Malaysia’s Ruling Party Gets Desperate

by Azeem Ibrahim
The Huffington Post

Malaysia has in reality been a one party state for over 55 years with the ruling UMNO party winning a string of elections without much opposition. However, with the stellar rise of Anwar Ibrahim, the ruling party is facing its most tightly contested election in its history. In the final days of campaigning in an election which many pollsters now believe the government will lose, it seems to be pulling a number of desperate stunts.

Firstly is the amount of money the prime minister’s office is spending on advertising. Industry experts have identified over 50 million USD in advertising buys by the prime minister’s office alone. Sources say that the amount of money being spent on advertisements exceeds one million, a virtual buy out of all ad space on Microsoft networks (which include Skype and Bing) for the last 10 days of the campaign. On Facebook the PMO’s office, again according to sources, is spending upwards of $200,000.

Last week various websites in Malaysia reported servers being blocked. The popular and independent online news portal Malaysiakini reported that its IP address was being blocked within the country in activities that could only be explained by the deliberate obstruction by local ISPs. The website for which reported a ten-fold increase in traffic on Wednesday was subsequently hacked. The Digital Task Force running the website sent out an email indicating the severity of the attack, which was launched immediately after it reported a dramatic increase in online activity and support for Anwar Ibrahim.

During Malaysian elections it is nothing new for opposition sites to be targeted with DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. It appears this year is no different. With a virtual monopoly on the mainstream media, one wonders why the government feels the need to disrupt other forms of communication.

Dr. Azeem Ibrahim is the Executive Chairman of The Scotland Institute and a Fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Monday, 29 April 2013 - 2:03 pm

    The desperation is there. NAJIB ADMITTED THAT BN CAN LOSE JOHOR.. Imagine that .. NO ONE in PR talking about taking over Johor – just Putrajaya but Najib LET OUT A FREUDIAN SLIP…

  2. #2 by Loh on Monday, 29 April 2013 - 2:44 pm

    Najib promised anything to get reelected. Pakatan Rakyat should promise to implement whatever Najib promises now, and to give explanation on those promises which cannot be carried out because they would harm the nation, and to provide detail to justify why they should not be carried out.

    Voters who want continuity will get them. What is more the Pakatan Rakyat government can prevent the country going bankrupt under BN because Najib would promise anything just to get reelected.

  3. #3 by Godfather on Monday, 29 April 2013 - 4:26 pm

    Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses…..

    The big question is: how much are they squirreling away in offshore accounts in Singapore, Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, Sydney, London, Frankfurt while they throw money at anything that might just give them a vote ?

  4. #4 by Bigjoe on Monday, 29 April 2013 - 5:07 pm

    Someone pointed out – HOW COME NOT MORE IS MADE OF Terengganu Investment Authority being stolen into 1MDB and now ALL SORTS OF IRREGULARITIES ARE SHOWING UP?

    DId Pakatan missed a golden opportunity?

  5. #5 by Loh on Monday, 29 April 2013 - 5:48 pm

    ///Fernandez’s ‘personal view’ a non-issue, say PAS, DAP
    Hazlan Zakaria | 2:27PM Apr 29, 2013 | 25
    Our stand is that we vote for all Pakatan candidates, clarifies DAP central executive committee member Anthony Loke.///–Malaysaikini

    It cannot be said that Fernandez does not know that his statement would adversely affect the performance of Pakatan Rakyat as a whole, and in a tight fight, this might even cause PK chance at arriving in Putrajaya. What is in the mind of Fernandez? Another DAP bigwig in Kedah made the same remark.

    It is time for DAP to make sure that the two persons do not turn out to be frogs. DAP should make them sign a bond, simply because their words cause suspicion that they might be Trojan horses.

  6. #6 by Loh on Monday, 29 April 2013 - 5:56 pm



    Has a caretaker PM the authority to make that decision? Since he has announced, there is no need to vote BN, as Pakatan Rakyat has no policy to marginalize vernacular schools, and the decision will not be opposed.

    Najib is buying votes a week before 505. He is really desperate.

  7. #7 by Godfather on Monday, 29 April 2013 - 7:07 pm


    On 1MDB, the numbers are so big and the structures so complicated and hidden in places like Cayman Islands that the ordinary rakyat cannot comprehend. Read the April 25 thread at Rocky Bru on 1MDB. He was trying to pour scorn on the PKR guy who brought it up, but he also highlighted the very issue that his bosses wanted to downplay.

    1MDB is a bigger bomb than PKFZ but people simply cannot fathom how assets and liabilities can be inflated by the billions and still have audited accounts and have Goldman Sachs as advisor on both sides of the balance sheet.

    Instead of trying to figure out how many zeros there are in a billion, the ordinary rakyat will just take the RM 500 and walk away. We need to win Putrajaya to expose these treasonous crimes committed by 1MDB in cahoots with Goldman Sachs and the auditors. Up to today, very few people understand the scam perpetrated by Enron. 1MDB is the Malaysia equivalent, but committed by the very people the rakyat voted into power.

  8. #8 by yhsiew on Monday, 29 April 2013 - 8:04 pm

    Where is my EPF money?

  9. #9 by bruno on Monday, 29 April 2013 - 9:09 pm

    Desperate measures are needed in desperate times.Najib’s and Umno/BN’s actions lately speaks for itself.

    Unable to find capable and talented candidates with leadership qualities to contest as winnable candidates they have succumbed to pressure group’s request,endorsed and fielded the much despised Perkasa leaders Zulkifli Noordin and Abrahim Ali.

    Sending thugs and mat rempits to intimidate and beat up supporters showing up at PR ceramahs.

    If their recent actions confirmed our suspicions of their desperation,then it is just a matter of time before it self implodes.

  10. #10 by sheriff singh on Monday, 29 April 2013 - 11:03 pm

    Just think, in 6 days, RAHMAN will come to pas. and UMNo will be history. So do all your stuff Najib, for your days are numbered….6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 gone !

  11. #11 by Bunch of Suckers on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 8:21 am

    WOW! What a suck?

    Spending Tax Payers’ monies ( over 50 million USD) on their own benefits in Election campaigns???? Absolutely NOPE, suckers!!! This is an obvious way of corruptions! What the acts of our MACCC? They both suck together!

    “You help me; I help you…” really work in Malaysia!!!!

  12. #12 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 9:11 am

    Hate to nit-pick but given what happened in Han Chiang last night,

    Inikalilah started out in Sabah. Shouldn’t PR be going around telling Sarawakians and Sabahan that Semenajung has adopted THEIR BATTLE-CRY??? Should they be telling Sarawakians and Sabahan that their Semanjung brothers and sisters have heard THEIR CRIES and SHOUTING IT AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS???

  13. #13 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 9:26 am

    Tell you wot. Listen. This time, umno’s supposedly far superior firepower has gone blunt and in consequence has lost quite a bit of its original effects. And know wot? There’s no time for umno to sharpen it now.

    Umno, given its hoard of illegal election monies and all the illegal maneuverings, abuse of public facilities and media and importation of foreign voters, was able – during every past election – to drown the country with an overpowering impression of absolute might, control and domination.

    Such was effect that voters then have little faith and confidence in the ballot papers they held in their hands. In those days, no one has ever dreamt of changing the government for no one has ever thought that the one vote in their hands could make any difference.

    This time, things are different. There for two important reasons:

    (1) 308 showed voters the true power of the ballot paper and what it could really do.

    (2) Thanks to some really good dawdle by jibby jib, the GE13 pre-election preparation and campaign went on for much longer than in the past – in fact for too long for umno’s own good. Roads that were paved in readiness for GE13 have reverted to its original pothole-full condition. Even the “good feeling” of receiving handouts is gone. Likewise, the 50,000th BN flag does not draw the same attraction as the first 100 flags. Worse still, in the extra time that jib has got for himself some really unwanted events. A most notable one is the sabah-sulu terror attack. And this time pakatan has a lot of time to go round the country to prepare for GE13.

    Any wonder why umno is getting desperate?

  14. #14 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 10:25 am

    yhsiew :
    Where is my EPF money?


  15. #15 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 11:18 am

    Daim has finally stormed out of his ivory palaces, huffing, puffing and swearing at Anwar.

    At last, Mahathir’s crony now sees the threat to his rice bowl and hurls all kinds of obscenities at Anwar.

    Daim, yr time is over…. ta, ta.

    Whatever you say, Malaysians outnumber you 28 million to 1, ok.

  16. #16 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 11:41 am

    According to retiree Ng Chak Ngoon the smallest constituency, BN-held Putrajaya only had 6,008 voters but Opposition-held Kapar had a staggering 112,224 voters, 17 times more than Putrajaya. With this kind of constituency delineation BN requires support of mere 15.4 % of population, win all of the smallest 112 constituencies, to continue ruling! Yet it is desperate, judging from the lavish handouts, mainstream media blitz, incessant sms urging us to vote BN and the former PM coming out to actively campaign. There is just no much to lose if BN loses. Transfer of power is not an option. Part of the reason is probably the fear that the 3 million new voters, 60% or more are below 30 years old, are susceptible to this idea of Change – for change sake! It is trite that people are affected by trends and ideas – no one is truly satisfied with status quo and generic and abstract expressions like “Change’ have appeal- and BN is cognizant that nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come. Obama fist made the clarion call for Change in his 2008 presidential campaign. It catches on in parts of Arab World in what is popular called “Arab Spring”. Even the red dot down south is not impervious to its influence.

  17. #17 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 11:43 am

    …there is just TOO much to lose if BN loses…”

  18. #18 by Bunch of Suckers on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 12:00 pm

    Jeffrey, that’s right!

    The old and snaky sucker, Bakkuthair, come out to help in campaign actively because he feels insecure if BN (Bankrupt the Nation Party) lose this Election. He might down to six-feet below ground with heart attacks and incurable diseases…

  19. #19 by worldpress on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 12:24 pm

    Today UMNO is not original UMNO Tunku Abdul Rahman UMNO

    Today UMNO is UMNO Baru by Mamak

    Mamak control UMNO baru hiddenly

    UMNO control BN

    When you vote BN indirectly vote Mamak to be master

  20. #20 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 2:23 pm


    United Mamak National Organisation.

    Hey, something is not right. That’s english.

    Shouldnt it be: “Organisasi Kebangsaan Mamak Bersatu”?

    • #21 by Bunch of Suckers on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 4:32 pm

      That’s right! The snaky sucker, Bakkuthair, often proud of their own language. Yet they have been using English for their own Party name publicly and speak English frequently and loudly!!!

      Shameful!!! What a colonial language the sucker has been using over 56 years? They instituted their own language into national educational system and blamed and labeled English as the colonial language. Why use UMNO, IKNOW, UKNOW and NOKNOW???

  21. #22 by SENGLANG on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 2:29 pm

    People are not blind. It was all to late as BN has plenty of time to rectify them but never. Once cheated you can be so foolish to be cheated again and again.

    308 see the down fall of Gerakan and 505 is MCA turn.

    MCA leaders have making plead around to give them second chance to stay on. But by 505 it will another historical event for MCA.

  22. #23 by Loh on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 3:12 pm

    MCA has taken out a full page advertisement in SinChew today detailing what Anwar Ibrahim had wronged the Chinese schools when he was the Education Minister in the late 1980s.

    The questions to MCA is did they realize it that Anwar was wrong then in the 1980s. Why had they not been able to change Anwar’s action then if they knew at that time? How many more things that they considered UMNO had exceeded its limit of decency but has not taken out an advertisement on them because they fear the current powers-that-be. If they did not know then, how can they say that they have a share in the power of the government?

    What did Najib do to stop Anwar doing what he did. Obviously Najib would have defended Anwar if he had been asked about the issue. Najib is no different from Anwar then. Najib dares not even defend his 1Malaysia at its original concept; Najib cannot be that stupid to have created 1Malaysia which means nothing at all when it is not Malaysian Malaysia.

    Anwar was clearly wrong when he was in UMNO championing ketuanan one race. Anwar has learned his lesson as he said he is a changed man. We will give Anwar the benefit of doubt. We will give Najib the benefit of doubt also if he has a chance to live 6 years in jail.

  23. #24 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 3:16 pm

    My Christian friends tell me they have all been praying for some weeks now, for a good, responsible, fair, clean etc etc government. These 1 million voters will no doubt go to church to pray very hard this 5th May and then go and vote based on their conscience.

  24. #25 by on cheng on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 9:56 pm

    Don’t be misled by BN promise for Chinese schools/colleges, surely PR can offer Chinese schools/colleges, much, much better deals

  25. #26 by dawsheng on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 10:21 pm

    Let us hope there aren’t too many stupid people around this coming Sunday who will vote for BN because they like their advertisements.

  26. #27 by cinaindiamelayubersatu on Wednesday, 1 May 2013 - 3:57 pm

    pakatan harapan rakyat

  27. #28 by jus legitimum on Thursday, 2 May 2013 - 4:00 pm

    The molestation of the two female students at the Johor Bahru Southern university college allegedly committed by Najis’ supporters two days ago will help PR to win more votes on Sunday.This is another reason why BN is getting more desperate now.

You must be logged in to post a comment.