Indoor ceramah, outdoor crowd: Anwar speaks from the covered corridor of a shoplot while the crowd listens from the street outside – Photos by Anil Netto
Anwar speaking from inside a private residence to a crowd of 5,000 seated on a field opposite
Pakatan politicians are using creative means to overcome various restrictions.
Take for instance the police restriction on ceramah in “public places” in Kedah, which effectively bans open-air public rallies.
The restrictions confine the ceramah to indoor locations. So the Pakatan politicians are now stretching the definition of “indoors”. While the politicians addressing the crowd are now indoors – in shophouses or inside private premises, the crowds spill out to the streets or fields outside the indoor locations.
Last night in Aman Jaya, Bukit Selambau, for instance, Anwar and other speakers addressed a crowd of about 2,000 from a shoplot. While technically Anwar was in a covered area – at the entrance to a shoplot, which is being used as the PKR operations centre for the polling area – his audience was gathered all around outside the shoplot, some even sitting on the service road and others standing further away across a monsoon drain next to the main road.
Later, Anwar and his entourage, followed by youths with flags on motorbikes, headed to a house about a kilometre away and held another “indoor ceramah”. Inside the premises of the private residence, he stood on a covered stage and addressed some 5,000 people gathered outside on a field across the road from the house, the field being slightly below road level.
Earlier, at the shoplot, a couple of speakers poked fun at the restrictions on mentioning Altantuya. “What are they afraid of?” they asked. The crowd chuckled.
Police kept a discreet presence and did not attempt to disperse the crowd at these two locations.
As for the suspensions of the permits of Suara Keadilan and Harakah, PKR and Pas reportedly plan to release one-off publications, Suara Keamanan and Hujah, which do not require permits unlike regular publications.