TTF: Dato’ Seri Mustapa Mohamed was right to say that the actual number of UMNO members is probably lower than the 3.5 million previously announced (see news item below).
The reasons he gave for the discrepancy are valid and may account for the party’s dismal performance during the 14th general election (GE14).
However, I think Mustapa missed out on a very important point.
The fact is, there actually are UMNO leaders who set up branches using membership lists that do not necessarily comprise names of those who support the party.
These names are usually collected by core branch members who, at times, lure villagers to the party by offering them goodies or even money.
Sometimes, the membership or leadership of a branch is dominated by order of kinship and may even have to do with favours owed or promised.
For instance, a PKR supporter may decide to join an UMNO branch simply because he owes the branch leader, his cousin, a favour.
The branch leader, on the other hand, would gladly help his cousin climb the party rungs just to safeguard his own position within the party.
Here itself, you can see just how and why UMNO is a party that’s heavily dependent on money politics and rife with instances of electoral sabotage.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the party has less than a million genuine members nationwide and over a million more who sabotaged Najib during GE14.
JELI: A veteran Umno leader has claimed that the party would not have lost the 14th General Election if it had 3.5 million members voting for Barisan Nasional.
Kelantan Umno liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the actual figure was probably lower than what was previously announced.
“Umno members should never boast about or be confident with the so-called 3.5 million members nationwide as this is not accurate.
“There are members who have left the party and some have passed away before the recent election.
“We have been delusional about that figure. If it was true, the BN government would not have fallen in the last election.
“We have to rectify this and sort out the member list to find out the actual numbers,” he said.
He said this after attending a programme organised by the Jeli Umno division at the Umno complex here today.
In April, Umno executive secretary Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh said Umno saw a surge in membership and that there were a total of 3.5 million members nationwide.
Source: NST Online