Has UMNO become an illegal political party?
How low and quick the mighty have fallen.
It was only six months ago that the 71st UMNO General Assembly was held in jubilation and hubris that UMNO was the only political party in the world that continued to rule and had never been defeated in elections since 1955, and was set to retain power not only in the imminent 14th General Election, but virtually to be the perpetual government of Malaysia!
But the nursery rhyme which my generation learnt in primary school in the fifties came to pass, viz:
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
The fall had been so decisive and categorical that no UMNO leader dare to contradict or countermand the pronouncements of a headless, faceless and soulless creature, the self-proclaimed UMNO strategic media unit.
Are current UMNO leaders so ashamed of UMNO that they have to depend on a faceless, headless and soulless UMNO Strategic Media Unit to speak for them?
The faceless, headless and soulless UMNO Strategic Media Unit said in a statement yesterday that neither former Prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak nor the former director of the Barisan Nasional Strategic Media Unit controlled it.
Let me tell the UMNO Strategic Media Unit: Tell it to the marines!
Who would dare to form the UMNO strategic media unit and operate it with immunity and impunity in UMNO if it is not associated with the powers-that-be – and Najib is undoubtedly the “power behind the throne” although he has resigned as UMNO President to take responsibility for UMNO/BN’s electoral disaster in the 14GE.
Who would dare, for instance, to lay claim in the name of UMNO without any authorization from the UMNO Supreme Council the assets seized by the police after the 14GE from Najib’s Pavilion Residences containing over RM114 million in cash in 26 different foreign currencies and some half a billion ringgit in jewellery, watches and designer handbags?
It is most foolish and puerile for the UMNO strategic media unit to raise the subject of the Red Bean Army, another concoction of UMNO propagandists and cybertroopers.
Immediately after the last general elections five years ago, UMNO/BN propagandists went to town alleging that the DAP had funded a fictitious “Red Bean Army” (RBA) of 3,000 cybertroopers with a budget of RM100 million to RM1 billion in the previous six years to attack the UMNO/BN authorities and to defame UMNO/BN leaders over a whole variety of issues.
They even alleged that the RBA had two operational centres, one in Hotel Concorde in Kuala Lumpur and the other based in Komtar in Penang.
I was intrigued by the UMNO/BN propagandists’ campaign of lies, fake news and false information about the DAP-funded RBA and I led a team of DAP MPs accompanied by journalists to make a surprise visit to Concorde Hotel on the night of July 4, 2014.
We found Concorde Hotel – which was supposed to be one the two operational centres of the billion-ringgit Red Bean Army – crawling with UMNO leaders and operatives but no Red Bean Army. We found something even more shocking – that the exorbitant ice-kachang in Concorde Hotel had no red beans at all!
As a result, the UMNO/BN fairy tale of DAP-funded RBA became a national standing joke and it died a natural death, until its revival by the UMNO strategic media unit yesterday.
However, what is interesting about the UMNO allegations about the RBA is that it revealed the UMNO modus operandi in recruiting cybertroopers, especially the funding involved – as no UMNO cybertrooper or election worker will volunteer for free or work only for “water and sunshine” but had to be paid, and paid very handsomely!
The going rate for the UMNO/BN cybertroopers would be RM500 to RM3,000 monthly, including free telephone gadgets and laptops.
Last November, the UMNO Information Technnology Bureau organized a convention for some 3,500 UMNO cybertroopers.
Taking an average expenditure of RM2,000 a month for each UMNO cybertrooper, this would come to some RM7 million a year, and this would not include the expenditures incurred for cybertroopers engaged by other units or state outfits of UMNO/BN.
Who would finally foot the bill for these astronomical expenditures, if not the Malaysian taxpayers themselves?
Let me tell the UMNO strategic unit that claims that DAP spent from RM100 million to RM1 billion for the Red Bean Army is the figment of imagination of the UMNO propagandists and cybertroopers.
DAP does not pay a single sen for the so-called Red Bean Army if this is meant to be the army of pro-DAP and pro-Pakatan Harapan users on the social media.
But this is the not the case with the highly-funded UMNO/BN cybertroopers, who are paid not only from 1MDB funds but also from the public coffers, like JASA which had a budget of RM60 million year!
The Malaysian Insight carried a very interesting and relevant report yesterday, headlined: “Election shock leaves UMNO news portals scrambling”, as it is not only UMNO news portals but the army of UMNO cybertroopers who are hard hit by UMNO electoral diaster in the 14GE – as funds for them have dried up!
The Malaysian Insight reported that following UMNO/BN’s defeat in the 14GE, some news portals that were tied to the party have shut down while those still operating have shed staff in order to survive.
The TMI reported that despite pouring millions into portals and paying cyber troopers, Umno and the BN lost the perception battle. Their news portal did not have the traction or eyeballs as more independent news sites. They were not helped by the sycophantic manner they covered the news.
As TMI concluded, Najib and his advisers were proved wrong that the 14GE was a numbers game and the more sycophantic news portals and cyber troopers they had, the better chance of controlling the Internet space.
However, the most significant thing about the UMNO Strategic Media Unit statement is what it omitted instead of what it said.
There was deafening silence to my allegation that it was the UMNO leaders and operatives, when they were in government, who abused their powers and interfered with DAP’s internal affairs, funding mercenaries and soldiers-of-fortune to influence the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to break or ban DAP, resulting in an six-year DAP ordeal from 2012-2018.
The UMNO Strategic Media Unit may not know that they are giving me the height of flattery in even suggesting that I could interfere and influence the outcome of the UMNO party elections at the end of this month.
Have the confidence of UMNO Strategic Media Unit in UMNO sunk so low after the jubilation and hubris only six months ago?
What the UMNO leaders, including the faceless, headless and soulless UMNO Strategic Media Unit should worry about is whether the UMNO elections at the end of this month are illegal, with UMNO electing illegal UMNO President, Deputy President, Vice President and UMNO leadership.
Is UMNO today an illegal political party?
Under the party constitution, Umno is required to hold supreme council elections once every three years, but it has the power to give an 18-month extension under special circumstances, like preparing for the 14th general election.
The last Umno triennial elections were held on Oct 20, 2013, which means that Umno supreme council elections should have been held by Oct 19, 2016, to comply with the three-year requirement, or by April 19, 2018, if an 18-month extension was decided upon by the UMNO supreme council.
On June 26, 2015, Najib announced that the UMNO supreme council had decided to put off the party election due in October 2016 by 18 months.
He said: "According to Clause 10.16 of the Umno constitution, the supreme council has the right to postpone elections for its supreme council, divisions and branches. This postponement cannot exceed 18 months from the date the elections were supposed to be held."
That is, by April 19, 2018.
There was, however, no Umno elections held by that date, and this fatal violation of the party constitution cannot be cured, overcome or rescued in any manner by the Registrar of Societies.
I have studied Section 3A of the Societies Act 1966, which had been quoted by the Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor as vesting powers on the ROS to give a further year-long extension for Umno supreme council election after April 19, 2019.
Section 3A states: "In addition to the powers, duties and functions conferred on the registrar by this Act and any regulations made thereunder, the registrar shall have and may exercise all such powers, discharge all such duties and perform all such functions as may be necessary for the purpose of giving effect to and carrying out the provisions of this Act.”
Anyone who understand English or Bahasa Malaysia will know that the simple and very plain language in Section 3A of the Societies Act does not give the ROS any powers to extend a further year-long extension for UMNO supreme council to be held after 19th April 2018.