Standoff between Pakatan and police likely on May 7

(The Malaysian Insider) – A confrontation between Pakatan Rakyat supporters and the Perak police is likely to be on the agenda for May 7, the day the state assembly convenes, as PAS intends to mobilise supporters for prayers on that day.

Although a showdown with the police is not what PAS leaders have in mind, a huge gathering of opposition supporters could prompt an “authoritative” reaction from the BN-led state government.

Chairman of the party’s federal level mobilizing committee Mohamad Sabu told a press conference here today that the party, with the approval of its president, has urged members to gather at the Istihad Mosque in Manjoi, Ipoh, at 5am for prayers.

“We will pray that God soften the hearts of those arrogant enough to steal the rights of the Perak people to self determination.

“With this prayer, we urge that BN dissolve the state assembly and pave the way for a state election so that the people of Perak can rightfully determine who their leaders should be,” he said.

The gathering would be a peaceful one, said Mohamad.

Asked to estimate the turnout expected for the gathering, Mohamad said it was hard to determine now but said that it would not be “as big as the Bersih rally.”

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has also agreed to make an appearance at the gathering, a presence expected to be enough to drive thousands of PAS supporters to wake up even before the sun rises and skip work just to be close to their leader.

Fellow Pakatan Rakyat party members from PKR and DAP are also encouraged to join them, said Mohamad.

Meanwhile, Mohamad also said that PAS would defy the ruling made by the Election Commission against the setting up of “pondok panas” on polling day for the Penanti by-election scheduled for May 31.

He claimed the EC had made such a ruling not because they believed it is morally wrong but had done so under the instruction of Umno.