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Hold on! Who is pulling whose leg?
By Raja Petra Kamarudin

Last night, the country was abuzz with news about the second round of defections from Parti Keadilan Nasional (keADILan). The first wave was a couple of weeks ago when the one-time party information Chief and 11 of the Youth Movement grassroots leaders were inducted into Umno by no less than the party president and Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Last night, another 58 keADILan “grassroots leaders” defected, the so-called second wave, and it was the Deputy Prime Minister this time who greeted them at his office in Putrajaya.

“Wait for the third wave,” say the soothsayers of keADILan’s doom. “The third wave which will be close to the coming election will spell the end of the party,” they gleefully predict.

Hmm…12 members here and another 58 there. Is this the best they can do? Out of a membership list of 210,000 (the last time I checked, which could be more by now), how could a mere 70 members mean the death of the party? And is this worthy to be called an exodus? An exodus is like what happened to Umno when more than half its members left to join Semangat 46 in the late 1980s.

Anyway, while the first 12 were given prominence and their biodata flashed all over the TV screens, these latest 58 seem to be nameless phantoms. And why is that? All we are told is that 27 are from Pahang, 17 from Terengganu, ten from Negeri Sembilan, two from Selangor and one each from Sabah and Sarawak.

Well, that makes 70 to date. Are we going to see more, maybe another 30 soon to make the list an even 100? 100 would be a nice figure wouldn’t it? That would be….hmm…let me see….well, whatever, it is still a miniscule percentage over 210,0000!

What I want to know is, is the Deputy Prime Minister trying to pull a fast one or is he being made a fool of? For example, three of those from Negeri Sembilan had actually resigned from the party much earlier. Dildar Bashir resigned on 9 May 2003, Nordin in 2000, while a third, Masnan, had resigned soon after the 1999 General Elections.

They did not just resign yesterday to join Umno today. Technically, therefore, they are NOT keADILan members. I know what, why not the Deputy Prime Minister ask all these people to flash their keADILan membership cards as they officially get accepted into Umno as proof that they are indeed keADILan members? Or maybe Umno can announce their keADILan membership numbers (mine is 0000202).

Can’t do that, as they are no longer keADILan members, have not been for some time, and do not possess membership cards.

Hmm…I wonder whether Najib Razak knew this or was he too being made a sucker?

Anyway, according to Umno, the "prominent names" are Abdul Rahimi Abdul Jalil, Abdul Ghani Taib, Abdul Aziz Abdullah, Mahyudin Ngah, Mohd Hatta Abdul Ghani and Datuk James Ghani. I, for one, do not know them from Adam.

I invite you to identify all these people and tell me whether you know who they are.

By the way, did Umno mention that a couple of weeks ago 73 of its members joined keADILan and tomorrow another 30 will be joining us? That makes 103 against their 70. And we will certainly be flashing this in our next week’s issue of the party newspaper, Seruan Keadilan. So don’t forget to pick up your copy.

Raja Petra Kamarudin
Director, Free Anwar Campaign - 27.02.2004

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