By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 — A PKR ceramah featuring Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar turned ugly when the crowd as well as opposition leaders were pelted with stones and eggs.
Tensions were already running high before the event began last night, as the scheduled PKR function was located a mere 100 metres away from another ceramah — one organised by Umno.
Some 100 Lembah Pantai Umno youth members were earlier seen blocking the main road leading to the PKR ceramah venue, carrying banners which said “Anwar causes violence in this country.”
PKR’s ceramah itself got off to a cool start as guest speakers tried to speak as loud as they could to compete with the speakers from the Umno ceramah nearby.
Chaos occurred when Nurul Izzah was about to speak — the wiring to the sound and lights system was cut, delaying the Lembah Pantai MP’s speech by a good 15 minutes.
Shortly after she spoke, Anwar arrived and that was when the stone- and egg-pelting commenced.
The night saw one major casualty where a senior citizen suffered injuries to the head after being hit with a stone.
The PKR de facto chief ordered the bleeding man to be brought to the nearest medical centre for treatment. Anwar also immediately blamed Umno for the incident.
“This is the way of Umno youth. A man has been injured because stones were thrown at him by the accursed Umno youth!
“I challenge (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) to a debate, not to send his thugs to do this,” said Anwar to cheers from the 1,000-odd crowd who were mostly PR supporters.
“Throwing stones, it means a total lack of respect for democracy in Malaysia... it is a sign of an Umno-BN that is desperate to hold on to power,” added Nurul Izzah.
In contrast, Umno’s 500-odd ceramah attendance devolved into a verbal shouting match as its main attraction Ummi Hafilda Ali screamed verbal abuse each time Anwar or any PR leader spoke.
“Anwar is al-juburi. He is pro-Jewish. He is the father of womanisers,” shouted the woman whose complaint led to Anwar’s first sodomy trial, as she tried to drown the former deputy prime minister’s speech.
This prompted Anwar to say: “We want to win the elections not by insulting people but by rule of law.
“I am used to getting insulted every night, for 14 years I have been insulted by TV3 and Utusan Malaysia,” he said to cheers from the PKR crowd.
This marks the third time a PR function has been disrupted after similar incidents in Merlimau and Malacca last weekend.