A final push from Kit Siang

By Debra Chong (The Malaysian Insider)

TAIPING, April 6 – As the clock counts down the last 24 hours to polling tomorrow, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders have upped the ante on the battle to win Bukit Gantang.

The top-ranked leaders from all three parties delivered a scathing attack against the BN at a dinner rally in nearby Simpang last night.

But the most scathing was DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, who said that the battle for Bukit Gantang is no longer a referendum on the legitimate leadership of their candidate, Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, for Perak but an acid test for the future of the country.

Supporters carry Kelantan MB Nik Aziz to the ceramah.

Lim noted the return of former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Umno over the weekend, a return which was greeted with open arms by newly-minted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the former’s protégé, and which appeared to revive the flagging spirits in the party.

The Ipoh-Timur MP suggested the reappearance of the fourth prime minister would chart a return to the dark days of “Mahathirism”, which he said would undo the hard-won changes planted in the last year under the new “political tsunami” which swept the budding three-party alliance into power.

As proof, Lim pointed to Dr Mahathir’s “bullying” tactics at the recently-concluded Umno General Assembly, which he claimed was a deliberate move to “overshadow” the previous president Tun Abdullah Badawi.

“Bukit Gantang is now Nizar versus Najib and Mahathir!” Lim proclaimed.

Anwar Ibrahim receiving a warm welcome from the crowd.

Remarking that Dr Mahathir would be heading here to join the campaign trail, he urged the electorate to vote for Nizar and reject the “tainted” leadership of the two prime ministers, past and present.

The predominantly Chinese crowd, easily over 2,000 strong, roared their approval.