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Anwar: Yes, we instigate the people

 | May 26, 2013

The opposition leader says that Pakatan Rakyat instigates the people to defend their rights and stand up against 'robbers'.

PETALING JAYA: Since the 2008 electoral battle, which left the mandibles of Barisan Nasional agape with horror, Malaysia continues to remain trapped in the jaws of election mode.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak exacerbated the situation when he kept dropping hints of a snap polls but instead chose to dissolve Parliament upon the completion of his five-year term.

Now after the 13th general election, which saw BN suffering an even bigger setback, the election mood still grips the nation, with the opposition claiming that fraud had prevented it from capturing federal power.

And last night, thousands of vehicles clogged the major arteries here, bringing traffic to a crawl, as more than 50,000 people packed Dataran PJ opposite Amcorp Mall for a pro-Pakatan Rakyat rally.

In the evening, less than 3,000 braved the blistering heat to listen to the various NGO leaders’ spirited speeches while volunteers went around collecting donations since the organisers claimed that funds were needed to settle the PA system bill.

Down the road at the Civic Centre, PKR was holding its annual congress while the pathways leading to Dataran PJ were littered with stalls selling opposition merchandise, food and drinks.

But as the sun began to set, droves of people dressed in black came pouring into the field. Soon the blaring of vuvuzelas and rapturous cheers shattered the tranquility of the night.

The familiar sight of party flags as well as banners and placards denouncing the Election Commission, Najib and BN flooded the field.

Despite Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s stern warnings with regard to the gathering, police presence was minimal, with the majority being traffic policemen.

‘The government is afraid’

“The government is afraid… the slightest provocation by the police could set the nation on fire and that is why you don’t see the FRU and water cannons.

“The people are angry [over the alleged election fraud]… So testing their patience would not be wise and BN knows this,” said Kevin Thanaraj, a 28-year-old chemical engineer.

His friend, Darren Teoh, argued that the rallies were getting tiresome and wanted the opposition to take more drastic measures.

“Yes, the people are angry. But the opposition cannot expect us to keep attending rallies, sing songs and hear the same things over and over again for the next five years,” said the 34-year-old businessman.

Asked what he would propose, Teoh, without the slightest hesitation, replied: “The time has come to take these protests out of the fields and stadiums… It is time to take them to the streets.”

Overhearing the conversation, law student Hafiz Iskandar, 23, cited the famous phrase, “Bila tipu pilihanraya, kita turun jalanraya [When there is cheating in the polls, we must take to the streets].”

“I have attended four rallies so far, and I am tired of blowing the vuvuzela, my mouth hurts. This is not a fun-fair… It is a serious issue and serious action must be taken,” he stressed.

Anwar: Yes, we instigate

Like all rallies, this one belonged to Anwar Ibrahim as well.

The opposition leader had the crowd eating out of his palm when he highlighted the numerous alleged electoral frauds and the EC’s failure to act against them.

Among others, he said the mainstream media had painted him and other opposition leaders as instigators and warned the public against heeding their calls.

“Yes, we instigate the people. We instigate them to stand up for their rights, we instigate them to rise up against ‘robbers’ and if this is wrong, then we are prepared to face the consequences,” he bellowed.

Criticising the Star newspaper for omitting certain portions of US President Barack Obama’s message to Najib with regard to the general election, Anwar, however, stressed that the fate of this nation rests on the shoulders of Malaysians, and not the Americans or the Japanese.

He also asked those present if the opposition should stop pursuing the issue of electoral fraud.

“I am asking you a serious question… Do you want us to end this or continue [with our struggle]?” he asked, to which the crowd responded with a thunderous “continue”.

“Fine… We shall continue then,” retorted Anwar. “At the very minimum, we want re-election for the 30 seats which we dispute… but we reject the 13th general election result,” he added.

Calling for the EC top brass’ resignation, the Pakatan Rakyat supremo said: “Clean elections, my foot! We want the EC to resign or we would give you [EC] an ultimatum… listen, listen, listen.”

Also read:

‘File reports on delible ‘indelible’ ink’

‘Soldiers in black, fighting for democracy’

‘No point for GE14 if GE13 fraud unresolved’


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