Monday, October 5, 2009

Nizar, the crowd puller

Hundreds of Bagan Pinang residents celebrated the mid-autumn festival with Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders as the federal opposition launched its first nightly ceramah in its by-election campaign for the state seat.

The celebration was held at the Chinese-dominated town of Batu 9 here, amid a racially-motivated campaign against the coalition which saw the distribution of books accusing PR of sidelining the Malay community.

Negri Sembilan DAP chief Loke Siew Fook told the audience the significance of the celebration also known as the mooncake festival, which commemorates the uprising of the people of China against the Yuan Dynasty in the 14th century.

He urged all the voters to s
tand up against what he called Barisan Nasional’s (BN) hypocrisy, accusing the ruling party of doublespeak.

The crowd puller for the night was ousted Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamalluddin.

“Tonight we celebrate the lantern festival to prepare for the fall of Barisan Nasional not only in Negri Sembilan, but throughout Malaysia,” said Nizar to loud cheers from the crowd.

“The Yuan Dynasty was tyrannical, but the Barisan Nasional is worse than them, they denied the right of the people of Perak and then they wanted to do the same in Selangor,” he added.

The Bukit Gantang MP, who became popular with the Chinese community after he was sworn in as the Perak mentri besar, also entertained the crowd by singing a Teresa Teng song “The Moon Represents My Heart”.

PAS candidate Zulkefly Omar was also present to appeal to the mainly Chinese crowd to continue backing the Islamist party.

He later joined all PR leaders in cutting the mooncakes and distributing balloons to the children who attended the celebration. Zulkefly is facing Umno strongman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad in the by-election that is expected to end PR’s winning streak in all elections in the peninsula since last year.

Isa, who was the Negri Sembilan mentri besar for 22 years until 2004, remains a popular figure among the Malays in the Bagan Pinang constituency.

PR however controls the more mixed neighbouring constituencies of Lukut, Port Dickson and Chuah.

[Source : MI]

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