A large crowd, estimated at between 10,000 and 20,000, turned up to listen to a ceramah in the heart of Permatang Pauh, opposite the Seberang Prai Polytechnic. Among the speakers were Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Guan Eng.
The event also saw the launch of the national PKR youth wing’s election machinery with representatives from each state taking a pledge.
The PKR security personnel put up a much better, more organised performance with friendlier arrangements for the media. Penang PKR deputy chairman Mustapha Kamal Yusoff told me that the party had carried out a re-registration of their security personnel. He said they were still unable to identify the “security personnel” who had attempted to throttle a photographer from a Chinese newspaper at the last ceramah. Anyway, neither the dubious “security personnel” in question nor the Chinese photographer was around (Someone told me she was away in Beijing covering the Olympics!).
One of the speakers on the night (not from PKR) was someone who had earlier in the day been protesting outside the Bar Council forum. After rubbing shoulders with Umno protesters in the morning, this time he was telling Umno “jangan cabar” this and that. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Certainly, the PKR and Pakatan as a whole needs to work out an acceptable solution to the problem of what happens to families when a spouse converts to Islam. They cannot sweep this issue under the carpet and hope it will go away. Otherwise, even if the Pakatan comes to power in Putrajaya, they could be faced with a serious split the moment a case like this hits the headlines.
At the stroke of midnight and as the ceramah drew to a close, a cake was brought out to celebrate Anwar’s birthday.
Blog reader Mohammad Firdaus Christopher was one of those present:
Good morning Anil & fellow Malaysians,
Yes, I was there as well with my father in law and few neighbours & the crowd/ atmosphere was simply awesome. DS Anwar, as usual, with his excellent oratory skills captured the hearts and ears of the crowd once again. In short, after talking to some local folks, will put my $ on DSAI re-capturing the seat with > 25,000 majority
Best Regards & Salam REFORMASI