When news broke out today that Universiti Malaya Centre for Democracy and Elections (Umcedel) director Redzuan Othman has been asked to resign from his position as the survey body’s director, how many Malaysians tried to find out for themselves the real reason for this shocking development? Most relied on news and comments gleaned from online portals and went on their merry way condemning the government.
Redzuan and Umcedel became famous when Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak dismissed a survey finding just before the 2013 general election. That poll declared that Pakatan Rakyat’s manifesto had greater traction than BN’s manifesto. Many have accused BN of being sour grapes in its reaction to such unfavourable poll results. Can it really be so simple?
The reality is this. Professor Datuk Dr. Mohammad Redzuan bin Othman is not a social science research expert. His field of expertise is in History and Politics of the Middle East, Islamic Thought and Civilisation and Islam in Malaysia. His academic qualifications as seen HERE and his publications HERE show the depth of his interest in his field of expertise. That being the case, why was he chosen too head Umcedel?
To understand that, you need to backtrack to the days of Professor Tan Sri Dr. Ghauth Jasmon, the 10th University of Malaya Vice-Chancellor (2008 to 2013). He and Professor Datuk Dr. Mohammad Redzuan bin Othman are staunch Anwar supporters who have a hidden agenda of making UM staff and students develop anti-government feelings. Redzuan, who was together with Anwar during ABIM days, is the middle man in relations between Anwar and UM pro-Anwar leaders. In fact, Redzuan is the one disclosed how it was the government who had ordered him to cancel the forum featuring Nurul Izzah together with Dato Saifuddin Abdullan. Then, Redzuan unabashedly declared that he would go ahead with the forum anyway – an outward show of non-compliance.
Early this year, claims Kajang by-election candidate Zaid Ibrahim claimed that PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim had a hand in a Universiti Malaya Centre for Democracy and Elections (Umcedel) survey in Kajang which reflected positively on him becoming Menteri Besar of Selangor and the bizarre results showed that the Kajang voters sis not consider the by-election to be a waste of public money.
Today, Housing, Local Government and Urban Well-being Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan said UMCedel polls are biased and that he doubts Umcedel’s integrity. Citing questionable sampling methods and sampling sizes as inherent weaknesses, his comments sparked a big twitter debate with many netizens including Liew Chin Tong and Ong Kian Ming.
The truth is this. Far beyond technical weaknesses in the methodology of UMCedel’s polls, they are flawed because of the links with Anwar and the quest to brainwash UM staff and students to rise against the government. To carry out political polls, the researcher/organization must be completely free of any affiliation with any political party.
On that count, UMCedel should never have allowed Redzuan to carry out the poll because of his dark link with Anwar. UMCedel was being used by an irresponsible chief who had no qualms about biting the hand that fed him. As such, UMCedel shaped public opinion via distorted results to brainwash people into voting for Pakatan Rakyat in 2013.
Clearly, there is an insidious plot by Anwaristas to destabilize the government via Redzuan and other spun lies by online portals. What our government has done is to nip the problem at its bud before the cancer of lies spreads further. Hence, it is morally right to ask him to resign especially since his research studies are neither valid or reliable.
For now, do not be led by the nose for what you read may not necessarily be the truth, especially if Anwar is involved. The media, most of which are controlled by his cronies, will go to town and paint the government black if they could.
Always look beyond first impressions of news or articles. Test the accuracy and reliability of evidence before you pass judgement and condemn our government.
Can you now see the Anwar link? Spread the news!