About 25,000 jam the streets to hear the Pakatan leader repeat his promises, attack BN leaders and call Daim Zainuddin a master thief
SEREMBAN: Thousands of people of all ages and races descended on downtown Seremban last night, jamming the streets leading to the Betaria Business Centre to hear Pakatan Rakyat leader Anwar Ibrahim reiterate the opposition pact’s election promises, berate BN leaders and warn former finance minister Daim Zainuddin that a Pakatan-led government will reclaim the “billions of ringgit” that he allegedly stole from the nation.
Most estimates put the size of the crowd at about 25,000.
Cars, motorcycles, and pedestrians jammed all streets leading to Siamang Gagap Road, adjacent to a major car park that served as Anwar’s stage.
Anwar himself had to walk the 800-metre distance to the venue from the Siamang Gagap-Ampangan road junction because not even the scooter provided for him could get through the thick crowd.
The atmosphere and mood of the crowd were reminiscent of a carnival or a major rock concert or a Malaysia Cup finals match. The three-hour ceramah was punctuated every 10 or 15 minutes by blaring air horns and songs and slogans that have become familiar at Pakatan ceramahs.
Anwar received enthusiastic cheers every time he repeated Pakatan’s various promises—a change from autocracy to democracy, a corruption-free government, free education, the removal of highway tolls, cheaper cars and an immediate reduction in the retail price of fuel.
He ridiculed caretaker prime minister Najib Tun Razak and his deputy for what he described as “crude polemics” in their campaign statements and speeches, such as their contention that Pakatan would surrender Malaysia to foreign powers and that it would bankrupt the country with its socio-economic programmes.
He also accused BN of plagiarising Pakatan’s election manifesto.
Anwar’s most serious accusation, however, was reserved for Daim, who recently came out of retirement to go on the BN campaign trail and has made disparaging remarks about the opposition leader’s abilities in economic planning.
“Daim was the most corrupt finance minister in Malaysian history,” he said.
“I’m giving him a reminder. While we will not go on a witch hunt, the money that he robbed from the people must be returned. From our rough estimation, the amount runs into billions.”
He asked his listeners whether they would approve of Pakatan demanding that Daim return the money.
The response was immediate and rang loudly through the crowded streets: “Minta!” (Demand!)