THEY wanted YOU to Lose, Farid!
(Ex-senior journalist who used to cover the Iran-Iraq war during the early 1980s, Lebanon and Afghanistan. The only Malaysian journalist who managed to interview leaders like Saddam Hussein, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Muammar Gaddafi, Kim Dae-jung, Lech Walesa and Mikhail Gorbachev, Harchand Singh Longowal of Khalistan and Ibrahim Babangida. )
I am an UMNO member. I was trying my best to support Wan Farid.
However, he lost, BN lost, Pak Lah lost, Najib lost, Ahmad Said too...
A simple conclusion - THEY wanted YOU to lose!
As the PAS supporters took to the streets of Kuala Terengganu with their victory parade, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was making preparation for his trip to Qatar.
I have to congratulate PAS for their victory. They did one hell of a good job. The party workers were all over the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary constituency.
What differed them (Pakatan Rakyat) from BN (especially Umno party workers) was that, they manned their posts round the clock.As for the BN, their booths were left unattended after 10 or 11pm.
On the eve of polling, some BN leaders and party workers were flocked together at the State Stadium over a 'Pentarama' program, which was closed to the Press. We could hear singings and 'dancing-like things' from outside the stadium when the opposition workers were still busy wooing supporters. What were they doing inside the stadium that it had to shoo away journalists?
Karaoke? Or 'Joget Lambak'?
I went to Kuala Terengganu on January 5th at the invitation to help manage the State Govt's election bulletin, GANUkita. My partner was Razali Yahaya, former editor of Harian Metro/Ahad, a polific political writer and analyst.
Our duty was to write some good and positive things about the state's economic development. One of my articles was about the unity among the Malays of Kuala Terengganu, whom irrespective of their political ideology, remain very cooperative in many aspects of life.
- On the eve of polling, the Terengganu State Stadium were closed to members of the media. Why? Najib, Hishamuddin, KJ and a handul of Umno senior leaders were enjoying their Pentarama concert.
Among the artistes were Saleem, Amir Spring and Anis Suraya. The pre-defeat celebration also saw hundreds of Puteri and Putera Umno members enjoying a fiesta of songs and dance with about 3,000 others. The organiser was the Information Dept.
What a gala! No wonder the Press were denied entry because they were treated of 'NO CLASS'. Even the Press Centre situated at Jalan Pejabat (facing Wisma Darul Aman) didnt get much visit from BN leaders. Farid came once, and so did Ahmad Said.
Outside the stadium, PAS party workers were still roaming the city with their flags and banners, wooing supporters. Not many BN workers were on sight as most of them were at the stadium or hotel lobbies with their clingy attitude.
- Jan 6 was nomination day. About 10,000 BN members from all over the country were in the city. Putera, Puteri, Wanita and Youth. The very next day, half of them were gone. On the 3rd day of campaign, another half of the remaining half, left too.
Putera and Puteri members clad themselves at separate camps. They didnt move much, except on certain days when Najib and Paklah were here. They followed wherever Najib and Paklah went.
The lobbies of leading hotels where senior leaders put up, were flocked with Wanita, Pemuda, Puteri and Putera personnels. They came with big envelopes containing letters of application for certain jobs. As the ministers were there, they found it timely to get signatures for contracts on the pretext of 'ini untuk Wanita', 'ini untuk Puteri' and 'ini untuk Putera'.
- At State Umno level, there was NO sight of Datuk Rosol Wahid and the rest of his gang who teamed up to defend Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh as the Mentri Besar after the 12th general elections last year.
- Around town, they (UMNO/BN) jamned up the streets and parking lots with their Mercedez Benz, BMWs, Jaguars, Alphards and other luxury cars. A clear signal that party officials are made of well-off and rich members.
You don't find these people carrying under their armpits posters or flyers to distribute. Neither can you find them at warungs or gerai to have tea with the grassroots.
- On the Opposition camp, university professors, doctors, lawyers and other professionals joined forces with party workers to walk some kilometers to hang up posters and distribute election pamphlets. They didnt mind the sweat.
Will any BN or Umno lawyer work in similar condition?
- Most of the (Opposition) party workers were youth aged between 16 and 25 who carried out their duties without proper logistic and facilities. However, they were happy managing their operation centres round the clock.
On BN side, you couldnt see them after 11pm or after midnight.Some BN workers were complaining about not being paid as promised. I heard the State Umno allocated about RM5 million for the by-election. Central BN and Umno headquarters must have allocated some too.
- PAS strategy served them well. Their ceramah started immediately after Subuh prayer while Umno chose after Maghrib when it was cooler. Still, PAS ceramahs won the hearts of many.
- As for BN, the attendance of sourgrapes like Ezam Mohd Nor and Roslan Kasim was seen as spoilts. Their disparaging and harsh statements about the opposition were backfired. Character assassination didnt impress the Malays of Kuala Terengganu, including some Umno members.
- KJ did a good job as he spent plenty of time on his house-to-house visit with his team. However, too many Youth members and 'ball-carriers' accompanied him for their own motives and hidden personal agendas.
- Wan Farid himself talked too much when he was already given a pre-empt advise not to take part in so many ceramah. He should leave it to others.
However, he was also too busy tailing Paklah, Najib, Hisham and other BN leaders. When almost everybody in BN and Umno camps were at the butts of their leaders, the battle field were left open to the onslaught of the opposition propaganda machinery.
That's what I meant. Dont you believe me? I wish to write some more but I am worn out!
However, let's have another Pentarama...