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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pakatan says Umno's Save Selangor tour is a flop

Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

Pakatan Rakyat leaders poured scorn on Umno’s Save Selangor tour, pointing to the lackluster attendance at the series of ceramahs or political lectures that kicked off last week and warning that it was a sign the people had shut the door on the party for good.

“The people are no longer interested to listen to the old stories of Umno-BN, which are all about corruption, power abuses and scandals. This explains their gloomy campaign despite lining up six speakers for each ceramah,” Selangor PAS chief Hasan Ali said in a statement to the press.

Fielding Ezam

Indeed, name-calling, chest-thumping and weak interpretation of issues has marked the Umno campaign, which has so far been centered around illegal sand-mining, water shortage and attacking the Pakatan state leadership.

With the shine taken off Selangor Umno’s top two leaders, Noh Omar and Khir Toyo, the party has had to turn to PKR defector Ezam Mohd Noor to pull in the crowds. Noh and Khir lost credibility after their antics in trying to outdo each other was publicized in the media.

To be fair to Ezam, who left PKR for Umno in 2008 amid allegation he was offered millions, he did try his best to torpedo his former colleagues. In particular, he picked on his former mentor, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, whom he accused of being in cahoots with the Jews and was therefore a traitor.

"If we have dignity, we must rise to defend our honour and remove Anwar Ibrahim from Selangor," Ezam told a 500-strong crowd at Port Klang.

Glory past

But his fierce rhetoric failed to light a spark.

Pakatan leaders brushed aside speculation that Umno president and Prime Minister Najib Razak might promote Ezam to head the Selangor division. Umno has vowed to re-take the state government from Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim.

“It doesn’t worry us at all. Ezam is free to accuse Anwar at his own peril. The people of Selangor don’t need us to tell them - why didn’t Ezam expose all these bad things about Anwar or PKR years ago? Why does he wait until now?” PKR strategic director Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

“It is clear Ezam is still peddling the same old record. Otherwise, he won’t be speaking to a crowd of hundreds, but tens of thousands. In his glory days, supporters would travel from far just to hear him speak or to join his demonstrations. Even Selamatkan Selangor is not original, it is taken from Pakatan’s Selamat Malaysia!”

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