Permatang Pauh folk must continue struggle - Anwar

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Parliamentary Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim reminded voters in Permatang Pauh to be the symbol of trust and transparency in the country and should not bow down to the pressure of Umno and BN should he be imprisoned for a second round.


He said that should his Apr 17 speech be his last public appearance, then the Pakatan Rakyat election machinery should be prepared for a by-election in the constituency.


"God willing, it is not (the last day), but if this is the last, then we pray," he said, uttering Quranic verses, which meant "We pray and we repent (Kita doa dan kita taubat)", in a report filed by Malaysiakini.


He said one should continue to pray for God's grace and not wait for punishment.


Speaking at a Reformasi 2.0 public speech at Tapak Ekspo Seberang Jaya, Anwar did not discount the possibility that he would be incarcerated a second time should his appeal be set aside on his second sodomy case.


He said there was information that the BN was getting its machinery ready for a by-election in Permatang Pauh should his appeal be set aside.


"If God chooses to test us in this matter, then I'd like you as Permatang Pauh voters to rise up as a symbol of struggle against Umno and BN that appear intent to tear Pakatan Rakyat apart," he said in front of thousands of participants.


He urged his constituents to defend the constituency should there be a by-election if he loses his seat in the event the Federal Court upholds the High Court's decision, which the crowd reacted by breaking into loud cheers and applause.


Anwar said any conspiracy regarding the case would surely fall to pieces.


He said even though he would be incarcerated but his spirit would remain strong.


He also told them to join the May 1 anti-GST (goods and services tax) mass rally at Dataran Merdeka, saying "we are going down there in a peaceful way".


The rally is being organised by a coalition of 89 NGOs and Pakatan as a referendum against the GST, which the federal government will impose on Apr 15 next year.


"We are not coolies, we are not slaves, we just want to gather peacefully," he added.


PAS deputy president Mohamed Sabu who was also among the speakers for the night, has been given the task to chair the programme on Pakatan Rakyat's behalf, Anwar said.


He said God willing, he will be there at the event, however, if it is fated that he cannot make it, "You must continue it with courage, my friends".


Anwar expressed his highest honour and gratitude to his voters in Permatang Pauh, to his friends in Penang, who mostly sat on the grass with their mats, to listen to his fiery speech.


"The more they want to put me in jail, the more people come forward to join the struggle," he said, as the crowd approved by cheering.


"Your spirit has given me the courage to Lawan Tetap Lawan (continue the fight)," he added, shouting reformasi, PKR's war cry since it was launched in 1999.


When the event ended, Anwar was swarmed by his supporters, who jostled for a chance to snap photos with their icon.


Anwar shook hands and sometimes hugged the people he met while walking to his car, while his bodyguards and over enthusiastic fans tried to "shield” him from media photographers.


Also participating in the event were Parti Keadilan Rakyat (KeADILan) secretary general Datuk Saifudin Nasution Ismail and strategy director Rafizi Ramli. - ES

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