The heat of the race for UMNO Vice Presidency went into over drive when rumours with malice intent got its way to be reported in pro-Opposition news portal. Riong Kali’s news portal erroneously reported this story laced with definite malice to smear MB Kedah Dato’ Paduka Mukhriz Mahathir’s good name and clean image in this contest.
Mukhriz raises the stakes in VP race with 1.2m SMS blast plus “windfall” for party branches – sources
BY MD IZWAN AND MOHD FARHAN DARWIS
OCTOBER 18, 2013
Mukhriz is putting in some aggressive measures in the final day of campaigning for the VP race in the Umno polls tomorrow. The Malaysian Insider pic,
October 18, 2013.Umno vice-president hopeful Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir has revved up his campaign by sending out an estimated 1.2 million SMS appealing to Umno delegates to vote for him and, if his critics are to be believed, is handing out the cash too.
Party insiders and his supporters said the Kedah Menteri Besar still has a good chance to win despite ground reports and his father, influential former Umno president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad suggesting he may not stand a chance as he was not among those endorsed by the leadership.
“His machinery is going around the country wooing younger Umno supporters,” said a grassroots leader familiar with Mukhriz’s campaign officials.
The leader also told The Malaysian Insider money or “hujan emas” (windfall) will hit the divisions and branch members.
“From the information we received, since this morning, Mukhriz’s machinery had gone all over the country,” he said but refused to reveal the amount distributed to delegates.
Some 146,000 delegates will be voting for new office-bearers tomorrow in an “electoral college” system following amendments to the party’s constitution in 2009.
However, the grassroots leader cautioned that the new voting system will not guarantee a win to any candidate.
“For one, we have a bigger group of delegates voting. They might openly agree with their division chiefs on who to vote but we don’t know who they’ll subsequently vote for at the end of the day,” he said.
A Johor division leader confirmed Mukhriz’s supporters were campaigning more aggressively since this morning.
“They are actively wooing delegates, especially the young,” he said.
Besides Mukhriz, the other contenders for the three vice-president spots are Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad and former Malacca chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.
They will be facing off incumbents Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Although it is hard to predict Mukhriz’s chances, party sources said about 80,000 of the delegates comprised youths and Mukhriz will have a good chance of winning if he manages to get 50% of the support from this group. – October 18, 2013.
Mukhriz vehemently denied that his campaign machinery issued such SMS.
“I categorically deny what was reported both in English and Malay and demand The Malaysian Insider retract the story. I suspect The Malaysian Insider have ill intent by publishing the story and has somewhat tarnished my image as someone who uphold integrity in all that I do”, said when contacted.
“If The Malaysian Insider does not publish an open apology and retract the story by 1000am by tomorrow, then I will not hesitate to take legal action against them”.
This dirty trick is expected since Mukhriz’s popularity amongst the UMNO grassroots increase by the day, across the board. It has been demonstrated from the reception that he receives in all ‘Meet The Candidates’ sessions all over the country in the past two weeks.
A senior political analyst of an English daily remarked that findings from sources Mukhriz ran a clean campaign and at the moment is ranked one of the favourites for one of the three Vice President posts.
Sources amongst grassroot delegates in Johor and Sabah who would be voting tomorrow, two of states with the most UMNO Divisions and members, favoured Mukhriz as one of the three Vice Presidents even though he did not have the opportunity to meet with them in his whirlwind campaign.
It is in the direct interest of some UMNO leaders to see that Mukhriz does not succeed as one of the three UMNO Vice Presidents. It is not a surprise if they resort to deploying dirty tactics like falsifying information such as in this TMI story and work with pro-Opposition news portal to achieve their goal.