Aziz chose 2 leave DAP – a wonderful news n bullet 2 UmnoB/BN, msm busy lor
    Another Chan dra Muz in d making?

  3. #3 by monsterball on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 - 4:40 am

    After so many many advertising and propaganda work..Najib is still all talks and no sign of the 13th GE date.
    Surely if he thinks BN can win is enough…and his head is saved.
    Saying he wants to win with a majority and not just a win…is full of ssshheeet….like Mahathir…like adopted father like adopted son.

  4. #4 by monsterball on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 - 4:46 am

    Mahathir applies keep telling lies and all will believe they are true .
    Najib uses money like nobody’s business…wheeling and dealing with a controlled crooked Wheel of Fortune…spinning and still not sure he can win??
    Where has his guts gone to?
    I think Atlantuya ghost is haunting him day and night.

  5. #5 by rockdaboat on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 - 8:14 am

    Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla Bangla

    I see so many Bangla paid to wear red T-Shirt.

  6. #6 by rockdaboat on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 - 8:20 am

    It is better to go separate way when there is a difference in ideology.

    So the leaving of TA Aziz is both good for himself and DAP.

  7. #7 by Winston on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 - 8:37 am

    The main difference is that those taking part in Bersih 3.0 did it of their own volition!
    Knowing from past experience in Bersih 1.0 and Bersih 2.0 that their fate would be chemical laced water canons and tear gas PLUS a good whacking from the police!!
    On the other hand, those who attended the UMNO celebrations came in air cond buses and expected to be rewarded!!!
    If any of these perks were to be absent, would you think that they will bother?
    And if one were to throw in the certainty of chemical laced water canons and tear gas, how many would still want to attend?
    The government can afford to be very generous because it’s the taxpayers’ money.
    PR should take note of such expenses and recover them when they take over Putrajaya.
    One thing about the chemical laced water canons.
    Recently, a photo appeared in one of our local MSM about a demonstration in the Philippines.
    Some women were shown drenched, possibly by the Filipino police but they showed no signs or discomfort whereas, in Malaysia, they would have been reacting adversely to the chemicals in the water!!!
    In fact, Bersih 3.0 showed the government that Malaysians are completely united in a single purpose.
    And that is to get rid of UMNO/BN in the next GE.
    And no chemical laced canons, violence and tear gas will deter them!
    The fact is: Only the insane, brain dead, cronies and masochistic will be happy to have the corrupted, cheating, lying and scam ridden UMNO/BN for their government!

  8. #8 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 - 8:49 am

    One coach return journey out of state would ordinarily cost – well – something like 800 ringgit. And this is umno we are talking about. So the figure would be bloated to something like 8000 per round trip. If a coach can ferry say 40 seated passengers then we have (wot?) 200 ringgit spent on travel alone for each participant. Cash incentive for participation would be nothing less than 500. That makes 700 per participant. And dont forget the venue costs, food, accommodation, the outdoor carnival (which no one seemed interested), and the rest, all of which would easily add up to another 200 per head; and for umno it would balloon to 2000. So in total we are looking at 2700 for every partcipant.

    Since umno claimed 100,000 showed up. So wooow that means umno spent 270million for the occassion. And boy that is one migthy expensive public orgy!

    BTW: about TA Aziz. Really I dont think there is any ideological difference between him and us. Like us, he too is absolutely disgusted with the way umno has brought this wounderful country down. Like us, he too wants too see umno out of putrajaya. The difference, if any, lies in the way we prefer to take to reach our destiny (which, too is a common one for him and us). I think he is a gentleman. We should just agree to disgree on the issue and let things be. There are more important matters ahead.

  9. #9 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 - 9:11 am

    Here is my problem with all these criticism of UMNO’s gathering in Bukit Jalil. While all the criticism is true – 70K/100K bought and paid for Vs. 150K/200K threatened civil disobedience, clearly no debate on who the winner is.

    The issue really is not who the meritocratic winner of debate but rather who can win in debate that is overwhelmingly stacked in favour of UMNO-Perkasa/BN.. The real issue is that UMNO-Perkasa/BN can buy and cheat their way to victory even if its not meritorious. And the fact is Najib made his point even if we don’t like it.

    This is the reality of Malaysia we live in, we let become because we took for granted the importance of issues after issues of our institutions. Making up for past mistakes – a multitude of them is perhaps so much more painful – like paying off debt off Ah Longs or your credit card bill you ignored for too long.

    Najib & Co made their point, their buy & cheat ways works. Period. What is OUR answer?

  10. #10 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 - 12:08 pm

    It cost UMNO nothing.

    They were underwritten / financed by Tan Sri… , Datuk … , Dato’ …., Datuk Seri …, Dato Sri …., Dato Utama … , Dato Panglima …, Tan Sri … , Tun …. , another Tan Sri …, Datuk …. , etc etc.

    …. and donations from Pertubuhan this and that too.

  11. #11 by Winston on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 - 12:14 pm

    #8 by Bigjoe – Najib & Co made their point, their buy & cheat ways works. Period. What is OUR answer? – End of quote

    I suggest that Bigjoe read this news in the Star Online today – 15th May.
    The headline is: Ex-army veterans “exercise” outside Ambiga’s house”

    Now, what do you read into this news heading?
    It shows that UMNO/BN is very, very phobic to act in such a way!!!
    To be frank, they have gone stark raving mad!!!!!
    Because more and more people – plenty more, have awakened to the reality of UMNO/BN’s rule, or to be more specific, misrule!
    The recent massive, never thought of attendance at Bersih 3.0 was enough to give the miscreants soft knees!!!
    And what’s even more troubling is that the Malays themselves are now questioning the sagacity of UMNO/BN rule all these decades!
    This is the worst rub of all – people who have always been treated as a fixed deposit are now no more!!!
    On top of that the Christians have similarly been awakened.
    And they made up quite a substantive section of Malaysian, both East & West, voters.
    In fact, the whole country is like someone who has woken up from a stupor!
    That’s why UMNO/BN is very phobic about anyone wanting clean & fair elections.
    Of course, PR leaders who actively contribute to such views will heighten their phobic reaction.
    Now, if all of you were to go all out to garner more votes for PR, the fate of UMNO/BN will be sealed!!!

  12. #12 by PRmaju on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 - 12:27 pm

    Najis: No worry about money lah ! Sap Sap sui ! This amount is chicken feed compared to APCO and FBC fees.

    Whenever umno need the money, all I have to do is to increase the toll.

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