KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — The size of the crowd that gathered at today’s rally for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim showed that support for the jailed Opposition Leader remains strong along with the fight for justice, his wife and PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said today.
The Kajang assemblyman claimed the spirit displayed by participants of today’s demonstration calling for Anwar to be freed from imprisonment proved that the majority of Malaysians are still behind her husband.
“I will convey this to Anwar… to tell him that he has not been forgotten and that the spirit to fight lives on.
“The sea of men here today proves it,” the petite 62-year-old, barely visible from where she stood in the back of a pick-up truck, said before the massive crowd that gathered outside the Sogo shopping centre at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman here earlier today.
Anwar is currently warded in the hospital wing of the Sungai Buloh prison, believed to be suffering from back problems.
PKR representatives estimated the demonstrators as 10,000-strong, though it was impossible to verify the numbers.
Thousands of Anwar supporters flooded the streets in the nation’s capital city this afternoon, even braving a brief rain shower, to protest the government’s alleged mistreatment of the Opposition Leader who was jailed last month for sodomising a former male aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, in 2008.
The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact insists the charge was engineered by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to kill off Anwar’s political career and contain the opposition’s rising popularity.
PAS leader Dr Hatta Ramli said the PR bloc would keep at its campaign to free Anwar until they succeed.
“Do you think we will free him? Yes, we will,” the Kuala Krai MP told rally goers.
The demonstration kicked off at 3pm from three assembly points within Kuala Lumpur — Central Market, Masjid Jamek and the PAS headquarters on Jalan Raja Laut — before demonstrators converged at Sogo.
The police had issued a warning that the rally, headlined as #KitaLawan, was unlawful, as its organisers had failed to follow the conditions laid out in the Peaceful Assembly Act.
The #KitaLawan hashtag movement is a group formed in solidarity with Anwar with a number of its members comprising student leaders.
Despite the warning, the police did not attempt to stop the demonstrators.
Access to some of the major roads were also cordoned off, making it easier for the rally goers to continue their procession on foot from Sogo to the Petronas Twin Towers in the heart of the city before finally dispersing at about 6.30pm.