Lobby agents, campaign managers and canvassers for Umno candidates in hotels and various meeting places have been told to go home or face disciplinary action.
Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the supreme council had received reports of “rampant lobbying” in hotels in Kuala Lumpur and various states to campaign directly and indirectly on behalf of candidates, including indulging in money politics.
He warned them to stop “before they are detected by observers who have started carrying out their duties”.
“If they are caught doing what is prohibited, disciplinary action will be taken against them,” he told reporters after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.
Abdullah also announced the supreme council’s decision to hold the Umno general assembly from March 24 to 28 next year. It would not be bringing the assembly forward to December.
The Prime Minister was also asked if he would be stepping down on March 28 at the end of the Umno general assembly.
“Surely not on the very day. We need just a few days to sort things out. Don’t you think that should be the way?” he asked.
As to those who had voiced concern about the long campaign period, Abdullah said he had announced the campaign guidelines.
“I think that should be all right,” he added.
Abdullah advised candidates to stop using government machinery directly or indirectly to fish for votes.
He also urged certain groups to stop sending SMSes containing slanderous and baseless allegations. Offenders would face stern action from the party management committee. He said both the senders and the recipients would face action.
Abdullah also said that the meeting yesterday decided to allow candidates for the supreme council posts to meet delegates through events organised by the party headquarters.
“Candidates contesting for supreme council positions can attend the events to meet Umno delegates in certain states. There should not be other opportunities for them to meet delegates other than at these events.”
Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin welcomed the proposal, saying that such meetings would give all candidates for top party posts an equal chance to meet the delegates in each state.
Asked about Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said’s directive to state executive councillors who wanted to contest in the party polls not to do so, or risk being dropped from their positions, Abdullah replied: “It is actually wrong. Members who want to contest have the right to do so. They should not be stopped from contesting.”
In Kuala Terengganu, Ahmad said that it was his prerogative as Mentri Besar to appoint or make changes to the exco line-up.
source: PM: Umno canvassers who are caught face disciplinary action
Malaysia Star, Malaysia