This is the scene at Padang Merbok, where some 50,000 are attending a rally in support of Hadi’s bill.
Suasana terkini di Padang Merbok yang dibanjiri peserta himpunan. –Foto Sinar Harian pic.twitter.com/Rpglns0alN
— SinarOnline (@SinarOnline) February 18, 2017
Mind you, this is without any obstacles, roadblocks or threats of arrest. (And so can have a fair idea of how many people Pas could contribute to a Bersih rally.) This is more or less the number of supporters Pas could pack into a stadium in say, Kelantan and Terengganu.
Indeed, the numbers appear well short of Hadi’s prediction of a 200,000 turnout – and it is hardly a ringing nationwide endorsement of his bill. My good friend, Tasik Gelugor Pas information chief Abdul Rahman Kasim, was more guarded, forecasting 100,000 ahead of the rally. As friends, we have had frank exchanges – and strong differences of views – over whether Hadi’s bill is suitable for a diverse, multireligious society like ours. But no hard feelings.
Meanwhile, some 200 gathered for the Bebas counter rally at Taman Jaya. Among those addressing the crowd was Haris Ibrahim.
— AyuMusa (@ayuscure) February 18, 2017
Anyway, it is good that the authorities have respected the right of both sides to gather peacefully and air their views at different venues.