Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor became the butt of jokes by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim yesterday in one of his many ceramahs in his home state of Penang.
He made a direct hit at arch rival Najib accusing him of cowardice, when he said the prime minister was afraid of his wife.
The head of the family should be more fearless than his wife, said Anwar, likewise a village headman should be braver than the villagers.
“But the head of this country is afraid of former premier Mahathir Mohamad, USA President Barack Obama, and his own wife,” he added at a PKR event in Machang Bubok, drawing laughter and applause from the 300-odd crowd.
He then related how after 32 years, he managed to bring his spouse PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, to Agra to see the famous icon of love, the Taj Mahal.
“Even though it’s 32 years late, we kept our pledge to visit the place in India, during my last trip there,” he said.
“But Umno, after 50 over years, have yet to fulfill many of its pledges to the people!” he stormed.
Anwar was referring to Najib’s reluctance to debate with him.
The former deputy prime minister had recently invited Najib to the United Kingdom, to join him in a debate with rebel blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, in a Wikileaks forum arrange by its founder, Julian Assange.
However, Najib has yet to respond to Anwar’s invitation.
The Permatang Pauh MP is on a two-day visit to Penang and Kedah to meet with supporters and participate as a main speaker in various ceramah.
At the event today, Anwar charmed the crowd with his usual fiery and humorous style, and even abandoned the stage to speak on the ground where he could engage with the audience.
The multi-racial crowd easily warmed to him, and were in stitches, especially when he repeated “cow jokes”, directed at former federal minister and Wanita Umno chief Sharizat Abdul Jalil.
Sharizat, the former Lembah Pantai MP whose family is involved in the RM250 million National Feedlot Corporation controversy, will be giving up her minister’s post next month.
During the function, Anwar also launched the constituency’s election machinery which will involve 100 youths, and presented certificates of appointment to 34 voluntary corps members from Taman Alam Jaya.
Politics of conscience
Meanwhile, Anwar said this election, which may be called in June, would see Pakatan target MPs and state assemblypersons that are “with integrity, who are clean and virtuous, and practise politics of conscience”.
He related the example of Kelantan Menteri Besar and PAS spirtual advisor Nik Aziz Nik Mat, who had been in office for 20-odd years and yet were free of any whiff of corruption.
“Do you see him buying land? Do you see his children owning companies? Do you hear him involved in any scandals?” he queried with the crowd responding in the negative.
“BN or Umno Menteri Besar will say Nik Aziz is stupid (for not accumulating any wealth),” he added, followed by laughter and beaming faces from the crowd- many of them senior citizens – who didn’t mind putting up with the scorching heat in the tent.