Another day, another restriction ahead of the by-elections. This time no outdoor rallies will be allowed in Kedah in a move likely to hurt the Pakatan the most in its attempts to reach out to voters.
On 23 March, police fired tear gas and chemically laced water to disperse a crowd of several thousand attending an Anwar ceramah on an open field in Sungai Petani. On 7 March, a large crowd of 15,000-20,000 attended another Anwar rally in Bukit Selambau.
Police will now only allow indoor ceramah in Kedah. This excerpt from a Bernama report carried in NST:
All political parties are prohibited from holding ceramah or gatherings at public places in Kedah to maintain public order.
Kedah police chief Datuk Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said they had received several applications to hold ceramah and gatherings during the campaigning for the Bukit Selambau state by-election on April 7.
“We will not allow such events to be held in public places, but we have no objections if they are held in proper halls or covered areas,” he told reporters at a gotong-royong in conjunction with the Police Day celebration at Taman Ria Jaya here today.
Over in Bukit Gantang, Anwar complains that he was stopped yesterday for the third time:
Alahai, buat ketiga kalinya saya dilarang dengan kepungan polis dari menjejak ke tempat ceramah di Bukit Gantang. Maafkan saya. InshaAllah saya akan kembali satelah penamaan calon kelak.