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Thursday May 23, 2013 MYT 1:45:00 PM
Thursday August 1, 2013 MYT 4:05:46 PM
by steven daniel, yuen meikeng, andqishin tariq
PETALING JAYA: Thousands of people attended thePerhimpunan Kesyukuran DAP (Thanksgiving Rally) organised by the Federal Territory and Selangor DAP, to thank the rakyat for voting them into power during GE13.
The rally, scheduled to begin at 7pm Thursday, only started at 7.45pm.
It was a peaceful gathering as the crowd, mostly dressed in black, calmly listened to speeches delivered by party leaders including DAP publicity chief Tony Pua, Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran, Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok.
A recording of Datuk Tamrin Ghafar was played to the crowd as he was under police custody.
The mood at the rally held at Padang Timur near the Amcorp Mall here Thursday night was carnival-like, with many seen taking pictures and others eating and resting on the field.
The rally organisers had given the police the due 10-day notice to hold the gathering.
Police had advised motorists to avoid all roads surrounding the area.
Those attending the rally had been told not to park indiscriminately or use the LRT to get to the venue instead.
Children were also not allowed at the rally.
11pm: The rally ended after the last speaker, PAS' Khalid Abdul Samad finished his speech. He noted that Pakatan was half-way through its journey to Putrajaya and would complete that journey.
The emcee announced that a total of RM26,600 in donations were collected to pay for the cost of the rally. Participants were seen packing up the chairs before leaving the field while others were spotted buying some merchandise at the stalls on their way out.
10.45pm: Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar is greeted with rousing applause from the crowd and is now speaking. She said the people were promised that the Sedition Act would be abolished. "But we have been had!" she said, referring to the recent arrests of Datuk Tamrin Ghafar, Tian Chua and Haris Ibrahim under the Act.
9.52pm: DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang takes the stage. He said he would propose a motion to censure Zahid over his statement when Parliament convenes on June 24. Lim also said that the GE13 results were not just a 'Chinese Tsunami'. "It is an urban tsunami and also a semi-urban tsunami because semi-urban seats were won by Pakatan. But most importantly, it is a tsunami of the young Malaysian generation who stood up for their rights," he said
9.49pm Kita chairman Zaid Ibrahim said despite the repeal of the ISA, draconian laws were still being used in the arrests of several people recently.
9.40pm: National Laureate A. Samad Said comes on stage. He recites a short poem and ended his entire speech within several minutes. "I'm not used to giving speeches, so allow me to recite a short but very meaningful poem," he said.
9.20pm: Seputeh MP Teresa Kok takes the stage. She hits out at a local newspaper and comments made by Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
9.20pm: DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang arrives at the rally venue to rapturous applause from the crowd.
8.45pm: DAP publicity chief Tony Pua takes to the stage and delivers his speech in Malay as well. He thanked the people for supporting to him, as he won by the second biggest majority in the country after Teresa Kok. Pua said he would propose for a parliamentary select committee on constituency delineation to be formed to ensure a fair delineation exercise. "We call on thePrime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to set up this committee, which should have equal numbers of Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional members," he said. Pua also said Pakatan members were not afraid to declare their assets and income.
Traffic remains smooth around the venue.
8.35pm: Lau said Pakatan succeeded in stopping the delineation exercise for several states including Selangor and Penang, scheduled to take place later this year, as it required approval from the state government. He said Pakatan will meet the EC on Monday to propose how the constituencies should be delineated to ensure that the next polls will fair. He also said Pakatan would focus their attention on the Sarawak state elections expected in two years' time and were hopeful of making in-roads into the state.
8.25pm: Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San is the third speaker and he delivers his speech in Malay.
8.15pm: Newly-elected Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran is now speaking. He said a major milestone was achieved as 51% of Malaysians stood up and voted for change. He thanked the crowd for their support.
7.50pm: Donation boxes are being passed through the crowd to collect donations to pay for the cost of the rally. DAP's Tony Pua was spotted on stage. The crowd is listening intently to the recoding of Tamrin.
Traffic on Jalan Barat is slightly congested due to the many cars parked at the sides of the road. Jalan Timur to Jalan Selangor is smooth, with police cones and volunteers preventing people from parking.
7.48pm: The seats are almost completely filled. The first "speaker" comes on, and the crowd is shown a recording of Datuk Tamrin Ghafar's speech from an April 29 Johor ceramah.
7.45pm: The emcee has announced that the rally will start soon. She tells the crowd that DAP leaders want to thank the people for giving them another five years in Selangor. "That's why this rally was organised," she said. Seats are about 75% full.
7.30pm: - Two screens flanking the stage are playing DAP'sUbah Rocket Style video. Half the seats are now filled. People are carrying and waving DAP, PAS, PKR and Malaysian flags. There is still no sign of any party leader.
7pm: The seats are about 30% filled. Most of the attendees are dressed in black. There is still no sign of police or politicians and roads remain relatively clear.
6.30pm: Padang Timur is still largely empty, but people are trickling in. There are several ambulances in the area, but no police.
6.26pm: Small pockets of people are gathering around Padang Timur near Amcorp Mall.
A carnival-like atmosphere is building up, with more than 20 stalls set up, selling food items, as well as T-shirts, caps and other paraphernalia in black.
Over 300 red plastic chairs have been arranged on the field in front of a stage where DAP political leaders are expected to speak later, but there is hardly anyone sitting down.
Sound checks are being conducted and the weather is very favourable.
Traffic in the vicinity is surprisingly smooth with the Amcorp car park barely filled.
Traffic cones have been placed along the road shoulders to discourage people from parking indiscriminately.
There are no uniformed policemen visible, but several traffic policemen were spotted managing traffic at the junction leading from the Federal Highway.
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