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Rakyat must be the watchmen, says Anwar

Malaysiakini Team  |  Published on  |  Modified on

LIVE | After spending more than three years in jail over a sodomy conviction, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has been pardoned today.

Anwar and his supporters have long maintained the charge was politically motivated.

BN's shocking defeat during last week's general election saw the new Pakatan Harapan government moving swiftly to secure Anwar's release from prison.

Tonight, his supporters are gathering in Padang Timur, Petaling Jaya for the Himpunan Merdeka Rakyat to hear his first speech after his release. 

Follow our live blog as the Malaysiakini team brings you the news as it takes place.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rakyat must be the watchmen, says Anwar
  • Bersatu 'back to normal', says Muhyiddin
  • 'We won’t arrest people according to our whims, unlike them'
  • Rafizi: The fate of all M'sian on Harapan's shoulders
  • Crowd building up in anticipation of Anwar's arrival
  • Carnival-like atmosphere ahead of Anwar's appearance

This live report has ended.


Rakyat must be the watchmen, says Anwar

11.30pm: Padang Timur - PKR de facto leader Anwar tells the people to monitor those who have been elected.

“If we see them living in style, marrying another, changing cars or buying an apartment, we lesing (hit) them!" he exclaims.

Earlier in his speech, Anwar tells the crowd that those who have been appointed to the cabinet must be given the time to do their job.

“But we must point out their weaknesses. If we see them living lavishly, we terajang (kick) them!

“But not Tun Mahathir, the others,” he jokes.


Bersatu 'back to normal', says Muhyiddin

10.43pm: Padang Timur - Home Minister-designate Muhyiddin Yassin confirms that Pakatan Harapan has finally been registered as a coalition.

He also announces that Bersatu‘s status as a party is now “back to normal”.

“As the president of Bersatu, I want to announce, as informed by the Registrar of Societies, Bersatu’s status is back to normal, it’s now legitimate,” he says, to cheers from those present.

Bersatu was slapped with a provisional dissolution order by the ROS after the latter claimed that the party failed to submit documents and information required of it.


'We won’t arrest people according to our whims, unlike them'

10.33pm: Padang Timur - DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng in his speech notes how former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak is now barred from leaving the country.

Responding to this, the crowd chants “Tangkap Najib” (catch Najib).

Lim stresses, however, that the Pakatan Harapan government is one that respects the rule of law.

“We won’t arrest people according to our whims, unlike them,” he says.

Before ending his speech, Guan Eng leads the crowd in singing a song against the GST, before that apologising for his lack of singing ability.

“I’m not Siti Nurhaliza,” he quips, referring to the popular songstres, before breaking into song.

Rakyat bersatu tolak GST" (rakyat united against the GST) he sings, as the crowd follows along.


Rafizi: The fate of all M'sian on Harapan's shoulders

10.15pm: Padang Timur - As PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli takes the stage to give his speech, the crowd cheers loudly, chanting "Rafizi."

“We now have a bigger responsibility than before when we were the opposition.

“Before this we only had to reveal and fight. But now the fate of 30 million Malaysians are on the shoulders of the leaders here tonight,” he says to an enthusiastic crowd.

He also urges Pakatan Harapan to show love to BN and PAS as the two must "take care" of the coaltion.

"BN and PAS have a big task as the opposition, to ensure the rights of the people are uplifted.

Rafizi added that all media including mainstream media such as TV3, RTM, Utusan Malaysia to be “fair” to all parties that is Pakatan Harapan, BN and PAS.

This would act as a form of check and balance to keep the Harapan government in check, he said.


'We’re all in this together'

9.58pm: Padang Timur - Pakatan Harapan chief secretary Saifuddin Abdullah takes the stage as the second speaker, after PKR Youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

Third speaker PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar notes how everyone made history on May 9 - polling day.

“Who knew after 20 years using one symbol and with strong determination, the rakyat rose to save the country.”

She also expresses gratitude as Anwar is finally back coincidentally in time with the fasting month which starts tomorrow.

“We’re all in this together. We as Malaysians will save the future of the country,” she says, ending her speech.

Also present at today's gathering are top Pakatan Harapan leaders Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Azmin Ali, Mohamad Sabu, Lim Kit Siang and Muhyiddin Yassin, among others.

Some supporters atop the stage are still trying to take the opportunity to snap photos of Anwar.


Anwar arrives

9.40pm: Padang Timur - PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s arrival is greeted with thunderous applause and cheering. 

He arrives in a black car escorted by a police sedan car, and the two cars are immediately mobbed by the crowd to the point that it takes him a few minutes to get out of the car. 

As Anwar finally reaches the stage to face the crowd, the crowd cheers raucously again, with some waving the PKR flag. 

Meanwhile, the press crush surrounds Anwar onstage, prompting the emcees to call for the media to keep calm. 

“Keep calm, media,” the emcee chants, as the crowd repeats after him. 

The crowd has swelled up to 2,500.

Crowd builds up in anticipation of Anwar's arrival

9pm: Padang Timur - The crowd has built up to about 1,000 people at the Padang Timur to celebrate PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s release from prison. 

The emcee announces that Anwar is on his way. He is said to be 10 minutes away from the venue. 

Upon hearing this news, the crowd, which had been sitting by the side of the field, cheers and moves towards the field.

They start chanting “Hidup rakyat” (Long live the people), “Bangkit rakyat” (The people will rise), as well “Rakyat sudah menang” (The people have won).


Carnival-like atmosphere ahead of Anwar's appearance

7pm: Padang Timur- It’s a carnival-like atmosphere at Padang Timur, with supporters awaiting the arrival of PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar was released from imprisonment today after Istana Negara confirmed that he had been granted a full pardon.

Expected to arrive at 10pm, supporters take their time to visit various food trucks and shops selling Pakatan Harapan merchandise.

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