"All the public relations stunts employed by the powers that be are not going to make a difference at the eleventh hour.
Walking towards a Pakatan rally at Kampung Melayu Dato Sulaiman Menteri in Johor Bahru, I could hear loud music coming from the open area where the ceramah was to be held. Initially I thought it was pre-rally entertainment to amuse those who came earlier, but as I got closer I could see UMNO and BN flags waving from where the mega sound system was – just 40 metres from the Pakatan truck which acted as the mobile stage.
That night, around 30 of these flag-waving UMNO supporters were hurling verbal abuses and taunting the crowd of several thousands who came to hear what Anwar, Kit Siang, Guan Eng and other Pakatan leaders had to say.
Scores of police personnel had to act as human barricades to separate this small group of hostile supporters from the larger crowd who, to their credit, was peaceful and not provocative. Rock music and UMNO songs blasted non-stop for more than 4 hours for the whole duration of the ceramah.
When different speakers came on stage, abuses would come through the UMNO sound system and the Negaraku was played at least 5 times to interrupt the speech. Anwar got the worst of it, and as he attempted to speak, one could hear “Penipu, pembohong” being shouted at him.
Like many right-thinking Malaysian that night, I was disgusted, saddened and ashamed of the level some segments of our society have descended to – the gutter!
It wasn’t my first encounter with such childish attempts to sabotage an event with which the ruling government does not agree, but this was the worst case I have seen thus far. With Parliament dissolved and official campaigning about to start, I am afraid the worst is yet to come..."