SOLYMONE BLOG

THOUSANDS MALAYSIAN GATHER RALLY AS POLLS LOOM


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia  ― The city opened its eyes to a hive of activity Saturday as thousands of people decked in a rainbow of colours began streaming in for Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat (KL112), a mammoth rally backed by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) that will mark the start of early campaigning before the 13th general election.
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (right) urged voters to oust the country's long-ruling government as tens of thousands of supporters gathered Saturday in a show of force ahead of coming elections.
At least 80,000 people crowded into an iconic stadium in the capital Kuala Lumpur where independence was declared in 1957 and tens of thousands more thronged surrounding areas as the opposition effectively kicked off its campaign. 
"We plead for you to give us a chance so that the people's voices will become the voices of the leaders of this nation," Anwar told the crowds as he denounced what he called the government's misrule and corruption.
  • "The time has come to bury the unfairness of this government," Anwar declared.
  • The Barisan Nasional coalition has controlled Malaysia since independence from Britain and was never seriously threatened until Anwar's opposition alliance handed the ruling bloc its worst election showing ever in 2008.

Premier Najib Razak (right) must face elections no later than June in a contest that is shaping up as the nation's most intriguing yet, with the opposition seeking to harness the winds of change that powered the "Arab Spring" in the Middle East.
There was no hint Saturday of the violence that marred the country's last major anti-government rally in April.
The Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat rally went on smoothly and peacefully with police maintaining a minimal but effective presence to ensure safety and order.Using a new method of rally management, police deployed only about 200 personnel members none of them from the Federal Reserve Unit and did not mount any roadblock in the city.
Police set up 40 beat points within a 1km radius of Stadium Merdeka to facilitate movement of people and vehicles to minimise traffic congestion.
     
    Source: Agency
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