It was 6 March 2008.
It was 36 hours before the 12th general election.
It was also 11-and-a-half years ago when an estimated 60,000 Chinese gathered in the open field of Han Chiang High School, Penang for the mega rally dubbed ‘the Mother of All Ceramahs’.
DAP promised non Malays ‘first class’ citizenship
Lim Guan Eng – pictured above alongside Kit Siang and Karpal – gave a rousing speech in Mandarin and Hokkien to the cheering, clapping, chanting, singing, whistling, roaring DAP supporters.
Many in the crowd wore shirts in the party colours of bright red or white. They were all cloaked in Hope.
The air was abuzz with energy, the atmosphere electric and fireworks erupted, according to independent journalist Anil Netto who was there that night.
From minute 6:30 onwards — Translation from Hokkien
Guan Eng said:
“Is it possible for us to become first class citizens in Malaysia? For 50 years, over a period of 50 years we have been second class citizens, third class citizens, fourth class citizens, aaah. Enough is enough, true or not? So we need to tell Abdullah Badawi, to say to Ong Ka Ting, say to Koh Tsu Koon so that they will know … we want to be first class!”
“Do I have your promise that all of you here will vote for DAP?”
Prices skyrocketing up, up like DAP logo
The GE12 crowd had chanted “Up, Up DAP!”
”Down, down, Barisan!”
Their DAP leaders said voters must deny BN a 2/3-majority. The call elicited a great roar that reverberated across the Han Chiang field, Anil Netto reported. One of Anil’s readers commented, “there seems to be no Malays there”.
Two days later on 8 March 2008, BN was denied their customary two-thirds electoral support — STRIKE #1. In the next 2013 election, BN was denied the majority or popular vote — STRIKE #2. In 2018 election, BN was denied Putrajaya — STRIKE #3.
And today, we’re close to a round dozen years along the Journey of Hope.
In GE12 and GE13, they (the Hope people) were determined to down Umno. In GE14, Harapan wanted to down Umno and PAS.
This Friday Umno and PAS are rising up together. They’re having their own Melayu Bangkit rally on Sept 13.
It’s their turn to demand ‘ubah’ and a change of government.