Please don’t ask me to put the ABU war strategy up in neon lights

Posted on August 9, 2012

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“Haris,

no disrespect, but I think before you take peoples money there needs to be a high-level plan in place on how you wish to use the money. No need for specifics, but at the very least an outline.

While I can take your word that all funds will be used as part of the ABU initiative, I think there also needs to be some assurance in the form of a plan on how the money will be used. So that we don’t run into a situation where people have contributed for something, while the money is used for something else. That’s entirely possible at this point since it’s all very ambiguous in terms of how the money is used. We all want to get rid of UMNO, but some may not agree with your methods, or vice-versa.

I believe with a plan in place, not only will you get far more support, but also you can set a target as to how much money is needed to execute the plan.

Also, once you have a plan and a target, you can try a kickstarter campaign :) – Keith, commenting on my “You want to help build the ABU war chest?” post.

I had replied to Keith as follows.

Bro,

No offence taken.

Will try to write up something and post it here asap.

________________________

Like the 12th GE, the outcome of the next, the 13th, in my view, turns on, amongst other things, a well-planned and effectively driven media war.

The difference now, though, is that UMNO / BN has learned a bitter lesson from their having misjudged, in the run-up to the 12th GE, how crucial the alternative and social media tools would be to win the hearts and minds of the voters.

And they are certainly better prepared in that department now than they were then.

We need to stay ahead of them, and we are doing all we can to stay on top of them.

How?

First, by trying to keep a finger constantly on the pulse of the people, to understand how they are being impacted by what is happening in the country and the spin that the UMNO / BN media take to them.

How can we do this?

If we can afford it, market research outfits.

Ask around and you will find out that they are expensive but essential if you want to know what you need to know.

And whether we can afford it or not, deploy paid operatives to ground.

Phase 2 of ABU that I have shared with you up to now was formulated after having first obtained vital information from the ‘market place’. I shared some of this with all of you in my “Plan B a no brainer” post, but I will reproduce the same here to spare you having to locate it in that post.

“The last few months, with a view to formulate our phase 2 plans, ABU has been undertaking a study on the ground to fully understand the sentiments.

I will share with you what I can here.

In Malaya ( what most of you call Semenanjung ), the support for BN and the opposition is split almost right down the middle.

50-50.

What’s very clear is the Chinese vote is solidly behind the move for change.

In Sarawak, BN still has a slight advantage.

Sabah, though, is increasingly becoming the key to who will take Putrajaya post the 13th GE, with Jeffery’s STAR gaining ground daily with its Borneo Agenda, which is resonating with the people of Sabah.

More on what’s going on in Sabah in one of my forthcoming posts.

Recent reports, though, indicate that the Malay sentiment, both in the rural and urban areas, may be swinging back to UMNO, owing to the daily dose of lies and race/religion spin they get through Utusan and TV3 about the possible loss of Malay political dominance, about the danger of the ascendancy of DAP, and thereby the Chinese, if Pakatan comes to power, and this whole business of the hudud” .

Keith, ABU does have a very clear plan ( you use the phrase ‘ high-level plan’ ) on how we hope to reach out to the rakyat and how to try and cut down on the cheating that UMNO / BN will surely try to pull off again come the 13th GE.

And it is only after that clear plan had been formulated that we appealed to all of you to help us with funds to see this plan through.

You ask that I now at least offer to all of you an outline of how that money will be spent.

No specifics, but an outline.

I fear, Keith, that even an outline, however brief, would in fact be presenting UMNO / BN with an outline of our strategy.

I can’t do this, Keith.

Your concern that the money might be used for otherwise than this ABU war against UMNO / BN is understandable.

Again, though, I do not think that, to allay those concerns, presenting UMNO / BN with an outline of our anticipated expenditure is the smart thing to do.

Here’s what I propose.

I’ll leave all of you to appoint any two auditors to scrutinise all accounts ( Paypal and bank ) to which contributions have been sent.

Those of you who choose to send your contributions by Western Union, offer a nickname, if you do not wish to have your identity disclosed, and I will list out here the amounts received through WU against the names / nicknames of senders so you will know that your contribution has been accounted for.

I am also receiving cash contributions from friends and relatives. I will also list them out here against nicknames that they will recognise as an acknowledgment of their contribution.

Finally, the two auditors you nominate, once this war is over, will be given a full account of the expenditure, with invoices where the same are available, and can report back to you on their findings.

I am open to other suggestions.

Finally, Keith, you suggest that a stated target of how much is needed to execute our plans would help.

People, we are at war.

I do not exaggerate when I say that whatever we are receiving and may continue to receive is simply not going to be enough.

But that is all we have, and we are grateful for the same.