"AMK Selangor Teraju Perubahan"

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"I'm pro all races" Anwar

It was a modest Chinese coffee shop in the heart of Ijok. At its best, it could probably accommodate little more than 50 customers.However, last night the shop was bursting at its seams as hundreds descended upon it. The crowd spilled onto the streets, causing a traffic jam in the tiny hamlet, tucked amongst dense plantations some 50km northwest of Kuala Lumpur.They were there for one man, who showed up soon after in a chauffeur driven dark-coloured Rover. As the car pulled up, the crowd began to jostle for a closer look and when he emerged there was a thunderous applause.This was none other than former deputy premier and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Anwar Ibrahim who had come to campaign for Khalid Ibrahim - his party’s candidate in the April 28 by-election.Peppered with generous doses of humour and wit, Anwar drew much laughter and applause from his audience during his brief speech.
Repressive policies
As for Hishammuddin, who is also education minister, Anwar said wielding the keris during the Umno general assembly was nothing short of a warning to other races, especially the Chinese.
He said the Umno Youth chief had since explained that raising the traditional dagger was part of the Malay culture.
“You think the Chinese are stupid ah?” he asked, cracking up those present. “It was a warning (to the other races). Anwar said he was not raising these issues just to please the Chinese and that he would tell the Malays the same thing as well.
“If Malaysia is to move forward, all races must participate,” he said, adding that race-based politics was not good for the country.
“I don’t understand why the Chinese still support this Malay (Umno) government,” he quipped much to the amusement of the audience.
As for education, he said the current standard was deplorable and asked why a non-Malay could not head a local public university.
The former deputy premier also took a swipe at the language-switch policy mooted by his predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad which saw English being used as the medium of instruction for Mathematics and Science.
“I challenge MCA leaders to respond to my call to have the language switch reverted and have Chinese schools teach these subjects in Chinese,” he said.
Anwar also drew loud cheers when he stressed on the importance of learning the Chinese language and revealed that three of his six children have learnt the language.He also took a swipe at Umno campaigners for telling Malay voters that he has changed and that he was now pro-Jew and pro-Chinese.
“MCA will come here tomorrow and tell you (Chinese voters) that I am pro-Malay. Both are lies, I am pro all races,” he said.Following this, the dark-coloured Rover headed towards the nearby Kampung Sungai Darah, escorted by youths on motorcycles carrying PKR flags.
Here, he addressed more than 300 people, made up mostly of Malays and Indians. Once again, Anwar’s wit and humour had the crowd in stitches.
Mongolia to KL
He said the Tuan Mee area now has the most number of sewing machines in the world as BN has just given out some 200 of these machines to the residents there.
“This is the time to ask for all sorts of things, go ahead and take them but when polling day comes, vote for PKR,” he said.Anwar also reiterated his corruption allegations concerning Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak over the purchase of submarines and fighter jets.
Apart from this, he also stressed on the importance of religious freedom and criticised any form of coercion in this matter.
Several minutes into his speech, businessman KS Nallakarupan made his way through the crowd, to which Anwar said in jest:
“Here comes Nalla, look at the way he walks, just like MGR (late Tamil actor and politician).”

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