News from the Battle for Votes in Hulu Selangor
Saturday April 17, 2010
PKR expects strong show of support for Zaid
PETALING JAYA: The PKR expects a strong show of support from the people when its candidate Datuk Zaid Ibrahim files his nomination papers today.
“We have already made inroads into the former Barisan Nasional stronghold of Hulu Selangor,” said PKR elections director Fuziah Salleh.
She lauded the Election Commission for earmarking separate routes for Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional supporters.
“This is a good move to avoid confrontation. The EC has given us a map showing the routes to be taken by both parties. PKR supporters will be marching from a bus stand to the main street to a roundabout and the nomination hall. Barisan supporters will march from the mosque towards the hall,” she said.
“It is impossible for the two groups to meet. That is good, as we do not want any trouble.”
On Pakatan’s chances of winning the parliamentary seat, she said the Malay votes were critical.
“We are confident of drawing more Chinese and Indian votes,” she said, adding that the PKR attracted 65% of Chinese votes and 50% of Indian votes in the last general election.”
9-10am: Submission of nomination forms
10-11am: Objection period
11-12 noon: EC’s official announcement
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1:06pm: EC chief Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof tells Malaysiakini that Anuradha – who failed to file her nomination papers – should have arranged to have arrived earlier in order to make it on time, citing the early arrival of PKR’s Zaid and BN’s Kamalanathan.
11.50am: Situation is quieting down as most BN and Pakatan supporters have left the scene, with many heading to the press conferences of the respective parties.
Some Pakatan supporters claim to have been hit by water bottles and pebbles from the BN side. A DAP member (right), who was hit by a stone, to lodge a police report.
Meanwhile, Umno Youth chief Khairy claimed that a BN supporter was also hit by a stone. According to him, the man has been brought to the hospital and given six stitches.
11:23am: Light Strike Force personnel use loudhailers to order Pakatan supporters to disperse.
11.22am: EC ANNOUNCES CANDIDATES
Returning officer Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan announces BN’s Kamalanathan, PKR’s Zaid and independents Chandran and Johan as the official candidates for the Hulu S’gor by-election. No objections were filed with the EC.
Outside, Light Strike Force personnel with shields move in, asking Pakatan supporters, who are still loitering in front of the nomination centre, to disperse.
The Pakatan supporters are challenging the police to use water cannons.
11am: The returning officer announces the end of the objection period.
10.55am: MIC state (Federal Territory) secretary P Panchamorthy says he also was injured when trying to stop Samy Vellu from falling on the barbed wires.
“I grabbed Samy on (his) right (side) and Ganesan held his left hand. Samy’s right leg was hit by the barbed wire as he lost his balance. My right hand was injured,” said Panchamorthy.
“We were sandwiched between the barbed wires and (the crowd of) supporters from both sides.”
10.54am: The BN crowd has started to retreat, still cheering, and waving goodbye to Pakatan supporters who are still holding their fort.
10.46am: MIC deputy-president G Pananivel arrives at the BN tent, his first appearance after the announcement of candidates. He is greeted by BN leaders and supporters welcoming him with cheers.
10.45am: About 40 FRU personnel have stationed themselves closer to Pakatan supporters as tempers rise. BN supporters are shouting expletives at the police for confiscating one of their banners.
To police requests for patience, BN supporters shout back, “This is not the right time for patience!”
10.35am: An angry Anuradha (centre), who failed to submit her nomination papers in time, walked to the Pakatan tent and complained to PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim about being sabotaged.
She reiterates her pledge to support Pakatan. “Of course, I welcome (her support),” Anwar replies with a big smile.
10.20am: Police start to move their trucks in between the two opposing groups to act as a baricade, while the Pakatan side does the Mexican wave.
The situation becomes a little tense when a group of Pakatan supporters, carrying flags and banners, seeks to march forward but they are blocked by police. Eventually, they turn back.
10.15am: Both BN and Pakatan supporters are getting closer to each other. They are now about 20 metres apart. The two sides exchange insults. There are chants of ‘Altantuya’, ‘Chua Soi Lek’, ‘kaki botol’, ‘liwat’, among others.
Some PKR supporters gather next to the BN crowd and heckle them. There is lots of taunts and jeers from both sides. The Pakatan supporters are chanting ‘Umno-Apco, Umno-Apco’.
10am: NOMINATION CLOSES
Candidates will have one hour to file objections in the bid to disqualify their opponents.
Those who have filed their nomination papers are MIC’s P Kamalanathan, 44, and PKR’s Zaid Ibrahim, 59.
They are joined by two independent candidates – S Chandran (left), 56, former Hulu Selangor MIC deputy division chief, and Johan Mohd Diah (below, left), 31.
Johan is a Shah Alam Umno Youth exco member.
Another independent J Anuradha, 41, has failed to file her nomination papers.
Apparently, she arrived late and was barred from entering the nomination centre. Her irate supporters are seen shouting outside the centre.
She claimed to have been sabotaged by the police. According to Anuradha, she arrived at the nomination centre at 9am but was stopped by the police and made to wait for one hour.
She accused the police of lying to her – that the nomination was at 10am. Anuradha was allowed into the centre only after the returning officer has announced that the nomination was closed.
Anuradha claimed that her father is an MIC founders and former Kuala Kubu Bahru MIC chief.
“They made us stupid!” said an outraged Anuradha. She said she will now campaign for PKR and claimed to have 6,000 supporters.
9.45am: Inside the nomination centre, BN’s Kamalanathan files his nomination papers. Two others have also filed their papers to contest as independent candidates.
9.43am: Another MIC leader S Ganesan (right) is also injured when trying to cross the police barbed wire. Ganesan cut his right hand. His hand is being bandaged by attendants in an ambulance stationed inside nomination centre.
According to Ganesan, the barricade entrance is too narrow and there are too many people. Samy has also sought treatment inside the ambulance. He told journalists that he is okay, “Small thing lah.”
Over at the Pakatan’s end, 50 purple-clad ‘unit amal’ PAS volunteers help to keep order. They told the thousands of supporters not push and shove. They are joined by PAS leaders who urged the crowd to keep calm. The situation is more orderly at this end as compared to BN’s side.
9.30am: MIC leader S Samy Vellu’s leg is injured and bleeding slightly after being pushed by the exuberant BN crowd. He is being attended to by a few people.
Also there is MIC’s G Palanivel, who was dropped as a BN candidate at the last minute.
9.26am Former Negeri Sembilan MB and Bagan Pinang state assemblyperson Isa Samad has just arrived on the scene with his new wife Bibi Sharliza Mohd Khalid. BN supporters are cheering him with wishes of Selamat pengantin baru!
9.22am: The BN entourage arrives at the gates of the nomination centre in KKB. A group led by DPM Muhyiddin and BN candidate Kamalanathan go inside ‘100-meter restriction zone’.
Kamalanathan hugged his wife before entering the nomination centre along with his nominator and seconder.
Among those with the duo are Selangor Umno deputy leader Noh Omar, party Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, MCA leaders Liow Tiong Lai, Kong Cho Ha, Wee Ka Siong, Heng Sai Kee Ng Yen Yen.
There is a lot of pushing and shoving among the crowd. The police warn BN supporters to calm down.
9.10am: BN candidate P Kamalanathan leads the march from the Umno headquarters in KKB to nomination centre. Among those in the entourage are DPM Muhyiddin, Gerakan leader Dr Koh Tsu Koon and Malacca MB Ali Rustam.
9.02am: PKR candidate Zaid Ibrahim officially files his nomination papers. He is with his nominator (a local resident) and his seconder. Zaid is wearing an earthly beige ‘baju melayu’ and with light orange ‘kain pelikat’.
Outside, the BN crowd tired of singing ‘Inilah Barisan Kita’ for the umpteenth time, begins belting out Umno’s theme song.
The thousands of BN and Pakatan supporters are kept very far apart so much so that they can’t shout and throw insults at each other.
9am: DAP leader Lim Kit Siang, Selangor excos Elizabeth Wong and Teresa Kok enter the ‘restriction zone’ Police say: “Bagi pass kita, senang buat kerja.”
8.55am: The three Ibrahims – MB Khalid Ibrahim, Pakatan candidate Zaid Ibrahim and PKR supremo leader Anwar Ibrahim are inside the nomination centre along with many other top opposition leaders.
Among those who are with them are PKR president Dr Wan Azizh Wan Ismail, party vice-president Azmin Ali, PAS deputy leader Nasharuddin Mat Isa and Selangor DAP leader Teng Chang Khim.
8.50am: At the ‘100-metre restriction zone’, PJ Utara MP Tony Pua hands out passes to Pakatan leaders, state representatives and MPs to enter the nomination centre. All other supporters are kept out by a barricade.
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang enters the nomination centre with Titiwangsa MP Dr Lo’Lo’ Mohd Ghazali and a few other supporters.
8.46am: Both sides are stopped by their march got to the 100-metre restriction zone under the EC regulation.
Banner from BN Kota Raja depicts Anwar as Hitler and a pig. It says, ‘Saya dan keluarga besar di Selangor’. Another placard reads: ‘PKR: Parti Kelentong Rakyat’. Other BN supporters display banners accusing Anwar of being an Israeli ally. They also chanted “Hancur Khalid”.
All parts of KKB town is caught in a giant gridlock.
8.42am: MIC candidate Kamalanathan tweets: “Just arrived at KKB BN centre. Thousands of BN supporters. Hidup BN! First supporter I met came all the way from Sabah!”
Meanwhile PKR candidate Zaid tweets: “Good morning everyone. Big day today. Let’s make it count. Will need your support. Will tweet as often as possible.”
8.30am: The Pakatan crowd has increased to about 10,000. The supporters begin marching slowly towards the nomination centre. They shout slogans – ‘Hidup Rakyat, Hidup Pakatan’ and ‘Takbir Allahu Akbar’. A few could be seen beating the ‘kompang’, turning the march into a carnival show.
PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim, who has arrived, joined candidate Zaid and other Pakatan leaders in the march.
8.20am: Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim and PKR candidate Zaid Ibrahim arrive at the Pakatan gathering point with a group of supporters. Zaid is accompanied by his wife and daughter.
8.15am: About 2,000 Pakatan supporters gather at the KKB bus station. Among the opposition leaders in the area are PAS Salahudin Ayub, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, and Khalid Samad. They are waiting for PKR candidate Zaid Ibrahim and Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim to arrive.
They display seven banners addressing scandals such as the submarine purchases, the missing jet engines and Apco. A group of PKR Wanita shows five toy frogs representing those party MPs who have defected to BN – the biggest one depicts Ibrahim Ali.
On the other end of the road, BN supporters start to march but many are staying put to yell at Pakatan supporters who are passing through and provoking BN by blaring their horns and waving flags.
The BN supporters chant ‘tangkap parti liwat” and “tangkap Anwar”.
8.10am: The nomination center is at the Hulu Selangor Sports Complex Multipurpose Hall.
The area around the center has been barricaded by police with barbed wire. At least 200 uniform police are stationed at both barricade entrances (one for Pakatan, one for BN).
The Pakatan gathering point is in at the bus station in the town centre, on the left side of nomination centre. The BN gathering is at Umno headquarters, on the right hand side of the centre.
Both sides are kept separated by quite a distance, at both ends of the road in front of the nomination center. Supporters from BN and Pakatan cannot even see each other, so there is little possibility of a clash.
It’s still quiet inside the nomination centre. Three ‘camps’ have been set up – BN, PKR and Independents. Election Commission chief Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof has arrived.
8am: Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin arrives to cries of ‘Hidup BN’. This is followed by a rendition of ‘Inilah Barisan Kita’ song.
The crowd, made up of mostly Umno Youth, Wanita and Puteri raise banners and flags and are ready to march, while patriotic song blare from loud speakers.
Pakatan supporters who drive past the BN camp are jeered at by BN supporters, who cry out “Babi mana?”
7.50am: The colonial town of KKB is full of PAS stalls, selling T-shirts, campaign materials and food. Pakatan supporters are scattered around the area. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 supporters have gathered at the BN’s operation centre.
7.45am: Police erect roadblocks at the trunk road just before Sungai Choh, about 30km from nomination centre in Kuala Kubu Kahru from Rawang.
MIC chief S Samy Vellu seen at the nomination center area but as he walked through the Pakatan crowd, he was booed. The MIC chief smiled and there is no untoward incident.
7.30am: Supporters of both sides start gathering at their respective meeting points – Pakatan Rakyat at Kuala Kubu Bahru (KKB) bus station and BN at the Umno headquarters.
Anonymous leaflets attacking Selangor exco Elizabeth Wong’s semi-nude photos are scattered in the streets of KKB town. Among other pictures, the leaflet shows also show a doctored photograph of PKR candidate Zaid Ibrahim with a wine bottle.
“Kalau memilih pemimpin negeri, pertama elok, kedua pandai,” it says.