14 April 2008

20,000 came to celebrate with Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim and hear him speak

15 April, 10.40 am:
More pictures. Courtesy of TV Smith.

I was at the celebration at Kelab Sultan Sulaiman, Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur which was held this evening to mark the expiry of Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim's ban from public office, 10 years after he was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister.

Congratulations and best wishes Dato' Seri.

The crowd comprising of all groups of Malaysians was huge and eager. I get this feeling that they want to hear what their prime-minister-in-waiting has to say. My estimation of the crowd was that it was about 20,000 strong.

I don't think the main-stream media will report about this event in a major way. Even if they do, they will probably claim the crowd was about 200 or 2,000 (they somehow have this dirty habit of dropping or 'swallowing' their zeros ... I wonder why.)

Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also the de facto leader of Parti Keadilan Rakyat, spoke to the guests for more than an hour but what was most memorable was his affirmation that Pakatan Rakyat (a coalition of PKR, DAP and PAS) stands firmly in its belief for Ketuanan Rakyat.

He reiterated that there are poor and marginalised Malays as well as Chinese, Indians and others from the ethnic groups in Sabah and Sarawak. The welfare of the rakyat is paramount and Pakatan Rakyat will never forget this point. Pakatan Rakyat will serve the interests of the Malays as well as all other Malaysians. Race-based politics, he alluded, is also dead and gone.

I came away from the celebration with a happy feeling and is assured that Malaysia has a bright future. I am sure the rest of the crowd felt the same way.

I was also told that tonight's celebration also coincided with Raja Petra Kamarudin's 35th wedding anniversary celebration. My congratulations and best wishes also go to Raja Petra and his beloved wife. (Raja Petra Kamarudin is the founder of Malaysia Today blog.)

Pictures courtesy of TV Smith:

Pictures courtesy of Hard-T: