Monday, December 24, 2007

We need national not ethnic champions

Whispering campaign: Anwar 'turned Hindu'

Terence Netto
MalaysiakiniDec 24, 07 12:33pm

PKR’s de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, on a seven-stop barnstorming swing through Penang on Saturday, drew crowds from a couple of hundred to a few thousand as he denounced the government over its policies and practices and called on the people to take charge of their destiny.

At all seven stops Anwar referred to what he said was a whispering campaign against him by Umno that he had "turned Hindu" because of his support for Hindraf.Hindu Rights Action Force organised a demonstration in Kuala Lumpur last month, gathering some 30,000 people, drawing attention to their agenda of fighting for Indian rights.

Five of the movement’s leaders have since been detained under the Internal Security Act for being a threat to the national security."I intend to meet this whispering campaign head-on," said Anwar at his first stop in Sungai Nibong. "I have not abandoned my Malay and Muslim moorings but I believe in remaining open to the plight of all people who are faced with problems for which they need help," he added. "Under a PKR government, a Malay problem, a Chinese problem, an Indian problem, a Dayak problem and a Kadazan problem would be regarded as a Malaysian problem.

"We will work together to see that the wealth of this nation is shared more equitably and that no one race will remain helpless in the face of rampant poverty," he said in identical remarks in all seven stops, drawing rousing cheers for this particularly at Sungai Nibong and Sungai Bakap where Indians were present in disproportionate numbers in the audience. He rode pillion on a motorcycle to his Sungai Bakap engagement because the North-South Expressway was jammed between the Penang Bridge and Juru at tea time. A roar greeted his arrival on a bike ridden by a Keadilan youngster and the crowd later chuckled knowingly when Anwar said "as deputy prime minister I wouldn't have been allowed on a bike."

PKR policiesAnnouncing populist PKR policies such as the abolishment of fees from primary to tertiary level for students from poor families and the lowering of the price of oil, Anwar drew multi-racial crowds at Sungai Nibong in Bayan Baru, Sungai Bakap in Nibong Tebal, and Seberang Jaya in Permatang Pauh, and largely single race crowds in Bukit Gelugor (Indian), Penanti (Malay) and Permatang Beranggan (Malay) in Tasek Gelugor.All the seven stops were made in one day.

His longest speech, an hour-long excoriation of the misdeeds of the Barisan Nasional, particularly Umno's, was reserved for a 5,000 strong crowd, the biggest and last stop of the seven, in Permatang Beranggan where he threaded on all the themes he touched on earlier.He said that a Barisan Rakyat (People's Front) government would see that "people would be enabled to be rich and not ministers and their relatives as is the case with the present lot".

Penang is regarded as a frontline state by PKR as it attempts to combine with the DAP and PAS to capture more seats in the state assembly and in parliament at the next general election which observers expect will be called soon.

In his gruelling swing through the state, Anwar paused at two largely Indian settlements, the first in Bukit Gelugor on Penang island, and the second at Kampung Bagan Serai in Seberang Perai, to express sympathy for people threatened with eviction by developers.

He told them to expect in these times when the election is imminent that "representatives from MIC and Gerakan would come and assure you that something will be done for you but nothing will come of it"."So vote for us and vote for change to your fortunes," he urged the crowd at both stops.

1 comment:

nizam said...

BN component parties= SPR , umno, mic, mca, ppp....

shame on spr!!!

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