Last month, Dr. Mahathir warned Malaysians that the coming General Election is going to be the dirtiest in the history of this country. This is because, according to Mahathir, the alternative (he used the word "opposition") parties will be using DIRTY TRICKS to win the elections. I don’t think Mahathir was referring to UMNO in Kelantan, which is an OPPOSITION party to the ruling party, PAS. Mahathir was referring to PAS, keADILan, DAP and PRM.
Well, the dirty tricks have started. But it was not the alternative parties that started it.
Last weekend, keADILan was accused of insulting the Chinese community
by covering up some Chinese characters and other items with white paper.
One of the keADILan Council members, Mr. Goh, went up to Taiping to investigate
the matter and he found out that the brouhaha actually started the morning
after. It seems an MCA member visited the venue of the event held the night
before and took photos of the so-called blasphemy. What was not established
is, was the "crime" committed the night of
the keADILan event, or was it staged for the photography session conducted by the MCA man.
No prize for the right guess!
Then there was this so-called mob of "keADILan supporters" who harangued the Sungai Buloh prison staff in their quarters – allegedly also done the same weekend as the Taiping incident. Is it a coincidence that, a month before this, an UMNO "strongman" from Klang printed hundreds of PAS and keADILan T-shirts? What in heaven’s name would an UMNO man want PAS and keADILan T-shirts for?
Again, no prize for the right guess! (I was told that UMNO people are printing PAS and keADILan T-shirts all over the place).
Maybe I can shed some light on what is really going on. Recently, I interviewed a little known UMNO Dirty Tricks Department "worker" who revealed the secrets behind the dirty tricks employed by UMNO to ensure that they win the General Elections. And this is what he told me.
Elections are not just about popular votes. If they are merely based on votes, it may be very difficult for the Barisan Nasional to retain its two-thirds majority in Parliament. In fact, it may even lose more states than just Kelantan.
For example, in the 1978 General Elections, when Tengku Razaleigh was in charge of the machinery to wrest Kelantan from PAS, UMNO went round giving post-dated cheques to all the mosques in Kelantan. The cheques were dated one day after the elections. The people were then told if UMNO wins the elections, they can cash the cheques. However, if UMNO loses, the cheques would bounce.
Tengku Razaleigh also promised the people that if UMNO wins they would remove the toll on the bridge leading to Tumpat/Rantau Panjang. As soon as the election results came in and it was confirmed that UMNO had won, there and then, in front of the entire crowd which included journalists, Tengku Razaleigh made a phone call and, since then, there has been no more toll on the bridge.
In Terengganu, each voter was paid RM50.00 with a reminder to vote for
UMNO. Being simple kampong folks, they felt obligated to vote for UMNO
since they had taken UMNO’s money. On the eve of the election, kain pelikat
was placed on the doorstep of each house, with UMNO’s symbol pasted to
it. On Election Day, when the people woke up from sleep, they found all
this kain pelikat on their doorstep. Of course, since they took the kain
pelikat, they were obliged to give their vote to
UMNO. I am amazed at how cheap the Terengganu people can be bought – with just one kain pelikat.
UMNO also tried giving money in Kelantan but the people first went to see Nik Aziz to ask his opinion. Nik Aziz told them they can take the money but their vote belongs to them. This was, in fact, reported in the newspapers. The people then took the RM50.00 but gave RM4.00 back. When asked why, they said they would only take RM46.00, meaning Semangat 46. (Laughs). Halfway through the exercise UMNO gave up, realising that it was futile to try to buy the Kelantanese people’s votes. It was not for sale.
Sometimes UMNO "bought" the ballot papers. This is how it was done.
The voters would be told UMNO would buy unmarked ballot papers for RM50.00.
The voters then went into the polling stations, pretended to vote in the
polling booths, but actually stuffed the unmarked ballot papers into their
pockets instead of marking it and putting it into the ballot boxes. They
then came out and passed these unmarked ballot papers to the UMNO workers
in exchange for RM50.00. After UMNO had
accumulated enough ballot papers one of their people would go in to vote with all these extra ballot papers stuffed into his pocket - (laughs) of course now marked "UMNO". He would then place all the UMNO votes into the ballot box. This was better than paying the people to vote for UMNO as we were not sure whether they would vote for UMNO even if they took UMNO’s money.
But this is only the money politics part. There are more tricks that are employed, courtesy of UMNO’s Dirty Trick Department, which puts even the CIA to shame.
For example, when a certain Semangat 46 candidate contested against
UMNO’s Kamal Hussein in Lembah Pantai, UMNO circulated nude pictures of
this candidate. They took the photo of the candidate’s face and superimposed
it onto the photo of a nude model. Since the pictures were Photostat copies
no one could tell the difference. The UMNO boys then went around spreading
stories of the candidate’s sex life, which, they claimed, involved both
her and her daughter. Since the nude photos
were already widely circulated the people believed what was said. The photos were a big hit and circulated like hot cakes.
In Terengganu, UMNO circulated pictures of Ustaz Haji Hadi’s cars and implied that he used the party’s money for all his car purchases. The boys would go into the coffee shops and leave the pamphlets on the table. As the people went in, they picked up these pamphlets to read. Some even took them home to show their friends.
On one occasion UMNO arranged a "PAS" demonstration. The UMNO boys dressed up as PAS supporters and, armed with PAS flags, they went round Kuala Terengganu town on hundreds of motorcycles causing a massive traffic jam. They shouted obscenities and kicked the cars stuck in the jam. Some cars were damaged because of it.
On the second day the demonstration was even bigger as, this time, actual PAS supporters who thought this was really a PAS organised demonstration, joined the "PAS" boys. It was not until the third day that PAS realised what was happening and who was behind it. PAS immediately sent word to their supporters not to join the demonstration so they had to cancel it. But the damage had been done. The people were already disgusted at the highhandedness of "PAS" and PAS lost a lot of votes because of it.
Then the women from the UMNO Wanita movement went round the kampongs to hand out Surah Yassin with PAS symbols pasted to it. As the "PAS" women handed the Surah Yassin to the housewives, they made the housewives swear on the Surah Yassin that they would vote for PAS. The housewives were so angry at this blasphemy that many refused to vote for PAS. They knew the campaign was successful when some of the housewives cursed or scolded the "PAS" women.
There was another occasion, during the constitutional crisis, when the
kampong people in Terengganu came out in full force to pledge support to
the Sultan of Terengganu. UMNO arranged for the TV station crew to be there.
UMNO then planted their boys amongst the crowd with PAS flags hidden under
their jubah. At the right time, the UMNO boys took out the PAS flags and
started waving it around for the benefit of the TV cameras that were focused
on them. The TV evening news reported
that it was not the people who were supporting the Sultan, but a PAS organised rally aimed at embarrassing the government.
UMNO has many programs that are effective election weapons. One is the "Rumah Sepuluh" concept. Another is the "Projek Anak Angkat".
In the "Rumah Sepuluh" concept, UMNO assigns one worker to look after ten houses. The worker will identify every registered voter in each of those ten houses – who they are, who they will vote for, and so on. UMNO knows exactly who is who, and whom they will vote for. UMNO is not concerned with the strong opposition supporters. UMNO knows they cannot "turn" these people. What UMNO wants to know is who are those fence sitters or "atas pagar" people. The workers will then work on them. These "atas pagar" can represent up to ten percent or more of the votes.
UMNO will then send "anak angkat" to visit these houses. These are people who are paid to go and rent rooms in these houses – mostly scholarship students who need to be on the good side of the government lest their scholarships get withdrawn. You will be surprised how money can motivate these people.
The "anak angkat" will pay generously to rent rooms in these houses. For the two weeks leading to the elections, these "anak angkat" will just live with the house owners and talk to them. They will of course pay for everything - much to the delight of the house owner at this new found income. After two weeks, these atas pagar would have been turned and would be pro-UMNO. This is a very effective concept and the Kijal bye-election in Terengganu is proof of that. Kijal was supposed to have been lost to PAS until UMNO sent in their "anak angkat".
Of course, this cost UMNO millions, and Kijal was probably the most expensive bye-election ever in Terengganu. But UMNO had no choice. They had just lost another bye-election before that – Telok Pasu – so it was crucial that they did not lose two bye-elections in a row. In fact, many Semangat 46 members were bought over in Kijal. This was another major contributing factor.
Semangat 46 members cost a lot more to buy compared to simple kampong folks. After all, these are all ex-UMNO members and they know how the "game" is played, so their demands are high. But the good thing is, they are for sale.
In the 1990 elections, many Semangat 46 members were bought over. In the Lembah Pantai Parliamentary constituency, whole branches and divisions were bought over. UMNO paid thousands of Ringgit if a Semangat branch was officially closed and the members joined UMNO en bloc. For divisions it went into the hundreds of thousands. That was the year when, every day, the TV stations and newspapers carried reports of mass resignations of Semangat 46 members.
It came to a stage where the cost became too ridiculous UMNO had to stop doing it. Many were not even real Semangat 46 members but were announcing their "resignation" just to get some money. But real Semangat members or not, it made good publicity. (Laughs). Some were even UMNO members planted to make up the crowd.
What I have revealed here is just the tip of the iceberg. I cannot tell too much lest they know who I am. I still have many colleagues, mostly ex-commandos and special branch officers, who, to this day, are still involved with UMNO’s Dirty Tricks Department. You may have noticed that some of these names came out during the Anwar Ibrahim trial.
Many people are aware that information is crucial to winning and we use the media for this. That’s why UMNO owns many of the TV stations and newspapers. But misinformation and disinformation – that is a concept invented by UMNO - are more important than information. If you tell a lie long enough, and if enough people repeat the lies, the rakyat will believe it. This is what Hitler taught us and Hitler was the best.
The Anwar Ibrahim trial is one good example of misinformation and disinformation. We knew we could not use the mattress as evidence in the trial. However, we paraded it in and out of court every day as a showpiece. It was not really needed for the trial. Then we got our "expert witness" to testify to the tests he had done on the mattress. The effect was great. Many people who were earlier not too sure of Anwar’s guilt became convinced.
We did not really care which way the trial went. That was not our job. That was the job of the legal brains. Our job was to "inform" the public and I think we did a great job there even if I do say so myself. I suppose you can say this statement of mine can also be suspect. Am I informing you, misinforming you, or disinforming you? (Laughs loudly).
Other than the media we have many government agencies set up to brainwash the people, especially the government servants. There is Pupuk Semangat, Intan, Institute Aminuddin Baki, BTN, and so on. This is where we "test" the "loyalty" of the government servants. Those "disloyal" government servants can then be transferred to jobs where they can do little harm to UMNO. We are experts at this and we can tell what’s in the minds of these government servants. Once we get them into one of those places there is no way they can hide their true feelings from us. If they are anti-government we will know.
Since before Merdeka the British, who had acquired their "expertise" from their days in India, Ireland, Africa, Palestine, and so on, had been training us. The British were so good they managed to infiltrate the Communist organisation. When the British left, we not only kept the Special Branch but we even improved it further. I dare say even the CIA is not as good as our SB boys.
In every organisation we have our SB boys. We have them among the university students, in every government department, and in many of the private offices as well. Some are operators but many are informers. Informers are paid a monthly retainer and they get paid extra if they bring back any information. In fact, your neighbour or one of your family members could be a Special Branch informer and you would not know it. This is another thing we learnt from Hitler. That’s the only way we can know everything that is being said and done in this country.
We trust no one, whether they are opposition members or UMNO members,
or even Ministers for that matter. In fact, in light of the present Anwar
crisis, we trust the UMNO members even less. At least we know who are the
opposition members. What we don’t know is, who are the Anwar sympathisers
within UMNO? These people are more dangerous than the opposition members
are. So far not all have shown their real colours though we can safely
suspect up to 90% or so of those most likely to be Anwar’s supporters.
But if we get rid of all suspected Anwar supporters UMNO will have no members
I suppose this is Mahathir’s biggest dilemma. Who in UMNO can he trust?
Mahathir is not even sure whether Abdullah Badawi can win the Deputy Presidency
if he has to contest for the post. That’s why he might postpone the party
elections. But if he puts us to work we will know how to ensure Badawi’s
victory. That’s what we are good at – and Mahathir knows it. After all,
we put him there didn’t we?
Thanks & kindest regards
Raja Petra Kamarudin
REFORMASI - The Right To Question