Interpreting the Umno Baru spin – what they really mean!

by Mariam Mokhtar

QUICK TAKE: Members of the unofficial Umno Baru chorus are playing to record crowds. When former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad criticised Najib Razak for his poor leadership, his silence over the 1MDB scandal, the missing RM2.6 billion donation and other corruption issues, several senior party politicians joined him, in the chorus of condemnation.

Afraid of mass reprisals, Umno Baru secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor finally swung into action to punish the politicians who were “tarnishing the image of the party”.

Mahathir may possibly be among the seven to be investigated. The list will include former deputy PM Muhyiddin Yassin, former rural and regional development minister Shafie Apdal and Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Tengku Adnan appears foolish, when he ignores the money politics, the abuse of taxpayers’ money, and his failure to punish MPs who threaten racial harmony, with their race-hate speeches.

Perhaps, we need to understand the spin behind some of Tengku Adnan’s remarks.

Tengku Adnan may have said, “I won’t reveal who these seven people are, but maybe you have seen them around.”

What he really meant was, “There are some big names involved and if I do not stop them now, many people, especially the ignorant rural masses, may be turned.”

Tengku Adnan said, “We can’t take this sort of nonsense, anymore.”

What he really meant was, “I will always remember Najib for his Sibu speech in which he said, “You help me, I help you.”

When Tengku Adnan said, “If you don’t believe in the party’s struggle, then leave the party. It’s okay.”

He really meant, “Just shut up. Why derail the gravy train?”

Tengku Adnan said, “There is the proper way, and channel, to criticise the party, and not openly…we don’t want to have enemies from within, ‘termites’ and ‘thorns in the flesh’ which can weaken the party.”

He really meant, “Leave-lah. All the more for me.”

Tengku Adnan said, “We received a lot of complaints, but the major one is about these seven people…we actually can take action against them, but at this moment, they (committee) are still finalising the investigation papers.”

He really meant, “They are influencing more people. Why won’t the seven just shut up?”

Minister for Tourism, Nazri Aziz has criticised the move to punish the seven. He said, “…our party should be big enough to accept criticism. I think it is foolish, on our part, if we take action against these Umno leaders, because it will go to show we are intolerant.”

Nazri actually meant, “I plant one foot in each camp, so that whoever wins the next Umno Baru General Assembly, will reward me. I am not a fence sitter. I am neutral.”

When Nazri said, “We were supposed to conduct a supreme council meeting, on October 30. But in the next meeting, I will speak up. I will try my best to ensure he (Muhyiddin) is not suspended.”

What he really meant was, “Please remember me, Muhyiddin, because I think your chances of winning are good.”

Nazri is mindful that criticism of Najib is increasing, and he said, “Let him (Muhyiddin) continue until his tenure ends. Then, I will ask Zahid Hamidi (Umno Baru vice-president) to fight him. I am sure Muhyiddin will lose.”

What Nazri meant is that, “If Najib goes, Zahid will take charge of everything, and I want to be rewarded for supporting him.” – The Ant Daily

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