Sunday, March 7, 2010



By Adib Zalkapli

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — The police moved in tonight to stop a Pakatan Rakyat public rally at the Sultan Sulaiman Club here to mark the second anniversary of the coalition’s landmark victory in Election 2008.

PKR vice-president Azmin Ali was stopped by Federal Reserve Unit riot police while delivering his speech to thousands attending the rally.

As the police approached him, Azmin told the crowd that the club belonged to the Selangor state government and was not “Umno property”.

“I call on the policemen to embrace the Pakatan Rakyat struggle,” he said to applause from the crowd.

“If we are given the mandate to take over Putrajaya, we will protect the interest of the policemen,” he added before police stopped his speech.

Among those at the rally were PKR deputy president Senator Dr Syed Husin Ali, Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar.

Police later sent in two water cannon trucks to the venue, prompting Pakatan supporters to leave the club.

But Batu MP and PKR strategist Chua Tian Chang invited crowd to get into the club hall to comply with police ruling forbidding the crowd from gathering on the field.

The police last night stopped a dinner organised by the DAP in Kepong, just outside the city centre.

The Pakatan Rakyat swept through four more states and captured 82 federal seats in a historic win that denied the ruling Barisan Nasional its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority.

However, Pakatan lost Perak when three lawmakers quit to be independents last year and support Barisan as the state government.

Pakatan lynchpin PKR lost three MPs and sacked another over the past month as the leadership anguished over de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy charge, the second after he was sacked as deputy prime minister in September 1998.

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