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Monday, 23 November 2015

The Shameful 43 votes

Chedet's blog post yesterday titled "Menghadapi Cabaran", was full of shameless hypocrisy. 

He is essentially accusing PM Najib of not being brave enough to face challenges in next month's UMNO party general assembly - claiming that certain topics were not allowed to be debated and there is no party elections - despite Chedet earlier saying that postponing of party elections to after the General Election is a normal thing as he himself has done it before.

Just 5 months ago, it was reported by all the major news agencies:
"Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad chose not to criticise the decision to put off the Umno elections scheduled for next year for 18 months. 
It is a normal action and has been done previously, he said in Alor Setar.
"I have also postponed an Umno election. I postponed it because of internal turmoil, problems and splits,"
By whacking Najib, Tun M tried to "claim" his bravery stating he allowed the 1987 party elections to be held by shamelessly saying 
"I won by only 43 votes. I accepted. Events that occurred after that are well known and do not need me to repeat here."
What a farce. How shameless of him to bring up this 43 votes issue and think it is a matter of pride or bravery for him. Tun M did not want to repeat those events, so let me fill you in on what those events that he did not want (or did not dare) to repeat were.

In April 1987, UMNO held its party election where Mahathir's Team A was challenged by Tengku Razaleigh (Ku Li)'s Team B where a total of 1,500 delegates voted.

Ku Li and his team was expected to win (1985 and 1986 was a bad recession) but after a Blackout in the vote counting room, it was announced that Mahathir won with 761 votes to Ku Li's 718 votes - a margin of 43 votes only - meaning if 22 person switched their votes, Mahathir would have lost.

But worse is that Ku Li's team alleged that 78 of the delegates had been selected by 30 branches not registered with the Registrar of Societies, and as a result were not eligible to vote. They also claimed that certain documents related to the election had been "tampered with".

Ku Li's team hence challenged the result in the High Court where much of the evidence given by Ku Li's team was not contested by Mahathir's team.

However, Mahathir refused to hold fresh party elections (perhaps knowing that if fresh elections were held without those unregistered branches, he would have lost his razor thin margin of just 22 swing voters out of 1500) and hence the High Court declared UMNO as an unlawful party- therefore voiding the 1987 party elections.

This unfavorable (to Mahathir) court decision was a main driver which made Mahathir destroy the judicial system next year - leading to the shameful suspension of the Lord President (allegedly on the lame excuse that he complained about the Agong's renovations - since disputed by the late Agong's son who whacked Tun M for using the name of a dead man who cannot defend himself) and all the Supreme Court judges - forever tainting our judicial independence.

Mahathir then formed UMNO Baru and transferred all the now unlawful party assets and the members friendly to him to UMNO Baru leaving out Ku Li and his team from joining.

And to avoid him ever being challenged again for presidency, Tun M decided to change the way the party elections are determined under his new UMNO Baru.

Dodgy systems such as Bonus Votes and Quota Systems - more suited to Multi-Level-Marketing MLM schemes rather than to political party elections - were introduced. Using the excuse to of preventing “fake nominations”, Tun M then introduced the bonus-votes system in which 10 bonus votes would be automatically added to those contesting for party president (himself !!) for every nomination they receive. Definitely during the nominations stage, division leaders will be pressured to nominate the incumbent - hence this system essentially guarantees a win for the incumbent. Obviously this flaky bonus-vote system was not democratic. Thus, UMNO abolished this in 1998 and replaced it with an equally iffy quota system. This quota system requires those contesting for president to receive at least 30% of all divisions nominations BEFORE they even have the right to contest. This means that you require at least 63 divisions (out of 210 divisions then) to officially nominate you before you even qualify to challenge the president. Essentially if you wanted to challenge the president, your fate depended on just 210 division heads that the President could easily control. Chances were not that good and in fact close to zero, of course since you will not even get enough nominations to even qualify to challenge the president . In essence, the "Bonus votes" and "Quota system" were cowardly undemocratic systems put in place by Tun M to prevent any challenge to him.

And it worked, of course. From 1988 until he retired, Tun M never had to face a party election. However, Najib did not wish to hide behind the quota system and scrapped it in Oct 2009 - meaning that anyone who received a nomination from any division can challenge for any post within UMNO. Also in an effort to curb money politics, Najib increased the number of people qualified to vote from just 2,500 to 146,500 UMNO members. Compared to the nomination and quota system previously which depended on just 210 persons to determine who can be President, trying to control and buy votes from 146,500 people is much much harder. Najib was brave enough to transform the party and also democratic enough to put the fate of his PM and party president position in the hands of 146,500 party members - which he did in the 2013 UMNO party elections. Even though Najib won unchallenged in the 2013 UMNO elections, he was unchallenged not because challengers were prevented by the previous unfair system to challenge him - but simply because others were afraid to challenge him then.

At that time, Ku Li thought about challenging Najib for a while but then gave up and decided not to pursue the idea at all. 

In September 2013, this was reported.
"Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah remained coy about challenging Datuk Seri Najib Razak for the party's presidency, despite mounting speculation that he will do so at the party's polls next month.  
Despite repeated questions, the Kelantan prince refused to commit, telling reporters to wait for nomination day on September 28 (2013).  
"But maybe I won't be in the country, I don't know yet. I haven't decided, that's the bottom line," he said at a press conference at his residence today."
 And there you have it.

Using the events that Tun M said he did not want to bother to repeat, please judge for yourself who is the brave one and who is the coward and hypocrite.

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