Wednesday, 10 April 2013

DAP and PKR display solidarity, unity in Segamat

P.140 Segamat (13th General Election on May 5, 2013)
46,262 (20,093/43.43% Malays; 21,393/46.24% Chinese; 4,641/10.03% Indians)
Vote for Change, for our children’s future

DAP and PKR display solidarity, unity in Segamat

Both PKR and DAP flags are hoisted high in unity.
SEGAMAT  (April 10, 2013): Johor PKR chairman Chua Jui Meng today took P.140 Segamat by electoral firestorm and the DAP also dashed Barisan Nasional (BN)’s hopes of driving a wedge between Pakatan Rakyat (PR)’s PKR and DAP.
Segamat DAP led by its chief Pang Hok Liong shocked political pundits by turning up in full force to extend help to Chua who arrived here at 10am to launch his maiden electoral battle here.
It was a great disappointment to the BN which had hoped for a “killer” clash between Chua and lawyer Pang who was DAP’s candidate for Segamat in 2004 and 2008.
Pang turned up for a joint press conference with Chua at the opening of a mini PKR election operations centre in Kampung Abdullah.
If BN doubted Pang’s sincerity to close ranks for PR unity and the rakyat, his presence at a PKR-DAP dinner for campaigners and supporters in Restoran Tong Fook later must have dealt a severe blow to BN’s hopes of disuniting PKR and DAP campaigners.
Chua arrived here at 10.20am today, checked into a hotel, and launched a blistering day and night-long campaign trail.

Top: Chua addresses and thank all DAP and PR campaigners and supporters at the unity lunch. Bottom: The strong PKR-DAP turnout at the unity lunch.

He kicked off the trail with a 12-table lunch in Restoran Tong Fook with DAP and PKR election campaigners. The DAP was led by none other than Pang himself.
Chua said: “It is such a relief to see so many of you here. I did not expect such a strong turnout.
“This is going to be a tough fight for me but, lawan tetap lawan (definitely must fight), and half a battle is won with such a united force.
“We have closed ranks in PR for the sake of the rakyat. Many Chinese have told me not to worry about their support for PR. Instead, they advised me to go to our Malay and Indian brothers and sisters to win their hearts and minds for a change in federal government after 55 years.”

Chua and Pang (on Chua’s right), with their supporters, help raise the giant flag pole.

After lunch at 2.30pm, Chua proceeded to a popular Opposition coffee shop where the Chinese community lit a line of firecrackers to welcome Chua.
This was followed by the raising of giant flag pole and the community gave a round of applause and approval when Pang also showed up with his supporters.

Ribbon cutting ceremony for PKR’s mini election operation room. On Chua’s right is Pang.

After a ribbon cutting to officiate at the opening of the mini election operations centre, Chua and Pang held a joint media conference.
Chua said: “I am touched by the lunch and welcoming ceremony with the DAP members and campaigners turning up in full force to show their support. I thought I have to start from scratch to fight with a BN minister.
“I wish to thank the locals here for their display of support, especially Pang for his sacrifice for the rakyat, especially the people of Segamat.”
Chua also appealed to local volunteers to help in his campaign trail and in polling day on May 5 to prevent BN from cheating during the electoral process.
Those who wish to volunteer to help Ubah! (Change!) can contact my election coordinator Yong Tau (012-7899838).

Top: Pang delivering his ceramah. Bottom: An appreciative and happy audience pleased with the unity displayed by DAP and PKR.

Pang said: “I have been in politics for about 26 years. Many would have thought that I will not turn out for this PR event.
“Well, they are wrong. Our common enemy is BN, not among R comrades.
“Before the candidacy decisions were made, of course it is natural for politicians to lobby and fight for seats. Now that the decision has been made, we must close ranks and fight our common political enemy.
“Many unkind words were used to condemn me when I threatened a three-corner fight. The BN is too arrogant.
“This is my 6th general election campaign and I am not stupid. BN must fall.”
“So, please listen. I guarantee that I will not split the votes in Segamat by contesting as an Independent.
“The Segamat DAP election machinery will go all out to help Chua and PR win Segamat.”
“Please vote for PR. My candidacy in Jementah (a state seat in Segamat) has not been confirmed by DAP and I will hope for the best.”
This was followed by a ceramah in which Pang repeated the same to a patient crowd of about 200 people who packed a coffee shop in the blistering heat to hear what the PR leaders have to say.
Tenang PAS by-election  candidate Cikgu Normala Sudirman said: “PAS will go all out to garner Malay support for PR, irrespective of race and religion.”
She also got the support of the Chinese community to join her rally cry: Huan! Huan! Huan! (Change! In Mandarin) and Reformasi! Reformasi! Refirmasi! (Reformation!).
Normala also announced that Tok Guru Nik Aziz would be in Segamat’s Padang Abdullah on April 14 for a ceramah to garner Malay support for PR.
The crowd clapped in approval.
PKR Youth secretary Julailey Jemadi, the parliamentary candidate for P.141 Sekijang, said: “Even Cikgu Normala cannot tolerate BN. What are you waiting for?”
Chua said: “When I was in MCA, I was a reformist. I was among those who objected strongly to the party’s takeover of Nanyang  Group Bhdwhich would create a monopoly in the Chinese media and curbing of press freedom.
“Because of that, I lost my position in MCA and the government.”
Chua thanked Pang again for his support and PR unity to help down BN in Segamat for the first time in electoral history.

A show of unity to end the hot afternoon ceramah in a coffee shop.

He also repeated his call to Johoreans in Gelang Patah to support DAP’s Lim Kit Siang.
“The media reports that I was kicked out of Gelang Patah. No. I handed over my house to him and Lim deserves your support. Give your votes to him,” Chua said.
“I certainly hope Pang gets the opportunity to stand in a state seat for a chance to serve Johoreans,” he added.
Chua said: “If I win here on May 5, my promise to the people is good governance and a policy to serve the rakyat, not cronies.
“I will ensure that the promises in PR manifesto are fulfilled when we form the federal government.”
Chua and his campaigners, who include those from DAP, then went on a walkabout to shake hands with a crowded coffee shop in Kampung Tengah and its vicinity at 3.30pm.
They then headed for Jementah where Chua arrived at 4.30pm and spent about an hour shaking hands with the Chinese community who crowded several coffee shops.
The body language and warm handshakes were telling.
They joined Chua in shouting “Change!” took the opportunity to take pictures and the people also came out of their shops to check the commotion and catch a glimpse of Chua and waited for him to extend his handshake.
They then headed for Kebun Baru where Chua and his campaigners received a similar warm reception from the people.

A picture of unity that must have disappointed BN badly. Chua and Pang seated together at the dinner.

Chua then returned to his hotel room for a bath at 7pm and
rushed to the PKR-DAP campaigners and supporters’ dinner where Pang was again present to show his support for PR unity.
After dinner, Chua and a group of PKR campaigners were at Ho Chak Food Court where Chua again extended handshakes, receiving similar positive response as he did in the afternoon.
Chua and his campaigners will kick off his campaign trail tomorrow at 8am in the wet market.
Here’s a collection of pix for the day and night: