More than 120K in Penang’s Black 505 rally

Batu Kawan Rally
(source: Malaysiakini)
Batu Kawan Rally
(source: Malaysiakini)

The sleepy town of Batu Kawan, tucked away in the southern corridor of Penang, came alive last night when thousands, dressed in black, made their way to the stadium for the second leg of Pakatan Rakyat’s Black 505 rally.

Held three days after 120,000 people showed up for a similar rally in Kuala Lumpur, Penang drew an equally large crowd, who were joined by those from two neighbouring states – Kedah and Perak.

There were also participants from Selangor and Negri Sembilan as well, who waved their state flags incessantly amidst Pakatan’s rocket (DAP), moon (PAS) and eye (PKR) symbols.

Quite surprisingly, 85 percent of the multiracial crowd were young men and women, who came as early as 6pm, arriving in cars and motorbikes, carrying various party flags and banners, blowing their plastic vuvuzelas noisily in the packed stadium.

Since 4pm, the North-South Expressway was jammed, with cars crawling snail like through the Bukit Tambun exit to Batu Kawan, a well-known seafood hangout.

Pakatan leaders like Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu and newly-minted Seberang Jaya assemblyperson Dr Afif Bahardin, parked their vehicles at least five kilometers away to get to the venue, which by night sparkled with colourful lighted stalls selling various party paraphernalia.

PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim who arrived at around 9pm was showered with a thunderous welcome as he walked heavily guarded into the stadium – which at its maximum capacity could fill 80,000 people.

During the four-hour event, many carried banners and placards denouncing racism, with messages like “We are all Malaysians”, “Tsunami Rakyat” and “Racism is so yesterday”.

This is a direct response to Najib’s accusation that there was a ‘Chinese tsunami’ which wiped out non-Malay BN parties, voting strongly for Pakatan, giving it the 50.9 percent popular vote compared to the former’s 47.4 percent.

What more do Malaysians want?

Anwar was quick to ride on the crowd’s frustration over Najib’s comment and Utusan Malaysia’s controversial front-page report headlined ‘Apa lagi Cina mahu’ (What more do the Chinese want?).

“Let ‘Brother’ Anwar answer those questions. The Chinese, Malays, Indians, Dayak and Kadazans want clean and fair elections, they want the people’s wealth to be returned and not be robbed by BN or Umno.

“This election as said by national laureate A Samad Said is the mother of all frauds.

“We have the evidence to proof that it is and we want the Election Commission to explain, they cannot cheat Malaysians.

“They have cheated before and we forgave them. In this GE13, we demand an answer now!” he exclaimed, much to the crowd’s delight and cheering.

When he spoke, Lim was terribly pleased with the turnout, claiming Pakatan broke a record again by drawing a 125,000 crowd, at such a short notice, where the venue was changed from the MPSP Stadium in Bukit Mertajam to Batu Kawan within a day.

Record crowd throngs Penang’s Black 505 rally
Susan Loone
May 12, 2013 – Malaysiakini

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