Only 55,000 – A Disastrous Turnout And The Hidden Reasons Why Zahid Shamelessly Claims 500,000

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Dec 09 2018
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The anti-ICERD (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) rally ended at 5pm yesterday (Dec 8), about one hour earlier than the 2pm-6pm schedule. Like any other rallies, the main thing people were looking at is the turnout. The number of participants would determine whether the rally is a success, or a total failure.


So, what is the final score? The police’s final estimate put the turnout at 55,000. At the peak, however, it was thought to be 100,000. But UMNO President Zahid Hamidi has claimed a jaw-dropping 500,000 people attended the rally. If Zahid’s calculation is correct, then the past Bersih rallies, especially Bersih 4.0, would have had attracted at least 1-million participants.


Initially, UMNO Malay nationalist party and the PAS Islamist party said they would mobilise 350,000 members each for the anti-ICERD demonstration. The organisers said the balance – 300,000 – would come from NGOs and the public, to achieve the target of 1-million participants. Due to some strange reason, the figures were brought down substantially.

Anti-ICERD Rally - Turnout

On Dec 4, just four days before the rally, the organisers revised down the number and expected to see at least 500,000 protestors (a 50% discount to the initial estimate). UMNO was supposed to mobilise 200,000 while the PAS to contribute 300,000. They hoped at least 50,000 from civil society organisations would turn up for the protest. As it turned out today – only 55,000 joined the anti “anti-racist” rally.


That’s merely 10% of the revised down-number of 500,000 or merely 5% of the initial projection of 1,000,000 people. Even if indeed there were 100,000 protesters at its peak, it is still pathetic that only 20% of the half a million participants care to support UMNO and PAS – two biggest Malay-Muslim political parties.


Zahid’s claim of 500,000 turning up for the rally, the same number that the organisers had projected, is absolutely laughable. It’s quite funny that Mr. Zahid didn’t claim 1-million demonstrators, considering Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had naughtily thanked the 1-million people for attending the “anti-turned-thanksgiving” rally.

PAS President Hadi Awang and UMNO President Zahid Hamidi - Smiling and Waving

UMNO and PAS were incredibly desperate for a huge turnout. They needed at least 500,000 people on the street to claim their relevancy as the protector of the ethnic Malay. They were so desperate that the PAS ruling government in the Kelantan state declared Sunday (Dec 9) as a public holiday to allow people there attend the rally a day earlier.


Yet, PAS could not mobilise the desired 300,000 supporters. Perhaps the limited gravy trains did not allow them to sponsor and pay for more participants. Still, the Islamist party should be credited because most of the participants at yesterday’s rally in the capital city Kuala Lumpur were PAS supporters. Without PAS, perhaps Zahid would not even dare to call for the rally in the first place.


Now do you understand why, despite possessing 48 Members of Parliaments as compared to PAS’ 18 MPs, UMNO President Zahid was reduced to begging PAS President Hadi Awang for a merger? Mr. Hadi might not be that clever, but he could surely smell desperate man miles away. Amusingly, Hadi did not respond directly to Zahid’s invitation, suggesting he wasn’t interested to the idea of a merger.

PAS Hadi Awang and UMNO Zahid Hamidi - Whispering

It’s not rocket science why UMNO under Zahid Hamidi leadership had failed to mobilise the 200,000 supporters. It’s absolutely humiliating, considering UMNO brags about having 3-million members. As expected, without the gravy train, very few care to attend the rally – no money, no rally. With accounts being frozen, it was a challenge to pay RM150 each for the 200,000 protesters.


The rally also offered an incredible sight – despite being exposed as the world’s biggest crooks, both Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor were welcomed with applause by rally-goers, suggesting stealing and plundering are indeed part of the culture of a certain group of people. Perhaps it’s not game over yet for the ex-premier. Perhaps he should be returned to power so that he can steal more.


Foreign observers, on the other hand, were confused and flabbergasted over the rally. How can the PAS Islamist party talk of “defending Islam” when they willingly work with UMNO, which was rejected in the May election mainly for being tainted in corruption? Observers were scratching their head if corruption and money laundering and Islam are compatible after all in this unique country.

Anti-ICERD Rally - Najib and Rosmah

Anti-ICERD Rally - Najib and Rosmah Welcomed by Fans

Forget about Najib’s multi-billion Ringgit 1MDB scandal. Zahid Hamidi has not been linked to the scandal – yet – but he is already the record holder with 45 charges for CBT (criminal breach of trust) and money laundering involving a whopping RM114 million. And PAS “Holy Man” Hadi Awang has no issue rubbing shoulders with him, after he did the same with Najib previously.


Fortunately, PAS’ influence is confined to the east coast states of Peninsular Malaysia. The fact that they had to declare a public holiday to mobilise their supporters proves the majority of Malay-Muslims in the west coast, especially in the urban areas, are too smart to be hoodwinked by Hadi Awang’s forked tongue. It will be interesting to see if PAS still eager to merge with UMNO after the rally.


The Mahathir new government needs to weaponise economy to ensure bringing food to the table isn’t a challenge as compared to the era of UMNO regime. After all, besides corruption, the other major reason Najib was dethroned was the GST tax. The rally has provided a very useful information to the new government – UMNO under Zahid is pretty much deadwood.

Zahid Hamidi - Desperate

There is more proof that the rally has been a failure for Zahid. After screaming and threatening the government (Nov 17) that the Malay-Muslim community will “run amok” to protest the Pakatan Harapan government’s pledge to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), Zahid had made a U-turn.


The disgraceful Zahid repeatedly said the rally would be peaceful. During the rally, rally-goers were reminded – repetitively – not to make any provocative remarks or speeches. If UMNO could bring out its 200,000 supporters (which is less than 10% of its 3-million members), do you think the UMNO president would miss the once in a life opportunity to create chaos?


A peaceful rally means Zahid will not be able to distract the corruption charges slapped on him. At the very least, a strong UMNO turnout would force the government to think twice of the consequences if their leader is being jailed. Zahid was so desperate that UMNO cybertroopers, propagandists and bloggers had resorted to spreading fake news on social media prior to the rally.

Anti-ICERD Rally - Zahid Hamidi Giving Speech 2

Yes, UMNO bombarded social media with fake news that the Sultanate of Selangor and Johor, arguably two most powerful and influential monarchies, would be attending the anti-ICERD rally. The sultans, of course, angrily denied their involvement. Only a desperate man would do desperate things, hence pro-Zahid propagandists shamelessly tried to lure ignorant people to the street using the royalty.


It’s also worth noting that in the May 9 general election, UMNO won the hearts of 4-million voters while PAS grabbed only 2-million voters. UMNO’s supposed diehard fans were mostly “urbanites” and PAS’ fanatic fans were “ruralites”. But why the heck PAS had to mobilise more people (300,000) than UMNO (200,000) when the rally is to be held in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur?


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