The Anwar Ibrahim Campaign Trail : Johor
Campaign analysts might pick Johor as one of the toughest states for the opposition coalition to gain control but the turnout in Segamat at least proved otherwise. 15,000 people at the very minimum waited patiently in the middle of a football field, barely paying attention to Dato Chua Jui Meng who kept the seat warm for the arrival Anwar Ibrahim. We arrived just before midnight, to the thunderous applause of thousands who assumed that the opposition leader was on the bus. Anwar himself arrived about 20 minutes later and immediately took to the stage.
The tenacity of his speech has not diminished one bit even after 6 full days of campaigning in as many states. Right after the speech he made his way onto the bus, having to struggle his way through the crowd trying to get a handshake and an autograph. For many of these people, this might be the first and only time they would ever get to see him. In the Malaysian political sphere there aren’t too many politicians who achieve the same level of stardom and recognition that Anwar commands.
My personal thoughts on him will be penned in a separate post at another time. For now, the credibility and public acceptance of this man can only be gauged by the sheer volume of supporters and the unified cheers that accompany each of the ceramah he attends.
On a separate note, the decision by PAS to field their own candidate against both PKR and BN in 7 constituencies, resulting in a 3 cornered fight, has obviously popped up as an anomaly. The action took officials from both sides of the divide by surprise as it almost guarantees a BN victory, even if the accumulated votes for PAS and PKR are more than BN as they are split votes. Anwar has repeatedly assured the media that the matter has since been resolved after a high level meeting between party leaders last Monday. PAS has since pulled out of the battle for the Labuan parliamentary constituency, leaving the seat open for a straight fight between BN’s Rozman Datuk Isli and PKR’s Ibrahim Menudin.
As the campaign continues and the date marked in red comes closer, ties between all 3 factions will be tested to the limits. With PKR and DAP moves forward with a common agenda, the commitment of PAS remains to be observed.
I’m typing this out from the back of the bus as the campaign continues to the state of Pahang with a full list of events listed below:
Pahang 25th of April, 2013
1) 4.00 ptg – Sepetang Bersama Anwar Ibrahim
Lokasi: Jln Saga 8, Taman Saga, Mentakab
2) 5.30 ptg – Sepetang Bersama Anwar Ibrahim
Lokasi : Tapak Pekan Sari, Felda Lepar Hilir 1
3) 9.00 mlm – Ceramah Pakatan Harapan Rakyat
Lokasi: Felda Cini 1
4) 11.00 mlm– Ceramah Perdana Pakatan Harapan Rakyat
Lokasi: Simpang Kepayang, Bera