BUKIT SENTOSA, 21 April 2010: Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders are working hard for votes in Hulu Selangor. But their campaign rhetoric is not necessarily chaste or relevant to the constituency.
“There was no tear, blood or scar in [Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan]’s anus, he’s still a virgin. So how was he sodomised? Maybe online? Or by Wi-Fi?” railed Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin at a 20 April 2010 rally in Bukit Sentosa.
“I have gone on trips with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. We have also been in rooms together where we discuss party strategy. But he has never asked me, ‘Can I f*ck you?'”
The more than 1000-strong crowd tittered with embarrassment at Shamsul’s remarks. Shamsul then recounted how DAP chairperson Karpal Singh cross-examined a Puteri Umno witness who was allegedly flashed by a PAS member.
“Karpal Singh asked the witness, ‘Bila nampak kemaluan [tertuduh], ada nampak hutan tak?’…When the witness answered yes, she saw the man’s ‘hutan’, Karpal told her, ‘He is a senior man, this medical report shows he no longer has any hutan!'”
PKR de facto leader, Anwar, also strayed far away from the issues in Hulu Selangor in his campaign speech. Despite a warm welcome from the crowd, they were less enthusiastic about Anwar’s references to Israel and public relations firm Apco Worldwide.
“For 12 years, they have insulted us. Saying I’m a Jewish agent, now Allah has revealed the truth about their connections to Israel,” said Anwar, to a mostly subdued response.
“[Datuk Seri] Najib Razak met [US President Barack] Obama — not at the White House but at a convention’s sidelines. Najib agreed to censure Iran for developing nuclear weapons. Since when have we become a US puppet? How come Najib doesn’t censure Israel for developing nuclear weapons in the region?” continued Anwar.
Despite their apparent lack of interest in the alleged BN-Israel connection, the crowd were happy to cheer along with the rest of Anwar’s speech. The Opposition Leader referred to rampant corruption, missing jet engines, submarines that could not dive, and former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo‘s alleged excesses — topics he rehashes at every rally he attends.
It was PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang who finally highlighted concrete issues when he began his speech at about 11pm, after Anwar and Shamsul had spoken.
Hadi praised PR candidate Datuk Zaid Ibrahim for being principled in resigning as a minister to protest the arbitrary use of the Internal Security Act. Hadi said Zaid would make an able colleague in Parliament to debate national issues.
He also dismissed the hype about Zaid’s admission to drinking alcohol, saying that Zaid had turned over a new leaf since joining Pakatan Rakyat.
Hadi also addressed the issue of development and poverty, an important topic in Bukit Sentosa which has many abandoned housing developments and shop lots.
He explained that the by-election was not about roads or development as this was every government’s responsibility regardless of whether or not there was an election. “Just like parents, of whatever race, you must feed your family. It is the same with every government,” Hadi said.
Hadi also spoke of the need to alleviate poverty instead of just giving out handouts. “Only a small portion of Malay, Chinese and Indian [Malaysians] are rich. But after 50 years, there are still squatters, farmers still don’t own their land, Chinese new villages still have no grants and on the estates, some don’t even have toilets…The poor must be helped systematically. Like the Chinese saying goes, ‘Teach a man to fish, don’t give him fish.’ Because when the fish runs out, you have to keep asking for more fish.”
Hadi, however, did not cite any concrete examples on systematic ways to help Hulu Selangor residents, preferring instead to refer to his programmes when he was Terengganu Menteri Besar from 1999 to 2004.
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