BN denies war room strategies failed

15 May

Tengku Adnan said activities within the BN war room were meant to be confidential. — File picKUALA LUMPUR, May 15 ― Barisan Nasional (BN) denied claims that its war room strategists had failed to achieve the pact’s Election 2013 targets, pointing out that it still retained control of Putrajaya.

In a statement carried by Utusan Malaysia today, BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor expressed disappointment over the claims, saying the accusations against BN’s strategists were made by “irresponsible persons” in the war room.

“I regret the various allegations made against BN, even after we kept our mandate as the federal government.

“All activities and duties carried out in the war room were secret, and internal discussions were carried out with integrity and precision,” he was quoted saying today in the Umno-owned daily.

Tengku Adnan was responding to an earlier accusation by Perkasa information chief Ruslan Kasim who had said that BN’s war room strategists had failed in their bid to win over the hearts of voters.

The Malay rights leader had also reportedly accused the ruling coalition of failing to respond to the various allegations made against it in the social media.

But Tengku Adnan pointed out that despite the accusations, BN had not only kept Putrajaya but also recaptured Kedah and Perak, two states that the federal opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat (PR) had won in Election 2008.

The Putrajaya MP reportedly added any data or information released by these “irresponsible persons” were untrue.

“We in BN will not be traitors to the people, but instead, we will proceed with implementing all our election promises,” he was quoted saying.

The Malaysian Insider reported yesterday that questions are being asked about BN’s war room strategists whose plans with a substantial budget did not appear to stop the ruling coalition from losing more federal and state seats in the May 5 general election.

The BN war room was tasked with selecting the candidates and advising various strategies to win the polls. It counts Rompin MP Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, PWTC chairman Datuk Seri Dr Alies Anor Abdul, Petronas director Omar Mustapha Ong, Tengku Adnan, Umno information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan and former minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh as among its members.

“It was just a crapshoot. Their ideas didn’t work and their white list predictions were wrong,” a senior Umno divisional leader told The Malaysian Insider on condition of anonymity.

The war room had stuck to its prediction of BN winning between 145 and 150 federal seats and also getting back Selangor in Election 2013 although some senior BN leaders were privately doubtful of the figures.

And by noon on Polling Day, the war room had issued its “white list” of 118 federal seats it was sure to win, but some like Pasir Mas, Shah Alam and Lembah Pantai were lost, which some Umno divisional leaders said reflected the disconnect between the leadership and the ground.

The Malaysian Insider had also learnt that Jamaluddin was behind BN putting Perkasa vice-president Datuk Zulkifli Noordin as their direct Shah Alam candidate despite his controversial remarks that offended Indians about their Hindu faith.

It was understood that Jamaluddin felt that Zulkifli’s candidacy would not be too much trouble as the latter had already apologised to the Indians for his remarks which he claimed were made when in PAS.

But sources said the strategist did not consider that Zulkifli would become the poster boy of Umno’s disregard for sensitivities of non-Malays.

PR lost its bid for Putrajaya in the May 5 polls last week by a small margin, polling 89 seats to BN’s 133, a good seven seats more than it scored in Election 2008.

But the federal opposition pact cried foul when the overall results failed to reflect the popular vote trend, which saw PR polling 51 per cent to BN’s 48 per cent, an outcome they blamed on gerrymandering and vote-rigging by their political foes.



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