Speakers’ Square: Hecklers enter the fray


Another historic day for Penang, Sunday, 27 June 2010: That’s when hecklers first made their presence felt at the recently opened Penang Speakers’ Square.

Hecklers are of course a regular feature at London’s Speakers’ Corner, and now they have become part and parcel of Penang’s Speakers’ Square. It’s good practice for up-and-coming public speakers when they have to contend with a less than receptive crowd. And all part of the fun.

The Penang Speakers’ Square, open in the evenings on Wednesdays and Sundays, is fast turning into a local attraction and a must-see for visitors to Penang. Dozens turn up especially on Sundays to listen to the speakers – and now the hecklers.

This report from theSun:

Gerakan speakers heckled

Mon, 28 Jun 2010

A senior citizen waves the front page of a Chinese daily which featured a report on Gerakan losing Penang in the March 8 general elections, while Kedah Gerakan secretary Tang Hing Lye was giving his speech at Speakers’ Square in George Town.

GEORGE TOWN (June 28, 2010): The usually supportive spectators at the Speakers Square responded with shouting and cursing when a few members of Gerakan showed up to address them on Sunday. Senior citizens and other bystanders, who normally respond appreciatively when listening at the square, shouted phrases like “liar”, “keep quiet” and “go home” to the Gerakan speakers who reacted stoically while keeping their composure.This was believed to be the first time any speaker was seen heckled or jeered at since the Speakers Square opened in early May.

To their credit, Kedah Gerakan secretary Tang Hing Lye who spoke in Hokkien, and party member Rich Too, who spoke in Malay, completed their speeches in which they criticised the current Penang government. They were accompanied by several party members.

At one stage, while Tang was talking, an elderly man in the crowd held up an old Chinese daily with the front page story of Gerakan losing Penang in the March 8, 2008 general election.

Tang, however, went on undeterred as he was showered with a litany of angry expressions, mostly in Hokkien.

In his speech, Tang criticised Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for being biased and one-sided in his policies for the people of Penang.

According to him, Lim’s administration allocated RM25 million to the bumiputra welfare fund and only RM8 million to welfare fund for non-bumiputras.

He also challenged Lim to act on the Penang bridge toll that is reported to be increased from RM7 to RM9.40 by late 2013.

The crowd mellowed slightly when Too came forward to speak, but began booing again when the duo were leaving the venue.

Some hundred-odd people gathered at the square despite a slight drizzle. — theSun

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  1. The general consensus in Penang is we are so proud of our CM that we want him to stay for many years to come. Gerakan will probably has to wait for another 20 years to come back.

    Just share an interesting incident that i overheard in Air Itam wet market not long ago:

    A flower selling Ah Soh (aunty) yelled out to others who shoved her around in a busy morning ‘Don’t push me around or else i will tell Ah Eng’ When asked who is Ah Eng, she replied ‘of cos Lim Guan Englah..!’

    Just imagine how popular is Ah Eng in Penang now!!

    • Pity Gerakan, why has to wait for sooo… long.
      Frankly, Gerakan is history, gone since 308 Tsunami! Only dreamers go by the name of Gerakan. Go ask the ah peks.
      Ah Eng’s the name in town, b’cos the Rakyat trust him, love him and support him.

  2. Yang and Tan of Tg Bungah, ai yoo, why did you all take Gerakan K so serious, dont you know he is just being “KL”, play play only…

    • haha kee,

      learn more, play more (I learn from an advertisement). Time will tell if I’m just play play.

      Anyway, my next pick for next World Cup matches, Holland and Spain.

      My extra PUNCH will be for Holland match.

  3. Gua Sapport Locket, Gua Siok!
    Gelak-kan Li? Gua 100% Bo Siok, … !

    Anil, saya kini tak tulis carut, hanya cabut bulu-bulu Gelak-kan!
    Kan nak sensitif sangat? Tak tau Gelak-kan?

  4. People like Gerakan-K and Iron only know how to comment and critize and whack behind their mama’s skirt….If we put them up on stage to sing, they will croak like a toad…

  5. Anil,
    The newspaper that old man says that Gerakan would lose Penang forever. The very few words by Lim Kheng Yaik

    • Lim Kheng Yaik has turn wise man after 52 years in the cave of Malaysian politics. He learnt alot about caveman politics but did not courageously use it to his people’s benefit.
      Now to say that Gerakan would lose Penang is old news, forgone news.
      He should sit in the Kopitiam and enlarge his Mickey mouse ears to listen to his fellowmen, and learn abit here and there from the Ah Pek, Ah Chim, Thamby-Thamby and Ah Tok.
      And he should rebrand himself anew away from Gerakan.

  6. Spot on, Hamidi !!!

    Gerakan k ah, i disliked you when i first saw you but later, i discovered that you were actually just mere “KL”, thanks to O also because he always spoke good of you.

    Maybe you are just like Saifool, though hate PKR but voted for PKR’s candidate, yeah?

    Anyway, how about take the challenge throw at you by the readers here and speak at the Speaker’s Corner (or Speakers’ Corner, does not matter la) instead of just hiding in Anil’s blog, ok?

    Please put a small tag ‘gerakan k’ so that i can walk over to shake your hand, and maybe we can go minum teh tarik, how about that?

    Good luck in your sports betting !!!

    • Yesterday I won in Holland & Ghana matches. Today I will pick Germany and Spain.

      I really wonder why there is need to talk in the speaker corner ??? Got nothing to do meh ??? I have to take care of my business and family.

      As I have mentioned in previous comments, I will stand as DUN candidate in Penang. I will inform you who am I in next GE. Remember your promise and give me your moral support by attending my political talk then, OK ???

      • Gerakan K, I certainly won`t support you, someone who still want to and still rely on crutches. You know what I mean. Can someone who still want to keep relying on crutches help us. Certainly not because he need that for himself Just like the present UMNO _ BN

      • Yahoooo !!!

        I won in Germany and Spain matches !!!

        That is OK Yang, even you do not support me. But just attend my talk then. I will show my IC to you. Also, if you got time I will show you my latest BMW and new mini market in Penang.

      • Hi everyone,

        Why the need to speak at Speakers’ Corner? But, in the next breath, ask people to attend his political talk when campaigning in an election!

        Speaking at Speakers’ Corner is for you to convince people of your stand on various issues, allowing people to access whether you’re worthy of their support when you intend to be a DUN candidate in the next election. Doesn’t this give you a headstart for the upcoming election?

        But from your statement “Got nothing to do meh ??? I have to take care of my business and family.” I can fathom that you are not serious in wanting to serve the electorates!! With such an attitude, it’s best that you Gerakan K need not stand as a candidate as I’m sure you’re not only going to lose, but rather lose badly, irrespective of as a BN (Gerakan) or independent candidate.

      • Why not talk now and talk only during election ???


        1) it is useless to talk now
        2) if I talk now, my strategies will be exposed
        3) who want to listen to your talk during non-election period ???

      • Gerakan K, Just like your master UMNO Najib and Zero KPI KTK, you are just spewing half truth…. Frankly speaking you cannot stand for election because you are just a (sycophant) of them. One who need crutches to live on. Just use our head to think. Its all so simple. Can some one with a mini market business afford the latest BMW… WHERE DID THE MONEY COME FROM ??. No need to say more. Latook Hee is an example. Within days of becoming BN independent friendly, she can have a new mercedes benz.

      • Yang,

        join me as an entrepreneur and you will understand that any business will make you a lot wealthier.

        Yang, stop listen to propaganda and don’t underestimate the income of a mini market. You think everyone can be rich if they join any political party ???

        Stop your job now !!! And start your own business !!!

      • Gerakan K, Just like your master UMNO and Najib, you … cannot fool us anymore. I am a businessman myself and I thnk I know much better of what a mini market business is.I don`t listen to propaganda but to facts and reason and all your comments have none of it at all.

      • There are pathetic gamblers of our national coffers, our children’s education and our independence. They care not a bit of Malaysia’s future and have the (cheek) to proclaim guardian of our national interest.
        I ask everyone in this blog: Who can trust a gambler of our nation? …….. I pity this gambling … who thinks nothing of his family except for his immediate self satisfaction, addiction fantasy and inflated ego. God helps this ‘clever but stupid’ creature.
        By the way, there a many who still save for rainy days, and not splurge on ‘shiok sendiri’ sports gambling.

      • Hi Gerakan K,

        Are you standing as a DUN candidate representing BN (Gerakan) or as an independent?

        If it’s the former, it’s rather preposterous for you to say you’d be a DUN candidate for no party member, be it from BN or PR, can be certain that he/she would be chosen as a candidate!! If you’re the political eunuch KTK, you may nominate yourself, even then there’s no 100% certainty since his shamelessly ‘bodekking’ the UMNO President and VP may or may not work!!

      • It is too early my friend. It will need many rounds of negotiation and situation analysis. But I can assure you that I will stand for election under certain party or as an independent candidate.

      • Gerakan K,
        There is no other party you can join except Pati Cinta Malaysia or as an independent and you will surely lose your deposit. Thats the only way you can go. Even if Gerakan is no more relevant to the people, to them you are not relevant at all. understood.

      • Gauging at the way you respond, I don’t think you will stand for anything comes the next GE. Your cowardly demeanour shows here and there. Only to boast your business and gambling wins, which we couldn’t care less, much less give a … heck about.
        Anyway, try if you ‘think’ you dare speak your heart out at the Speaker’s Square, we will be there. (But you are forewarned of heckling by the terrible ah peks.)
        Be our Guest (of Honour) Speaker, Gerakan K!

      • Yes !!!!! Holland won again !!!

        20k my friend !!! So easy one.

        For your info, I even already design some election flyers and small booklets highlighting the plight of people of Penang under current state government.

        The faces of people crying for Kg Buah Pala and a lot more. Stupid comments by your super hero “Ah Eng” and his co like Jeff, Karpal, etc.

        Revelations by MB Zahrain and MB Tan. No transparency act by your super hero, “Ah Eng”. Wastage, close one eye, or muted response to the arches of Penang Botanic Garden. FDI rejection, empty election promises and a lot more.

        You wait and see my creativity of creating the material. No easy win for the rocket this time. We are ready to punch !!!

        Anyway, based on current analysis, I will pick Spain in tomorrow match. This time I will go double in punch.

        Follow my pick and you will extremely happy in the very next day !!!

  7. O and Yang, so good to see you guys here, i was thinking have you guys gone, emigrated to a better land?

    Malaysia is actually a rich beautiful country but it has been abused for the past 52 years and now, it bleeds and at the verge of bankruptcy…

    Why dont those who hate LGE criticise the federal govt???

    Only good at bullying LGE… Shame on you!!!

    Wonder they will also blame Lim Guan Eng if their wives elope with other men???

    Ya, citizen, you are right…

    Have a good day !!!

  8. Having done a lousy job in selling out Penang’s interest in the last 2 decades and now strongly rejected by the people, Gerakan should bow out in shame quietly.

    Do not stir up people’s emotion at the Speakers Corner. it will do more harm to other BN components parties.

    Gerakan – RIP please.

  9. Doesn’t Tang Hing Lye know the simple fact that it was the Federal government, BN who negotiated and awarded the concessionaire and construction contracts?

    Why LGE has to be blamed if BN raises the toll fee?

    Hey Tang Hing Lye, it is Gerakan and not DAP under BN’s umbrella LAH!


  10. Zero KPi KTK and Gerakan can kiss goodbye to Penang. So is Zambry… in Perak while Datook He can go hide under her own skirt. As for tooyoo he can lavish in the mansion … while the fixed deposit in Sarawak and Sabah will soon be finished off. The sign are there for the change just as in Penang, Sibu & HS

    • I will go with you this time on your predictions on Perak, Sabah and Sarawak. The rumbles in East Malaysia is growing stronger by the day.

      The amount of corruptions and misgovernance are unimaginable by any stndard. Read ICAC of Hong Kong going to confiscate RM500 million of suspected black money? This kind of corruption must stop, and reportedly it involved people of such high offices. If Malaysians do not change the Government come the next GE, what will be in store for the future generations? Now they are talking of hundreds of millions and billions!

      The greatest stumbling block to PR’s quest for Putrajaya is still PKR (Parti Kian Runtuh). Until and unless they bucked up, even if PR makes it to Putrajaya, they will fight so much among themselves for power and the largesse. This is a party ala UMNO Baru. Like Gerakan, it is just another split off from UMNO, what really is its political ideologies, struggles for the betterment of the people?

      You will hear them fighting with PAS and DAP. Really, they are so unruly, we really cannot expect to be happy even if the results of the elections showed a PR victory with PKR being the largest winner. This is a possibility, because they had been contesting in Sabah and Sarawak since their formation and if there is a swing, they will be the biggest winner. Anyway, let us see!

  11. We are limited by space as we are only allowed an allocated corner to use. Penangites are still getting used to the idea of freedom of expression so we do not have as many speakers as in overseas. Topics vary but the most commonly talked topics are on unity and good governance. Last Sunday, we had a one-on-one between a “resident” speaker Alfred and a PAS supporter. It was fun and in jest. Overall, I think people are starting to warm up to this and we regularly have 6-10 speakers every Sunday. There is a crowd of between 80-100 every week. Outside Parliament and outside politics, I believe most Malaysians are matured and sensible.

    • I’m visiting Penang in a couple of weeks – I’d love to see Speakers’ (or is it Speaker’s if only one at a time?) Corner in action. I think I was dismissive of the idea when I first heard it, but it sounds great! If space is tight, do speakers have to book a time? Can I find out who will be speaking / about what / when before I visit? Is it only Sundays?

  12. Penang Gerakan should understand heckling is also a freedom of expression. Unless there is a law to make heckling illegal, otherwise let accept those ah peks with open hands.

    Gerakan may expect local audiences to behave like pupils during the school assembly.

  13. Like it or not, it is a good training ground for those aspiring for public office.

    On the same vein, it is a good development for ordinary folks to voice their opinions or feeling in public.

  14. Hi everyone,

    Gerakan K can spin as much as he wants, but it is a fact that Gerakan Party is a has-been. I concur with Bigjoe’s observations, as formerly, even up to 2008 GE, they still had some support from Streams 1 and 2 voters, like those seen in the photo at the Speakers’ Corner. Now even that support is gone. Gerakan candidates in some constituencies in Pg may even lose their deposits!!

    If Gerakan K does not believe the feelings of disgust of Gerakan on the ground, then just stand and speak up to try and spin at the Speaker’s Corner. If not, go the markets and coffee shops and hear the talks there! There’s no hope with Dr THN and (political) eunuch KTK around, even without them, the party has already been dumped by Penangites and also elsewhere, unless they migrate to some constituencies in East Malaysia, courtesy of the UMNO Supreme Council!!

  15. Should not react in such way.
    As it might turn into a brawl.
    Just leave the area if the speech is not well with your taste.
    The speaker will get the meaning of it when his/her only audience are the birds and some wild monkeys.
    Penangites booted out gerakan /bn already.
    That is the sweetest victory.

  16. ya, what is the point of criticisng Lim Guan Eng on Anil’s blog, Mr Besi, go to Speaker’s Corner la if you have …. Got ah? Go and prove yourself there and see how my apek-apek (heckle) you into pieces.

    Talk as if Penang belongs to him alone…

    Please forgive, just wonder how can he make business in China with that kind of otak???

  17. Bravo…apek-apek, you all definitely have more brains than some readers in Anil’s blog…

    Thank goodness, luckily only a handful of these cakap besar people… They think they have answers to everything…

    How i wish i was there to belanja all my buddies apek apek minum kopi “kau” …

    Ha ha ha, this shows Gerakan “si kiau kiau”…

    These Gerakan speakers must be very “lau kui, bor been”, malu la, i think they dare not come again… only good at bullying Lim Guan Eng, what else? Do they dare to criticise UMNO, BN?

    Thanks again apek-apek, you make my day, my headache is gone… natural healing…

    Allah, please bless all these apek-apek. Amin !!!

    • Mr Kee,

      Wow! You had been holding the fort well. Frustrating yeah?

      Anyway, Gerakan is a curse to Malaysian society. Born in 1968 with a few political elites like LCE, David Tan Chee Khoon and the likes they managed to win a few seats in 1969.

      The darkest hours in Malaysian history may not have happened had Tan Chee Khoon’s supporters followed instructions of the Police and followed the routes of the victory procession approved by the Police, but, the over zealous supporters strayed into Kampung Baru and started hurling insults and profanities at the kampung folks. What happened thereafter is common knowledge to everyone. If there is no Gerakan, there will be no victory at Batu, and there will be no victory procession!

      The question is, will there be that dark spot in our impeccable history if Gerakan had not existed? Is Gerakan a curse to the country? What has Gerakan as a political party contributed to the country, besides that unforgettable episode? What had they contributed in the growth of the country? They are a mere split off from the MCA, they are so engrossed in ensuring that MCA candidates loses, and vice versa. Infact, Gerakan according to me is a national shame, a curse and one that should be buried extremely deep come the next GE, and never allowed to be revived! Hopefully, the dark history of the country will be buried together with Gerakan.

      This political party had overstayed its welcome and its political shelf life had expired. Look at their poor performances as an opposition, what kind of issues had they brought up? All nitty gritties that even primary kids will laugh at, like protesting multi lingual sign boards and the giveaways of RM100 to the old folks, and worse of all, (they appear to be) working in cohort with Azhar and hiding … when the going gets tough, before, now and in the future! That is Gerakan for you! Just bury this irrelevant political party from the face of Malaysian politics!

      The better alternative is PR! Salam Reformasi!

      PAS for All and All for PAS

      • O,
        I agreed that it’s Chee Koon’s fault in asking for the procession. You can’t deny the fact he stands for bangsa malaysia. Anyway Chee Koon left Gerakan…..He was one of the few Independent candidates that I admire

      • Hi everyone,

        Yes, Dr Tan Chee Khoon (then sec-gen. of Gerakan) and Professor Alatas (then President of Gerakan) left Gerakan after a tussle with Dr Lim Chong Eu at a Central Committee meeting over the issue of bringing Gerakan to join UMNO in forming BN. Chee Khoon went on to form Pary Pekemas if I’m not mistaken. Can read this up in some political books.

        The late Chee Khoon is the father of Dr Tan Tee Kwong.

  18. “Gerakan K”, “K” etc
    going-to-speak/have-already-spoken-and-have-been-heckled at Speakers’ Square??

  19. Gerakan has lost its cause in Penang.
    LGE’s DAP has done more in the last 2 years than what Gerakan has done in 2 decades.

    Please do not be thick-skinned to embarrass yourself further.

    Penangites are tired of Gerakan.

  20. Hi Anil:It was entertaining. While the Gerakan speakers were going on, some of the hecklers were shouting behind in Hokkien “Enough lah. Go home. Give us back our Square. We want to use it”. There were a few expletives used but it was all in good fun.

    • Thanks Seng Hai.

      I am just wondering, why is it just one speaker at a time? In Hyde Park, London, there used to be half a dozen people speaking simultaneously, each standing on a crate at different spots in their Speakers’ Corner. So each speaker can take as long as he or she likes, and the hecklers, they just move from one speaker to another giving each in turn a tough time.

      That way, the crowd can listen to whomever they like. Indeed, some speakers might find it hard to draw more than a handful of listeners while the more entertaining orators can attract dozens.

  21. Anil. I think you are not quite right with the title. The heckling was only one instance and that was for the Gerakan speakers. I think the people “beh tahan” these Gerakan bums. It takes a lot to rouse these apeks. it just show how deep rooted is the disgust for Gerakan.

    This is another indication that Gerakan is irrelevant.

  22. The key to note is that all the booing were done by the elderly who likely are not online. Gerakan can’t make any dent on the online crowd but if they can’t make a dent on the off-line crowd, where can they go?

    People have to remember this is the mamak stall crowd, wet market and pasar malam crowd. Its two years since PR took over. Its hold on Penang is only stronger since then. Its now a matter of pride for Penangites to have a viable opposition govt. Its no longer about how PR does in Penang, its a matter of larger national principle and pride to keep PR going in Penang.

    Gerakan look like those (political) eunuchs who hoped to revive the Qing Dynasty although they were kicked out by the Emperor Pu Yi. They exist simply because they have no other purpose in life.


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