“We (ABU) are not linked to any political party. We are independent and this is a movement, not an organization. This is the rakyat’s movement,” he said. Meanwhile, Haris of MCLM who had just been deported from Sabah on Dec 7 said ABU was set to reach to the rakyat with information that will show how Umno have been “manipulating” the country for the past six decades.
Something big may be brewing in this time of uncertainty surrounding our political landscape. And this time it has nothing to do with Anwar Ibrahim, Pakatan Rakyat, Perkasa or extremist, racist, religious groups or terrorist groups of sort. Instead, this one comes in the form of a sincere initiative by the people, for the people; and the main objective of this movement which fittingly call itself ABU or Asalkan Bukan Umno (Anyone But Umno) is to call out to the rakyat to come out from their silence to reject Umno.
“We are calling out to all workers, farmers, fishermen, associations, organizations, government bodies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties – excluding Umno, opposition parties or Independent parties, professionals, academicians and intellectuals, artists and all those who are marginalized including Mat Rempits, the homeless, unemployed and others to establish clearly (through media statements or demonstrations) our loss of confidence towards Umno which has lost its purpose, corrupt, conceited, oppressive, ruthless and more lately IGNORANT and ARROGANT!” Badrul Hisham told a press conference held at the KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on Dec 9.
Badrul, or better known as CheGubard, who is the president of Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) is believed to be one of the main men behind ABU. Among those alongside him at the media conference on Dec 9 were Haris Ibrahim of Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) President Haris Ibrahim as well as representatives from Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM), Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) and members of various non-governmental organizations.
Calling All Malaysians
The nationwide movement which had held media conferences in every state in the Peninsula on Dec 9 (the same announcement will be made in Sabah and Sarawak at a later date). ABU can be seen as the voice of Malaysians who are saying ‘enough is enough’. The way they see it, Umno has taken their selfish and excessive desire for material gains too far and it is time to put a stop to this as it has become clear that Umno is beyond repair (NFC and PKFZ are just two of the many scandals that has been exposed of recent, imagine the others that have not been detected).
“Now is not the time to remain silent anymore and disregard, unless you are willing to bequeath Malaysia which has been impoverished to our future generations. Do we still fail to see or intentionally allow the little that’s left of our democratic rights which have mostly been denied while our demands continue to be ignored?” Badrul added.
Not Linked to Pakatan
Even though Badrul is one of the most influential figure in Angkatan Muda Keadilan (AMK) among the Opposition youth supporters, he is not playing his role in ABU in his capacity as a political party member, neither are the rest of the key people in the movement. He insisted that ABU is a non-structured movement and people from all segments of life are invited to join the movement.
“We (ABU) are not linked to any political party. We are independent and this is a movement, not an organization. This is the rakyat’s movement,” he said.
During the media conference which declared ABU’s intention, he also announced that ABU will be holding a big forum at Taman Melewar, Gombak on Dec 15 which will be attended by the rakyat from all over the country. He added that the movement will also be making another big announcement which will change the “unhealthy political situation” in the country.
Meanwhile, Haris of MCLM who had just been deported from Sabah on Dec 7 said ABU was set to reach to the rakyat with information that will show how Umno have been “manipulating” the country for the past six decades.
“Even before the Independence, Umno has been largely responsible in manipulating towards the rakyat.
“It is now that ABU will expose all (of Umno’s wrongdoings) and spread it to the rakyat to prove that the sentiments that Umno helps and protects Malaysians are wrong,” said Haris.
NFC Scandal: A Sign That Things Are Getting Out of Control
Things are getting from bad to worse for the country under Umno/BN’s rule. Looking at the latest development on the NFC issue, now even Umno senior leaders like its former president Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Umno supreme council member Bung Mokhtar Radin have come out to ask its main culprit Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to leave the party. Others like Batu Pahat MP Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi and Cheras Umno Division chief Syed Ali Alhabshee have asked NFC’s executive chairman who happens to be Shahrizat’s husband Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail to come clean on the controversy involving the family-owned company as it has tarnished Umno's image.
Those Umno men are not the only ones who had expressed concern about the party’s bad rep. Other members especially the veterans have also shown that they are getting sick and tired of what has been happening to their once venerable party. The others just choose to remain silent as it has become a culture or rather a sickness in the party for them to be ‘yes men’ and remain silent on any decisions they personally disagree on or are blatantly wrong. Just read the blogposts by these Umno vets and you can sense that all the wrongdoings that has cost damage to people’s wellbeing and even lives (eg Teoh Beng Hock, Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed and Baharuddin Ahmad) has finally taken its toll on the ruling government.
Sure, not everything Umno/BN has done have been bad. They had done good too in the past. But the way things have been going lately the bad heavily outweighs the good, contrary to the level scales which is the symbol being used by BN. Because of this ABU feels that it is absolutely necessary to boldly take the country back on track. It is calling for the people to see through all unbridled rhetoric from Umno/BN and it is saying that the time has come for Malaysians to take the power away from party’s 52-year rule and give it back to the people. This is People Power and this is what this country needs.