Anwar Ibrahim warmed up to the Bandar Tun Razak electorate tonight as part of his by-election ‘campaign’ in a consituency which he claims to be eyeing as a ticket to Parliament.
In a hastily arranged ceramah, the charismatic leader spoke to the nearly 2,000 strong multiracial crowd which braved the drizzle throughout the 75-minute speech at a surau compound in Taman Len Sen.
Despite the wide range of topics, his main agenda of the night was to signal his intention to contest in the area and test the waters.
Needless to say, the crowd gave Anwar the verbal approval when he asked if he could contest the seat which is currently held by Selangor Menteri Besar and PKR comrade Khalid Ibrahim.
“I want to say that maybe, I might contest here,” said Anwar to loud roars of approval.
“But if I contest here, hundred of millions would be poured in (to buy votes). Can you resist (the temptation)? If you cannot, please tell me beforehand,” he added.
Sept 16 – still on
Anwar said that he and the Pakatan Rakyat alliance was not keen on seizing power just for the sake of it but it was a bid to save the economy from jahanam (being destroyed).
He also rationalised that the move to contest in a by-election was necessary as Sabah and Sarawak MPs had stressed that he should do so.
“They have told me that if you are serious, then you must enter Parliament first,” he said.
Anwar said that he had been in discussion with leaders from Pakatan coalition partners DAP and PAS on the possibility of contesting for the Bandar Tun Razak seat or the Kulim Bandar Baharu seat in Kedah.
“They can plan to stop our march to Putrajaya but they cannot derail our efforts. God willing, in a few days we can announce where the by-election would be held,” he said.
‘It’s now or never’
He said that the weak economy and country’s leadership require immediate change and thus motivated Pakatan to make its push towards Putrajaya.
“It’s now or never…” crooned Anwar, who is a well-known Elvis Presley fan, adding that he was confident the Sept 16 deadline was still achievable despite recent setbacks.
In his speech, Anwar also lambasted Umno for stoking Malay sentiments against Pakatan Rakyat, particularly PAS and PKR.
Among such efforts was the Umno’s bid to form a coalition government with PAS in Selangor and using the Malay press to portray PAS and PKR as stooges of DAP.
“When they are desperate, they talk about race. Why didn’t they talk about ketuanan Melayu before the general election?” he asked.
Anwar continues his nationwide roadshow in Kulim tomorrow evening.