20th April 2013, 1.43amThe day ends at the seemingly empty dorms of Yayasan Aman where the rest of the PKR Jelajah Merdeka team of staff and volunteers have also stationed themselves. The iconic bus with a larger than life image of the Opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim plastered on one side is parked outside, with repeated reminders to keep it locked.
The bus departed at about 4.30pm from the PKR Headquarters in Merchant Square, PJ, arriving at the location for the first event of the evening at a mosque and madrasah in Kubang Semang. Anwar himself arrived much earlier and proceeded with Friday prayer at the mosque. The space outside the mosque was already filled with a sea of skullcaps and mats laid out well before we arrived. Apart from the usual ceramah convincing the locals to trust the opposition coalition, the event today touched on 2 important things.
The first touched on the recent decision by the ROS, Registrar of Societies, to declare the logo of DAP, a component member of the coalition, PR, illegal. As a result, DAP has decided to contest under the logo of PAS in the Peninsular of Malaysia and the logo of PKR in East Malaysia. Such a sudden change of branding will certainly come as the ultimate test for voters, especially for the Chinese voters who are traditionally cautious against voting for the Islamic party, PAS. In the weeks leading up to the nomination day today, BN, the ruling party has repeatedly warned Chinese voters that their rights to alcohol and entertainment will be severely curtailed by PAS with ads in newspapers.
While BN may be hoping that a DAP leader contesting under the PAS logo would be a turn-off, PR is banking on turning it into a positive by showing that voters in general are no longer easily fooled by logos and instead base their choices on the credibility of the candidate running for office. A Chinese candidate running under the PAS banner, winning in a Chinese majority area will prove to be a hefty boost to the multiculturalism slogan of the coalition and Malaysians in general. This remains to be seen in the weeks ahead.
UPDATE 2:36am. In response to the decision by DAP to contest under the PAS banner, Chinese supporters in Padang Kota, Penang has shown their support by waving the PAS flag.
The second was a supposed expose on the alleged Anwar Ibrahim sex video that was recently released. An investigation into the authenticity of the video was called by the authorities in Thailand and allegedly discovered to be fake. A PKR official was on his way into the country accompanied by 2 investigating officers from Thailand when they were stopped and arrested at the border without a valid reason. The PKR official involved believes that he/they will be charged for the possession of pornographic material and is currently still being held at the Bukit Kayu Hitam police station. The status of the investigating officers are still unknown at this time of writing. The ceramah this evening featured video clips debunking the authenticity of the video and played recorded phone conversations with the PKR official involved.
The former deputy prime minister and today the prime-minister in-waiting’s reputation as a masterful orator definitely reared its head today as he very easily commanded the crowd and adapted his speech accordingly throughout his session. The calculative economist and former finance minister who spoke at the Chinese Assembly Hall just last night stood on stage tonight as a righteous person clad in a simple baju Melayu and spoke in the words of the lay person. To say that Anwar Ibrahim has led an eventful life would be a serious understatement.
As were we reminded by the ustaz of the madrasah who spoke before the opposition leader, only God can see the future. Later in the morning Anwar Ibrahim along with all the other candidates across the country will be submitting their nomination forms. In a process where even the slightest technical mistake might result in a disqualification, it is expected that things will get messy.
I will be posting pictures on Instagram as the day unfolds so follow me at @presenttensemedia for the latest updates.