THE opposition’s 1MDB nationwide roadshow is coming to end and will culminate at a grand finale in Petaling Jaya next weekend.
Last night, Pakatan Harapan held the last Sayangi Malaysia, Hapus Kleptokrasi (Love Malaysia, End Kleptocracy) ceramah in Penang and will hold another rally tonight at the Pandamaran Sports Complex in Klang.
As the PH leaders get ready for the last hurrah, they said the tour to explain the financial scandals surrounding state investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd has been a great success.
For PH chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamed, 92, who has been spearheading the ceramah in all states except Sabah, the effort has been worth it.
“Lots of people turn up, usually in thousands. In some places, it (the crowd) exceeded 10,000. I think it is very effective,” said the veteran leader, who had been speaking at two to three anti-kleptocracy ceramah events a week.
The Bersatu chairman, who had even taken the 1MDB issue into Felda plantations, said the roadshows helped people understand the scandal better.
“Many of them (Malays) are now turning around (from the government), because they couldn’t understand (1MDB) and we were able to explain (it),” he told The Malaysian Insight.
Malays getting it
PH deputy president Mohamad Sabu or better known as Mat Sabu, who heads PH component party Amanah, said more Malays were seeing the 1MDB picture after attending the anti-kleptocracy ceramah.
“The Chinese got it long ago. The Malays are understanding it better now. The ceramah and roadshows have been effective.
“There was a ceramah in Terengganu on Friday night. The response was good. It is also good tonight,” he said when met at the final ceramah in Penang last night in Guar Perahu.
The ceramah in opposition stronghold Permatang Pauh featured Mat Sabu, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, Amanah deputy Youth chief Faiz Fadzil, PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and others, drew a crowd of a a few hundred.
Mat Sabu said with Bank Negara Malaysia disclosing that it had fined 1MDB RM115.8 million, Malaysians should be convinced about the alleged misappropriations in the state investors.
Seizing the momentum
Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin said PH has gained support from all races through the 1MDB ceramah and roadshows and the positive feedback so far could be seen as a peak for PH ahead of the 14th general election.
He also hoped this would lead to a big turnout at the finale next Saturday.
“This (last rally) could be part of the so-called climax or peak momentum for PH,” he told The Malaysian Insight.
“We must deliver the message, the significant moves (made) by us ahead of the next election,” he added.
PH is targeting a 100,000 crowd at Padang Timur in Petaling Jaya for the last anti-kleptocracy rally this Saturday from 4pm to midnight.
The Sayangi Malaysia, Hapus Kleptokrasi ceramah and roadshows, starting in July, in rural and semi-rural areas are targeted at Malays.
They are considered Umno and Barisan Nasional’s vote bank and key to maintaining control in Putrajaya.
PH began organising the 1MDB roadshows after the US Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a third civil suit in June to recover billions of ringgit worth of assets bought with money allegedly siphoned off from 1MDB.
Kampung folk do care
DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua, a regular speaker at the 1MDB roadshows since the first event on July 6 in Penang’s Penaga town in Kepala Batas, also said the people’s response has been encouraging.
“I’ve conducted more than two dozen 1MDB ceramah across the nation over the past two months.
“What I saw was extremely encouraging and it debunks the myth that rural folk are not interested in the 1MDB scandal,” he told The Malaysian Insight.
Since Penaga, Pua had returned to Penang several times in the last two months for similar ceramah in Balik Pulau, Sungai Pinang, Nibong Tebal and Tasek Gelugor.
He had also gone to Salak Tinggi, Kuala Kubu Baru and Batang Kali in Selangor; Pontian and Kulai in Johor; Kuala Krai in Kelantan; and Raub in Pahang.
Pua has been instrumental in making the 1MDB ceramah nationwide a success because of his extensive knowledge of the scandal and his ability to simplify the complex issue and present them to the people using slides.
The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said there was a general ignorance of the scandal, not because of a lack of interest.
“However, when we created the opportunity to explain, they understood, not only the extent of the 1MDB debauchery, but also how their daily sufferings – cost of living, GST (goods and services tax), jobs etc – are a direct result of BN’s kleptocratic administration.”
After the grand finale next weekend, Pua said PH would continue to take the 1MDB issue to the people until GE14 is called.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also PH president, said “kleptocracy” was still a relatively new word to Malaysians, so efforts must be continued to link the term to the rising cost of living experienced by the people.
“Kleptocracy is a crime, meaning that money was taken from the people. But many don’t understand that.
“In all the rallies, we have been hyping it up, telling the people how it is connected to our lives, how it has to do with the worsening conditions that we are facing.
“We have to continue after October 14. The rakyat must know that they have to fight kleptocracy by changing the government,” she said.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT