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MONDAY, 15 APRIL 2013
ANWAR IBRAHIM IS COMING TO IPOH!
There is a PKR ceramah, and I want to be there as Anwar Ibrahim is slated to speak.
I want to get near to him, observe him, and get a feel for the man and the crowd that is bound to be waiting.
9.45 pm: I ARRIVE AT MANJOI.
I find a park, one of the last few left, on a road jammed with cars. I am now five minutes’ walk from the field along Jalan Pemimpin.
I begin walking, joining the stream of people, everyone else a Malay, moving towards the site of the ceramah. We walk beside the narrow road. One man, maybe 40 years old, smiles at me. Suddenly, he loses his balance and slides into the road, almost into the path of a car! I grab him from behind and jerks him back to the roadside, Phew! A near miss. He turns and we smile at each other.
THERE IS A BIG CROWD WAITING, MAYBE 2,000.
It’s just past 10pm. I move around, taking photos of the people.
A Malay man grabs my right hand and shakes it firmly. He welcomes me! At this PKR ceramah, just as at another PAS ceramah previously, I am made welcome. Another man puts his hand on my left shoulder and sqeezes it for a few seconds. He smiles as well. I am reassured.
There are very few Chinese there; not including myself, I counted no more than 7. Here is a rare couple.
WE ARE ALL WAITING FOR ANWAR. PATIENTLY.
WE LISTEN TO OTHER SPEAKERS.
I move around again to take more photos. The crowd has grown considerably. I do a quick count, and not being an expert, I choose the lower number: 3,000.
The crowd stirs in excitement, and we crane our necks, looking to the front, to catch a glimpse. I see movement. Yes, Anwar is here!
ANWAR SITS DOWN, RIGHT ON THE GROUND, NEAR THE STAGE. No false pride there. Everyone sits on the ground, and so does he….
I begin my slow, meandering walk to the front, to get close to him. Every time I step on someone’s foot, or stumble over a leg stretched out by a seated person, I stop to apologize. The women laugh, but the men would grab both my hands and reassure me, with a knowing nod, of their forgiveness.
Near enough for a good shot, I take one.
Unknown to me, I have caught Bah Tony, who will be nominated for a PKR state seat, leaning down to speak to Anwar.
As you can see, there is no chair for him. He sits just as we sit. On the bare earth. Grasshoppers hop all around. Stones abound. In some parts, dried dung is scattered.
I move to within 4 feet of Anwar. He glances at me, not sure what or who I am…then, he smiles slightly as I take a shot.
I move even closer, take another, and move back to sit and wait for him to take the stage.
WHAT I SAW AND FELT IS DESCRIBED SO WELL IN THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE.
Free Malaysia Today
Behold, the chosen one!
He is a natural leader with the charisma to draw in the crowd. People are drawn to his simple, yet honest message. It is hard for ordinary folk to ignore him, especially when the media spotlight is continuously fixated upon him with subversive propaganda.
He comes across as a pious and religious man who won’t fail to move the crowd every time he speaks. And it is this intelligence on religious matters that gives him the wisdom to speak on behalf of Malaysians.
Anwar cannot be bought at any price and many are sure that he will not let them down. There is an air of honesty about him. He is polite, endearing and comes across as an intelligent character who does not resort to gutter politics or abuse religion for political mileage in his campaign to woo the crowds. He is an icon of hope and his message is consistent.
FINALLY, ANWAR SPEAKS.
We listen for almost an hour. He makes us laugh and laugh and laugh but it is serious stuff.
Here is a video of one of his laughter-triggering remarks.
HOW LARGE WAS THE CROWD?
Judge for yourself…
A Malay-dominated crowd of at least 2,000 people seated on a boggy field…
GE13 not a PM race, Anwar tells Perak
IPOH, April 16 — The looming May 5 polls is not a prime minister race or a contest of party insignias but a pursuit of moral change and equality, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said last night as he humbled himself to a massive crowd of urban Malay folk at the iconic Gugusan Manjoi here.
Anwar, his voice breaking as he preached his belief in justice for all races, said he was thankful to God that he had survived his six-year incarceration but was now anxious to ensure that no one else would be put through the same test.
“This election is not a question about replacing the prime minister, or replacing parties… I remind you my friends, even if we replace the PM, but he is just as conceited, land disappears in the same way, the people’s incomes are stagnant — what good is there in that?
“People are voting for change. We, as Muslims, we believe in an administration that is founded on good morals,” he said.