By Aidila Razak
Faced with mounting cacophony over the Carcosa sex video on top of his ongoing sodomy trial, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim seems to believe that laughter is the best medicine.
Speaking to a full-house of about 1,500 in PKR-held Ampang, Selangor last night, Anwar sought to brush off the allegations as a big farce, peppering his speech with jokes on the sex video and sodomy trial.
“Now when people see me, they’d look at my stomach then look at my face. So when we sit down to eat (my wife) would tell me, ‘Don’t eat too much’,” he said, to laughter.
It was not evident that he was ruffled by the oath taken by sex video proponent Shazryl Eskay Abdullah at a mosque hours earlier.
“I was in Umno for a while, I know these people. They say they are Muslims but don’t even pray. They say they want to take the oath, but have they stopped consuming alcohol? Tell them to stop raping people first before taking any oath,” he told the mostly Malay audience.
“Anwar has nothing else to do but have sex. For a while, he likes it from the front, then the back, then the side, then the centre, but (Prime Minister) Najib is the most moral of all, Sheikh Najib, and Sheikh al-Rahim,” he said.
Anwar was, perhaps, referring to former Malacca Chief Minister Rahim Thamby Chik – one of the three Datuk T claimed to be men behind the sex video – who in 1994 was accused of statutory rape. The charges were later dropped.
Rahim had resurfaced on March 21 when he joined Eskay and former Perkasa treasurer Shuib Lazim in screening the sex video to journalists at Carcosa Seri Negara.
Scandals continue to feed comedy
The biggest hits among the jokes were those on the sodomy trial, when even the mere mention of “Saiful’s anus” had the audience in stitches.
More than 500 who could not enter the venue for lack of space had to be content sitting on the floor of an open courtyard outside, ignoring the slight drizzle.
While the massive traffic jam from the direction of Kuala Lumpur suggested that many had come from afar to attend the ceramah, a fair number of locals dressed in pyjamas and sarongs were also spotted in the crowd.
“International research has found that the longest a sperm can last is 72 hours, but Anwar’s can last 96 hours because I am Superman,” joked the opposition leader.
“But I’m not. I don’t wear my underwear on the outside,” he said triggering a roar of laughter.
Then, perhaps, hitting a raw nerve among those who were seen with children in tow, he said: “Your children ask you, what does it mean ‘sperm in anus’? This is sex education Rosmah and Najib-style.”
Anwar also explained that he has kept strong despite the attacks through the power of prayers from friends and supporters worldwide, from many different religions.
“A religious teacher once told me that my incarceration (in 1998) was good for me because when I was beaten up, kept hungry and shamed, I felt how the rakyat feels, so that when I govern I will never forget,” he said.
“I have a debt of gratitude with the people because the more they attack, the stronger the rakyat supports me,” he said, requesting his audience to pray for him.
Self-worth and dignity important
Anwar also took pains to explain how Pakatan Rakyat’s approach is different from the BN’s, claiming that Pakatan will help anyone who needs assistance regardless of race, unlike the BN which says ‘1Melayu, 1Bumi’ but only helps its family members.
“I just came from Kampung Sungai Putih (Ampang), do you think they ( the BN) care about the residents there? RM52 billion worth of bumiputera shares are now down to RM2 billion. Did the Chinese steal it?” he asked.
“The difference between us and Umno is that when we say bumiputera rights, we look at the masses, the marginalised, the downtrodden.
“They say, ‘Oh we have to defend Islam’ – then stop raping, having illicit sex, consuming alcohol, being involved in graft and being unjust. They say they’ll defend Islam, but then plunder everything,” he said.
“You’re here without us giving you anything to eat or drink, nor do we compensate your travel expenses, but you came with hope and the belief that this country deserves better,” said Anwar, taking a jab at the opulent 1Malaysia dinners and other ploys that BN has been using to draw voters to their many campaign events.
“The people of (rural Sarawakian constituency won by PKR) Ba’Kelalan have no Internet or alternative media, but they have self-worth and dignity. It is with this that we can beat the BN.” he said. – Mkini