The Opposition campaign in Penang ended last night on a multi-racial high as 8,000 people crowded the main road in Sungai Ara near the Pas markas.
For the first time in Penang, I noticed that all the ethnic groups were well represented. Malay men shouted Makkal Sakthi along with their Indian counterparts while everyone shouted reformasi! Many held aloft PKR and DAP flags while above the stage, a Pas flag rose into the air. Like at the Han Chiang school field the previous night, large screens were placed at strategic places while a crane held aloft a video-cameraman high in front of the stage.
Anwar arrived to a rousing welcome. He reminded the crowd that we are all one family – and the Malays, the Chinese, the Indians and others must unite to do away with the corruption and injustice under the BN. That call for a unity of purpose went down well with the crowd. He also promised free education for all, a lowering of oil prices, and affordable health care.
“Do you want Pak Lah’s economic corridors or free education?” he asked the crowd.
“Free education,” they yelled back.
“Do you want these economic corridors or lower oil prices?”
He also warned the crowd to be wary of phantom voters “rising from the dead at night” to come out and vote this morning. He urged voters to come out in sufficiently large numbers to overwhelm any phantom votes.
Several police trucks rumbled by slowly on the road nearby creating some consternation, but nothing happened.
Anwar stressed to the crowd the last time the BN lost its two-thirds majority was in 1969, but this time there would be no trouble. Unlike the run-up to the 1969 election when there was palpable ethnic tension in the air, this time, the Malays, Chinese and Indians were united against the BN, he pointed out.
All the candidates in the area, a string of them under a PKR slate and a female teacher from Pas, were introduced and received loud cheers. One Chinese PKR candidate spoke of his moving encounter with the suffering and tears of ordinary folk living on subsistence income and poor health and wondered aloud if this was the kind of Malaysia we all wanted.
Over at Perak Lane, another 4,000 people were still out at a ceramah close to midnight, while another one was held in the Mt Erskine area.
What was most encouraging at Sungai Ara was the truly multi-ethnic composition of the crowd, all motivated to bring about change.
Update from Kelantan:
Meanwhile, Farish Noor told me after midnight that things appear to be “crazy” over in Kelantan. Amazingly, Pas supporters were already celebrating victory in Kota Bharu. But the boys from Husam Musa’s team told him that all their reports are bad and Umno is gaining ground for some reason. Buses with voters (genuine ones?) were entering Kelantan, making it impossible to predict the results now.
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I’ve been so blown away by the events of the evening that I can’t sleep. Can you?
the phantom voters are in @ http://www.malaysia-today.net/2008/…t/view/3983/84/
also BN monies are being distributed! = http://www.usj.com.my/bulletin/upload/showthread.php?t=21808
There is a comment by ‘A true Malaysian’ in Malaysiakini on an article titled ‘Malays versus malaise’. The comment is :- On Malays versus the malaise A True Malaysian: I strongly agree with the statement that ‘Only the Malays can cure Malaysia of the Umno/BN malaise’. Malays, being the majority race of the country, are needed to lead Malaysia out of the race based politics played by BN. Malaysia cannot go far and compete with the rest of the world if majority of them are still hinged on a Ketuanan Melayu mentality make famous by Umno. We can see the… Read more »
Swinging time The roads come alive I imagine the scenes The colorful mixture of races Malaysia truly a land of bless The unexpected happens The corrupted leaders send to oblivion No more such leaders on stage Enough of them so I say Today Malaysians decide Is it the swinging time, isn’t it? The pent up frustrations of rising costs And the lies and deceptions roll The corruption and lopsided policies It is time Malaysians got it right No more blue on the sea It is time for the sun and moon Blazing rocket and the rainbow Grazing the land something… Read more »
their prediction? voter turnout will be 90% in Kelantan! can you believe that? phantom voters galore!
Hello Anilnetto ! Great running coverage of the election. I just read your posts and that was very interesting. This is what we had hoped for, A United Front on non racial lines and from the results we also now can see that race politics is irrelevant and out-dated; although Chinese were of 24 % and Indians of 8%, it is not enough that BN hung on to their Malay vote bank because Dato Seri Anwar took up the slack from Malay voters; and from now on politics is more like a real nation and not some BANANA REPUBLIC. The… Read more »
good job for running the coverage!
i’m really proud being a malaysian, we’re more united than we realized. the results of the election showed that we’re no longer race conscious, indian oppositions won in chinese areas, chinese candidates won in malay territories and so on… we just want to be malaysians!