My experience at a BN ceramah


A Puteri Umno supporter in high spirits on Nomination Day (Photo credit: Abang Benet)

PERMATANG PAUH – While many people were trying to get to one of Anwar’s ceramahs last night, I stumbled upon a BN/Umno ceramah along the main road from the town centre.

It was in full flow with a crowd of 200 women and men – seated in separate sections – in the porch of a wooden double-storey building that houses the local Umno branch. Nearly all of them were Malay/Muslim.

I stood close to the main road, outside the house – I was not sure if I would be welcome – listening to a couple of the speakers: a Dato and an ustaz formerly from Pas.

Anyway, I needn’t have worried. A friendly man, noticing I was standing outside, brought me a chair and a bottle of mineral water. “Come in, have a seat,” he said, placing the chair at the back of the crowd.

Among the points that were raised by the speakers:

  • Rifts in the Pakatan: Pas is unhappy with the PKR leadership, and this issue was even raised at the Pas general assembly. Pas is actually the dominant party in the Pakatan so why are Anwar and the PKR leading the alliance. How many Malays does PKR really have? And how does the DAP fit in when Karpal Singh once declared, “Islamic state over my dead body”? This alliance is not strong. And now Penang is under the DAP and although Perak is led by Pas, isn’t the real force in the state the DAP?
  • The integrated pig farm project in “a Malay area” in Sepang: In theory, it is supposed to be safe and hygenic, but that is “in theory” only, said the speaker. Anyway, why was the DAP’s Teresa Kok announcing and making statements on the project when it should have been the MB?
  • Wan Azizah could not do much for Permatang Pauh when she was the MP. People felt sorry for her and Anwar’s plight and that is why they voted for her. But she couldn’t do much beyond offering her salam in the market place whenever she visited.
  • Anwar is so brave and daring he is willing to do all sorts of things such as (allegedly) making sub judice statements outside court etc. But why isn’t he brave enough to swear on the Koran as to his innocence?
  • The UiTM issue.
  • We are not anti non-Malays, said one of the speakers, but they must understand what the Malays sacrificed when they gave the non-Malays citizenship on the basis of jus soli.
  • If we vote for Anwar, we must remember that he has to go to court on 10 Sept. What if he is eventually convicted? Are we going to have to go through another by-election? PKR has already put us in the position of having a by-election so soon after the general election. “I don’t know about you; I don’t want to go through another by-election,” said the speaker. And the solution? Put an end to this nonsense and vote for the BN candidate!

Half-way through the ceramah, the mike went dead – but it was soon revived. And then, this time from the main road, the speaker was interrupted again – by the roar of a convoy of about 100 motorbikes, some of them with BN flags fluttering in the night air.

“Ah, the young people, elections are like a festival to them and they go around honking on their motorbikes.  Let them have their fun. In the old days, we used to go around in our bicycles; the only difference is that back then we didn’t have horns to blare!” said the ustaz, as the crowd chuckled.

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24 Aug 2008 12.19am

Remember DSAI sweared in 1998 and he still taken to prison. Dont be fool by BN lies. Follow What is right as the ULAMAS have preached.Dont listen to the BN and UP-no wrong teaching. E.g You have to follow what a mechanic advice concerning your car engines not to a doctor or lawyer or others who claimed even they have higher education.
why should DSAI follow the stu**d DENS OF THIEVES WAYS…

Dominic Kok
Dominic Kok
19 Aug 2008 7.36am

Thanks for the trouble to fill us in on the otherside. I’ve come to treasure your blog-site, your energy and spirit of Malaysia. We have started the ball rolling, awakening the spirit of Bangsa Malaysia across the race and creed. My insides warms with pride at the spirit of Bangsa Malaysia and my heart is starting to beat with the Kompang, Indian Drums of Makkal Sakthi, Chinese Drums of lion and dragon dances. Lets start the Banghra, Ngajat and Sumazau together with the gendang and gamilans….wee hah..


Malaysian Niah...
Malaysian Niah...
19 Aug 2008 1.40am

again … UMNO for Melayu only and that do not even cover the rest of the Bumiputras…. so after so called 50 years of plundering their own Melayus in the name of ‘helping’ them … we still have 200 idiots willing to spend time listenning to their crap and BS. and mind you they said vote for BN – hello BN consist of Melayu, Cina, India, Kadazan, Muruts etc not only Melayu. the correct phrase the speaker should use us vote for UMNO. The rest of the non-Melayu parties in BN is a piece of ****. Speeches like that also… Read more »

19 Aug 2008 12.36am

thanks for the report.

i’m sad to see BN/UMNO has never touched on what they can offer how they can deal with all the critical issues (inflation, ruined legal system, severe corruption, stagnant economy) we are facing. but badmouthing PK to the fullest.

but that’s what they only capable of.

19 Aug 2008 12.30am

Sometimes I wonder whether BN’s speakers have anything to tell the audience if they do not speak on racial matters.Can’t they dwell something on corruption eradication,poverty eradication,economic development and improvement of infrastructure of the area etc.DSAI has touched on all these topics but BN’s speakers offer nothing except character assassination and instigate racial sentiments among various races.

BN makes itself irrelevant to Malaysians,luckily we have Pakatan Rakyat to our rescue !

19 Aug 2008 12.01am

What do you expect from a BN ceramah? Same old half baked logic, except that it’s even less convincing without the editing and voice overs.

18 Aug 2008 11.02pm

re: wandererAUS on August 18th, 2008 at 6.35pm.

i agree with the above post.

and the BN fellas are offering ‘goodies’ again in the form developments etc… (what more can they think of??)


PP is a NATIONAL agenda. it’s not about longkang and jalanraya!

Wenger J Khairy
Wenger J Khairy
18 Aug 2008 10.10pm

Hi Mr Anil, Anychance of catching a picture of the real prime minister in waiting ie. MR K J in Permatang Pauh. I hope that BN will use their best asset in this match, if not they have no chance, their best asset being the young MP from rembau. A lot of us are quite upset because the media has not been carrying his statements recently, I believe this mentality espoused by some jealous leaders in UMNO that KJ could somehow be blamed for PRU 12 results, has resulted in some of the MSM not carrying his words of wisdom… Read more »

18 Aug 2008 9.51pm

Your country will be be great when you get rid of the racism and a new progressive developed country will be born and respect will return to Malaysia internationally. Malaysians of all class will prosper because resources will be used to the max without corruption and every family will have a good life. Gone will be the days of evil racism. The case against Mr Anwar on the sodomy issue is non evidence and will not stand in a court of law. Everything seems to point that Anwar is innocent.

18 Aug 2008 9.39pm

Thanks Anil for the news update.
I am dependent on your site on this PP By election.

I remembered somewhere in the Mainstream News Paper that Umno claims to have 10,000 Umno members in PP.

Wonder if that will mean Auto 10,000 votes ……
Ceremah crowd of 200 not very impressive, is it !

18 Aug 2008 6.35pm


Are you suggesting that your understanding of Malaysian politics is above all of us. It is people like you, who is like a frog that lives in a well…the sky, is your whole world! I respect your right to speak, certainly, I do not need you to speak on my behalf. Keep all your opinions to yourself, I have a very good mind, very capable to access Malaysia political situation for myself.

ainon mohd
ainon mohd
18 Aug 2008 6.21pm

Thank you for your reports. I click your site several times each day to read the latest.

Good job!

18 Aug 2008 5.57pm

Hie Anil, thanks for the insight. I’ve listened to both sides’ ceramah at various points in my life. I think most of the comments here are from those who have never set foot in a ceramah except if it involves Anwar. If they did, they would realize that PAS would play to PAS’ crowd, DAP would play to their crowd, and PKR would also play according to the crowd. That is normal in politics, and let us not be blinded of the fact by our partisanship. In any case, though we are from different political affiliation, I believe you’re doing… Read more »

18 Aug 2008 5.50pm

Nostrdamus Predictions on Possibilities In Malaysia. Ramalan Nostradamus atas Kemungkinan-kemungkinan di Malaysia. 1. Is it possible that DSAI wins the Permatang Pauh elections and become the next Chief Minister of Penang as a stepping stone to becoming Prime Minister? Adakah mungkinnya DSAI memenangi pilihan raya Permatang Pauh dan menjadi Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang sebelum menjadi Perdana Menteri? 2. Is it possible that DSAB resign as PM of Malaysia after the Permatang Pauh elections and handover to DSNTR earlier than expected? Adakah mungkinnya DSAB meletak jawatan sebagai PM Malaysia selepas pilihan raya Permatang Pauh dan menyerahkannya kepada DSNTR lebih awal dari… Read more »

18 Aug 2008 5.31pm

the majority of Malays and Indians are behind DSAI !

18 Aug 2008 5.22pm


the chinese are 100% solidly supporting DSAI to be the next PM of Malaysia.

to my malay and indian friends
come let us together show and prove our solidarity and rally
behind DSAI.

forget about saiful sinful or whatever fool .

just go all out and vote DSAI your MP and our next PM of all Malaysian.

long live DSAI and may god bless you and your family.


18 Aug 2008 4.55pm

Anil, the more visits you make to BN ceremahs, the more lies you will hear…or, sodomy or the Quran swearing. Is that the best they are able to offer?
Don’t they care about the economy, reforms and ridding out corruptions …ooops! I withdraw corruptions…just cannot ask the bees not to produce honey.
I hope, you were served with a little bit of snacks and a cold drink.

18 Aug 2008 4.51pm

I’ll translate this:

Put an end to this nonsense and vote the BN candidate and GOVT OUT !

Reasonable Voter
Reasonable Voter
18 Aug 2008 4.46pm

Simply outstanding Anil

18 Aug 2008 4.38pm

BN is committed to see Anwar in Jail. Even a ceramah speaker is sure Anwar will be convicted.

DIRTY B********

18 Aug 2008 4.31pm

Anil your first point…….

i thot the Botak……..forgot his name……..mmmmmmmmm Oh yes yes Hamid Albar said sedition act will be used if anyone uses race/ religion to win votes……

he should use it against his own UMNO *******!

Abi Ayyub
Abi Ayyub
18 Aug 2008 4.27pm

To all still sceptical about the swearing by the “Al Quran”, kindly be informed that there are no such requirement. This is the malay – muslim thinking and has got nothing to do with Islam. However, just imagined that after all and Anwar does take their challenge and swear as well, will they than agree to stop all comment, apologise to Anwar for all they had said, close the court case and thats it. If that can be the case, well and fine, if not how does it matters. It is a cheap (probably not cheap considering the possible payout)… Read more »

Today is on fire!
Today is on fire!
18 Aug 2008 4.25pm

thanks Anil for the article. Anil, what you see in a BN camp it is PKR,of course they gonna stand to the points that gives more advantages on the party side.that’s how politics work.doesnt matter if there are 200 or 50,000 turns out at a ceramah (talk),campaign must go on. “Not to mention the usual BN ceramah…must provide food and drinks. Else I wonder if they can even manage to get half the people to stay there” it doesnt matter if people stick for talk or’s effort that concerns.people who are supporters will stay until the end and… Read more »

Phua Kai Lit
Phua Kai Lit
18 Aug 2008 4.18pm

Hi All

The Opposition in Pulau Pinang
(remember that BN is the opposition in Pulau Pinang!)
can and should present their message.
It’s up to the voters to decide in clean and fair
elections. This is what democracy is all about.

Vote against BN all the same! 🙂 🙂

18 Aug 2008 4.01pm

Thanks for sharing, Anil. These are the interesting insights we never seem to get from mainstream media, and a lot of other online media either. So, 200 Malay-muslim people listening to messages tailored for them, meant to make their hearts beat strong and fast in the name of Malay supremacy and unity. What is the message that goes to the Chinese and Indian audiences then? I have not heard a single consistent pledge and vision for all audiences from the Barisan. And nothing about development of PP, nothing about development of Penang. Just personal attacks to shoot down the other… Read more »