- ‘Anwar a brother to church, not politician’
- Is Anwar slowly winning over Umno supporters in Kajang?
- [PROGRAM, dikemaskini] Bersama Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim di N25 DUN KAJANG 21-23 dan 26 Februari 2014
Posted: 20 Feb 2014 10:48 PM PST
Deflecting claims that it carried out a “political activity,” the Holy Family Church (HFC) in Kajang said today that it invited by-election candidate Anwar Ibrahim to its church last Sunday for the sake of inter-faith harmony and not to win him more voters.
HFC’s parish priest George Harrison said the unusual initiative originated from a church member and he allowed it only because it was consistent with the church’s mission to boost ties between Christians and Muslims in the country.
“I have been talking to people about building bridges with our Muslim brothers and sisters and so the event was allowed because a parishioner proposed it,” he told Malaysiakini.
“It was not meant to back any political party,” he added.
Harrison said the event, attended by some 1,200 people was organised by a church member from the Centre for Reform, Democracy and Social Initiatives, who rented a multi-purpose hall.
He added that although it took place after the Sunday church service, it was not in the main church building and the event was open to all.
During the event, Anwar spoke at length about the needed brotherhood among multiple races and religions, quoting from both the Quran and the Bible.
Harrison said he too dropped by for the talk on Sunday but not to cheer the PKR leader on.
“I have told my people – that we must listen well to all and then make your own discernment and decision (on the by-election) – even BN’s view and all.
“This is my message all along – I have said nothing to side anybody and to Anwar, I have only said : 'This is my brother, welcome,' ” he added.
The 40-year old priest asserted that as a citizen, he too had a right to host a famous personality, and noted that it was the first time he and Anwar had met.
Asked to answer to Perkasa vice-president Zulkifli Noordin’s suggestion that the church also allow Umno or NGOs like Perkasa or Isma to hold talks at the church after Sunday prayers, Harrison hesitated.
“If this happens now, it will be very political. Remember, I am not the one organising it,” he said, adding that the church facilities were usually reserved only for its members to use for wedding and community events.
Posted: 20 Feb 2014 10:46 PM PST
Although official campaigning has yet to start, PKR chief and Kajang by-election candidate Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is starting to make inroads among the Malay voters who have traditionally sided with Barisan Nasional.
Umno supporters are increasingly showing up in the small-scale meetings that Anwar's team organises with residents such as at coffee shops and tazkirah (small discussions after the evening prayers).
The presence of Umno members who stay on to listen to Anwar at these meetings bode well for PKR's aim of retaining the seat¸ said one of the managers in Anwar's campaign, Mohd Yahya Saari.
"We were quite surprised that they came. And that they stayed on until the end to hear Anwar speak," said Yahya, who is chief of the Kajang by-election operations room.
Although Kajang is considered a PKR bastion – the party won it with a 6,000-vote majority in the 13th general election – most of the support came from Chinese voters.
The party has been trying to widen its appeal to the Malay working and middle classes whose support it will count on if it wants to win federal power.
In order to break Umno's hold over the Malay Muslim psyche, it needs to convince more Malay Muslims to accept its needs-based, multiracial agenda.
Anwar's visits to the Malay villages and residential areas in Batu 10 Cheras and Kampung Sungai Kantan in the constituency also fit into what PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli alluded to in a past interview.
That Selangor Pakatan Rakyat, as a whole, needs to inoculate Malay Muslims against what it believes are increasing racial and religious provocations during the coalition's second term ruling the state.
For instance, Umno Selangor has gone on a roadshow in the state to drum up support for the ban on the use of the term "Allah" by non-Muslims.
Conversations between PKR activists and Umno supporters, said Yahya, showed an underlying worry about Umno's increasing tilt to the party's ultra conservatives.
"They seem to be quite bothered with how insular Umno has become. They feel that the party nowadays seems to only care for Malays instead of in the past, when the party was more open to all the communities," said Yahya.
However, Universiti Malaya academic Datuk Prof Mohammad Redzuan Othman cautioned against treating the presence of a few Umno supporters at Anwar's programmes as signs of an impending shift in Malay Muslim support in Kajang.
According to surveys by Redzuan's research team, overall support for Barisan Nasional and Pakatan has remained the same since the general election last year.
"There may be a 2% to 3% shift in support. But this is not a big wave," said Redzuan, the director of Universiti Malaya’s Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMCEDEL).
In UMCEDEL's latest survey of the Kajang constituency, 69% of respondents felt that the rise in the cost of living would drive support towards Pakatan Rakyat.
The highest number of voters who felt this were civil servants, with 79% of them saying that the rise in the price of goods and services would drive votes to Pakatan.
At the same time, 60% of Malay Muslim Kajang voters feel that the "Allah" issue would not lead to more support for the BN and Umno in the by-election.
The by-election was triggered by the resignation of its state assemblyperson Lee Chin Cheh of PKR.
PKR had admitted that Lee’s resignation and the by-election was a carefully laid-out plan, called the “Kajang move” by its architects, for the party’s de facto leader Anwar to enter the Selangor government.
Both PKR and Anwar have strongly indicated that it was to allow him to take over as menteri besar from the popular Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.
In the last general election, Lee garnered 19,571 votes, to win by a 6,824 votes. BN's Lee Ban Seng obtained 12,747 votes while Mohamad Ismail of Berjasa got 1,014 votes.
Posted: 20 Feb 2014 10:43 PM PST
Program Bersama Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim di N25 DUN KAJANG
21 FEBRUARI 2014 – JUMAAT
1) 1.00 tghari – Solat Jumaat
Lokasi: Surau Saujana Impian, Kajang (3.007895,101.788328) (selepas Tesco Kajang)
2) 10:30 mlm – Pentas AMK bersama Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim
22 FEBRUARI 2014 – SABTU
1) 7:30 mlm – Solat Maghrib & Interaksi dgn Jemaah
Lokasi: Surau Raudhatul Mawaddah Taman Mesra, Jalan 2, Taman Mesra, Batu 12 1/2, Jalan Cheras, Kajang
2) 8:45 mlm – Solat Isya’ dan Interaksi dgn Jemaah
Lokasi: Surau ittifaqiah, Taman Delima, Batu 13, Jalan Cheras, Kajang
3) 8.30 – 12.00 mlm – Santai Bersama Komuniti India & Pelancaran Jentera
Lokasi : No 1, Jalan 1, Taman Kajang Baru, Sg Jerlok, Kajang (2.995884,101.806029)
4) 9.00 – 12.00 mlm – Pelancaran Jentera DM Sg Kantan dan Ceramah Perdana
Lokasi: Pusat Komuniti Taman Impian Murni, Kajang
23 FEBRUARI 2014 – AHAD
1) 10.00 pagi – Kuliah Dhuha
Lokasi: Pondok Zakaria, Kampong Batu 10 Jalan Cheras, Kajang (berdekatan kompleks penghulu) ((3.058903,101.777685) )
2) 11:30 pagi – Penyampaian Hadiah Sukaneka
Lokasi: Kg Jambu, Belakang Tabung Haji, Kajang
3) 12:30 tgh hari – Bersama Khidmat Kesihatan 12 Pakar Perubatan
Lokasi: Perkarangan Surau Taman Jenaris, Kajang
4) 1:00 – 2:30 ptg – Santai Tengahari Bersama Komuniti India
Lokasi: Sebelah Kuil Mariamman – Taman Delima, Batu 13, Jalan Cheras, Kajang
5) 3:00 – 5:00 ptg – Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim Bersama Teman-Teman Lama
Lokasi: KK Hotel Kajang, No 12, Plaza Citra, Jalan citra off Jalan Cheras, Kajang
6) 5:00 – 7:00 ptg – Sepetang Bersama Anak Muda dan Raikan Perlawanan Futsal
Lokasi: Padang Futsal Kg Bukit Dukong, Kajang
7) 7:30 mlm – Solat Maghrib dan Interaksi Bersama Jemaah
Lokasi: Surau Taman Koperasi Cuepacs, Kajang
8) 8:30 – 11:00 mlm – Ceramah dan Pelancaran Jentera PRK Komuniti Cina
Lokasi: Taman Berjaya, Sungai Chua, Kajang
9) 9:00 – 12:00 mlm – Ceramah Perdana dan Pelancaran Jentera DM Kajang Baru
Lokasi: Padang Francis, Taman Maju, Kajang
10) 9:00 – 12:00 mlm – Ceramah Perdana dan Pelancaran Jentera
Lokasi: Padang Surau Nurul Aman, Taman Damai Jaya, Cheras
26 FEBRUARI 2014 – RABU
1) 5:00 – 7:00 mlm – Sepetang Bersama Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim
Lokasi: Kediaman Cikgu Ridwan (Ketua Cabang Hulu Langat), Taman Koperasi Cuepacs Cheras, Kajang
2) 7:30 mlm – Solat Maghrib dan Penyampaian SMUE Fasa 2
Lokasi: Surau Taman Jenaris Kajang
PEJABAT DATO’ SERI ANWAR IBRAHIM
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