I arrived at the Tengku Bainun teaching institute at about 6pm today, where the Election Commission announce the results of the Permatang Pauh (P44) by-election.

I skipped going to seberang Jaya to cover the phantom voters episode as many of my reporter friends were already there. I didn’t want to ‘steal’ their exclusives 🙂

The first thing I noticed, apart from the swelling crowd, was the heavy police presence. The people were cordoned off from the elevated stage. Bard wires, which could prove injurious, fenced the plastic blockades.

“What if I fell or pushed from the back?” asked someone in the crowd. He was clearly annoyed “Wouldn’t it be disastrous?”

It was intimidating, and “an insult to our intelligence,” said Zul, an old friend I met, who came to hear the P44 results, but found instead a similar situation to the 100,000 people’s gathering in Kesas Highway in November 2000.

This friend remembered me as I was witness no. 8 in SUHAKAM’s public enquiry following countless complaints of massive police violence and abuses at the rally. He was witness no. 3.

I decided to become witness as the beatings by FRU personnel on ordinary civilians happened before my eyes. I was a journalist with Malaysiakini then.

That FRU guy in the middle was pointing at me, as I was driving past and taking his photo. I was also lookinhg for a parking space.

Everyone who gathered at the counting centre was pissed off with the parade of FRU personnel, ready with head-gear and batons.

To me, it was akin to a war zone.

An international election observer I met from Thailand remarked: They (FRU) are ready to fight. But the people are not. So, let’ s wait and see what they will do”.

The guy in the middle is blogger BLACK, who is monitoring the elections for the National Institute of Elections Integrity (NIEI).

As I entered the field together with the anxious crowd, a feeling of light-heartedness came over me. A feeling of victory and freedom was in the air as well. “Come, take a photo of me,” said this young PAS supporter.

Despite the massive police force, the place turned out to be a carnival, or rather picnic, with women and children, making themselves comfortable on mats. It started to drizzle also, but hey, who cares?

“We are sending Anwar Ibrahim to Parliament,” they seem to say.

Word went from mouth to mouth, sms-es kept beeping on mobile phones with only one message: Anwar had captured P44 with a startling big majority.

“UMNO is finished. We have burried them,” said a couple of Youths nearby.

And he was probably right.

When I tried to look for BN/UMNO supporters on the other side of the field, guess what I found.



A bare field. Emptiness and total misery. There was not a single BN/UMNO supporter in sight. “This shows they have lost,” said PKR supporters.

This was the same field when, on nomination day on August 16, several UMNO supporters acted out the sodomy act in front of PKR supporters.

My dear readers, you should have been there with me, if only for us to meet 🙂


40 responses »

  1. […] The official announcement by Election Commission was only made at 9.47 pm. At around 8 p.m I have already called my mother to report the victory because she only has accessed to TV and no Internet. I called her the second time to inform the majority numbers DSAI grabbed, my mother said she had already done her sujud syukur!! Alhamdulillah.. we are so happy after 10 years of REFORMASI!! Yes, I have started with my own political reform back in 1998.. only that I remained careful and discreet. This deserves an entry on its own later!! The latest news is voters turnout is actually 80 percent, NOT 65% percent reported by EC. It’s a landslide victory for DSAI! See pictures at Sloone […]

  2. FCdeMatthew says:

    this is a victory for democracy and reformation of our govt.

  3. Jimmy Page says:

    They are busy getting back the 300 $ from the people they gave it to. House to house, door to door, UMNO supporters are probably breaking into people’s houses with the help of the police and the FRU who have nothing to do but protect liars, thieves and murderers.

  4. tan, tanjong bungah says:

    Hi everyone,

    The Dewan Rakyat Speaker should respect the wishes of PP voters, and many other Malaysians, for AI to be back in Parliament soonest possible. Any deliberate delay in doing so would only ‘piss-off’ more Malaysians to the detriment of BN. BN has to learn from the message from 26 Aug, as it seems not to have learn from 8 March results.

    On an important note, I urge BN and PR leaders, and your readers, to reflect on the open letter from a Dr Syed Alwi from Singapore, which I reproduced here:


    by Dr Syed Alwi of Singapore

    Dear Editor,

    As you know, I am an avid watcher of Malaysian affairs. I must confess that lately, Malaysia appears to be failing. Not a day passes by without more events that clearly highlight Malaysia ’s race-religion fault-line. If things keep going this way, I fear for Malaysia ’s future.

    Today, schools in Singapore celebrate Racial Harmony Day. I can
    visibly see the joy in the children’s faces as they wear their ethnic
    costumes and have fun together at school. But in Malaysia – even the right to choose a religion has become a sensitive, national issue. No doubt, there are many in Malaysia who hate my liberal views on Islam, family included. But I will say what I must say openly. I have come to the conclusion that Malaysia cannot progress any further without first addressing fundamental questions regarding its identity and soul.

    I remember the days when we can laugh at Lat’s cartoons on everyday Malaysian life. But sadly, the Islamic tide has polarised Malaysians. Some people ask why I should bother about Malaysian affairs since I am a Singaporean. May I remind Malaysians that it was Tan Siew Sin who once said that Singapore and Malaysia are Siamese Twins. Should Malaysia go down – it would hurt the region tremendously. Especially Singapore ..

    Where do you think Malay apostates would head for if Lina Joy loses her case? Singapore of course! I find the Malaysian Malay to be very under-exposed. For them, it’s all Islam and the NEP and everything under the sun would sort itself out. I am sorry to say this – but Islam and the NEP may be the cause of the undoing of the Malaysian Malay.

    There is nothing wrong with religion or affirmative action. But, like
    everything else in life, they must be taken in moderation and with a pinch of salt. A little doubt is good. Unfortunately in Malaysia ,
    emotions over Islam have overcome reason. What we see today is the result of the NEP and Islamisation policies of the past thirty years or so.

    No one owes Malaysian Malays a living. Let me assure you that should Malaysia fail – the Malaysian Malay will suffer enormously. And rightly so. After all – they have been pampered with all sorts of goodies over the years. They cannot now expect more goodies. Perhaps the day of reckoning for them, is near. Whatever it is, Malaysia had better wake up to the realities around her. The globalised world of the 21st century has no NEP to offer the Malaysian Malay. And humans cannot live by religion alone.


    Dr Syed Alwi.”

    BN and PR should give the open letter much thought as I’ve a gut feeling that this is what many Malay Malaysians want, though many are too afraid to articulate it openly, lest they be accused to be ‘traitors’ to their race and religion. Message from 8 March shows that they are now more into multiracial politics.

  5. I too have performed my sujud syukur…. Alhamdulillah & Allah hu Akbar!!

  6. observer B says:

    Yes, video, fast, please 🙂
    Kudos to Permatang Pauh and everyone who’s reporting from the ground! We are indebted to you.

  7. Abdul says:

    Susan, we love you. That’s why people log onto your blog for the truth. No wonder you are to receive the 4th milion hit target in less than 2 months. Now that’s beats Huffingtonpost record. Keep it up. Thanks alot.

  8. js says:

    finally…pictures ! Thanks for the excellent coverage and snippets of sentiments on the ground. Between your blog, the people’s parliament, anil netto, rocky and zorro, who needs MSM. Well done and really appreciate it. Look forward to the videos.

  9. Inspector Joget says:

    The guy with the barbed wires…

    Dude, that face…what were you thinking, man? Hahaha…

  10. cinta Malaysia says:

    16th September, Malaysia Day! what a celebration!
    Taib Mahmud and Musa Aman, your turn to be heroes!
    Time to give true meaning to Malaysia Day!

  11. hadi says:

    Yes Anwar won but I wonder those in UMNO/BN had learned anything out of this or they are still arrogant and still thinking this country belong to BN only and they can just do anything they like. Would like to remind BN goons if ever they read this message as it is time for them to wake up. Those people at the helm of UMNO are incompetence and without vision. They are selfish and only protect their own interest to enrich their cronies. My friend, I am still wondering how the hell that this nation ended up with people like PakLah, najib. hishamuddin, khairi the grave digger and their merry men running this nation and those in MCA, MIC and GERAKAN are also a disgrace to the nation. So actually I am happy but I am still sad and worried that will the future generation continue to survive. ISA, OSA and now DNA BILL, all this are laws that are prone to be abused by people in power. Lord, please help all of us Malaysians. IN GOD WE TRUST

  12. mugabe says:

    At 11.10pm or so as everybody was leaving the Tunku Bainun College, and walking towards to car parked some 1 km away, I passed the lady ABC correspondent Karen Percy [I hope I got her name right] with her Male Camera man of some Asutralian built.

    I stopped to chat a bit to remind her that it is ONLY a by-elections but he number of Policeman, Speical Branch, Commandos and Agent Provocateurs is unbelievable. THe come in uniforms as well as dresing up as civilians and looking everybit like any PKR supporter.

    She showed the smiles of an experienced journo. as if telling, me what do you expect from Zimbabwe Timur [aka as Malaysia].

    We are seeing the last remaining periods of a desparate UMNO trying to hold on to “illegitimate “government clutching the last straws.

    This is the 50 years of nation-building ending up with us becoming more like Zimbabwe and some of the UMNO Leaders probably all ready to pack their bags and enough money to live in Australia, and London in apartments or houses already bought some many years with ill-gotten raayat’s money !

    Perhaps, just one fellow and his family may simply decide to go Argentina, afterall having said nasty words to the Australians.

  13. mugabe says:

    I didn’t quite catch the name of the slim and charming Penang born, femaile presenter trying a very last minute shooting of the Gerai as almost everybody has left the scene.

    She was telling her familiar looking Camera man to set up the tripod stand to record the Gerai Makan with customer taking a very very late dinner.

    She works for Singapore , she says, and all I can say to her …. is this DSAI sure beats Singapore great nmenesis Lee Kuan Yew !

  14. Mercuntanduk says:

    Susan, thank you for great ground coverage. A great photojournalist does not take sides, s/he merely take photos to cover the events as they occur. Good effort!

  15. ah long says:

    hadi…..I don’t think BN/UMNO will ever learn. Therefore, the only thing to do is to kick them out one way or the other.

  16. Thurai says:

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH SUSAN! How come there is not a single photo of you around? 🙂

  17. Freddy Toh says:

    Thanks Sue … for the coverage. I would have loved to be a part of this history being in Permatang Pauh but I couldn’t. sigh!

    51 years ago, Tunku Abdul Rahman brought us Merdeka and freed the nation from the British. Then UMNO colonised the nation.

    51 years later, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim brings out the meaning, the true meaning of Merdeka as it was intended by Tunku.

    Ketuanan Rakyat! The dark blue canton in Jalur Gemilang which represents Malaysian Unity reigns supreme in this 51st Merdeka!

    Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

  18. chris chong says:

    thanks sue for the nice photos.

    hopefully project 3P of PR will succeed and we can truly celebrate merdeka this year.

  19. danet7882 says:

    would luv to see one of the picture with u around.. 🙂



  20. rajan says:

    Thank you Dear SUSAN,
    You out did yourself with your detailed reporting over the last few days.
    Hope you knock the 4M spot soon.
    Thanks also goes to tukar tuib, Harris, anil netto and the rest of the bloggers without them we will be dead meat for the MSM.
    Thank you once again Susan

  21. amoker says:

    Oh , i love it when the other side was caught waning. The UMNO supporters have desserted their party. UMNO is in disarray. With the might of money, government, ACA, Police , FRU, choppers .. they still loose badly.

    The field is empty cause they go back to scatch their bottom from scraping it.

  22. navinda says:

    Hi Susan,
    How I wish I had been there. But my wife beat me to it. She was there the last four days going house to house while I was house bound minding the kids. On her return she had too many stories to tell but she never completed any as she skipped from one to another. However the photos on your blog more than made up for what I missed. Great going.

    I think we owe the people of Permatang Pauh a BIG THANK YOU. You have spoken for the millions of Malaysians wanting change.
    Thank you guys.

  23. mustafa says:

    Dear Susan,

    I not sure about this guy Dr Syed Alwi. I don’t agree with his comment. I think it is a lot rubbish. Is this guy a Singaporean or a Malaysian teaching in NUS, Singapore? Please indentify your nationality Dr. I am a Malaysian working in Singapore since 1988 and has been in touch with Malaysian politics and Anwar Ibrahim since 1980.

    The primary reasons of Malaysian failings are due to the absolute incompeteny of the BN-UMNO regime which is soaked and drenched with corruption, racisism, cronism, nepotism and total stupidity.

    It is not due to NEP or Islam. Please don’t blame the religion. Are you a Muslim or a Christian Dr?

  24. greeneyesjelly says:

    Thank you Susan, your blog is my must read during the by-election. F*** the MSM!

  25. wandererAUS says:

    Hey Susan, when did you turn from a journalist to become a professional photographer? hehehe

    I must congratulate you for those striking photos….only disgusting to see those blue uniformed monkeys. They are the ones, should to be kept behind the barbed wire fence and caged.
    Anyway, who cares now, we won!

  26. Volcano says:

    I just can’t believe what an idiot his counterparts is. He even dare to declared before the counting starts that he is going to win 5,000 votes. This is another wakeup call for UMNO/BN. Fortunately they have not woken up to all the wakeup calls. The March to Putrajaya is in progress and will be the final wakeup call to BN/UNMO.

  27. hahaha says:


    There is no shame to identify one’s weaknesses…what Dr Alwi said, has a lot of truth. Sometimes, truth hurts.
    As I will respect your views, let him has the liberty to express his. Religion has nothing to do with his opinions. We need to grow up and adjust ourselves to the reality and the needs of today.
    I am confident the good folks of Permatang Puah when they voted to give Anwar a bigger majority, their thoughts were not on religion or race, simply,
    to rid the evil doers in the BN regime….. for a better Malaysia.

  28. Jimmy Page says:

    Loo Seow Pek whoever you are, your imposter and you are equally useless and worthless, why don’t you get lost and stop spamming the board/site. Like anyone cares about you. Your time is over. Go away, and let us talk in peace. You lost. Accept it.

  29. bamboo river says:

    ah long, receive any call from BN and Umno people to transfer out of Malaysia lately? 🙂
    So, now the steel / plastic barricades, plastic posters, barbed wires can be taken out to the scrap yard for cash.

  30. Joshua says:

    we missed the action alright but thanks to susan, we at least got to read about it

  31. Liamsi says:

    You want to know where are UMNO suppoters? They are there standing infront of your camera, dressed in blue & red helmet ready to attack PR supporters.

  32. Ex Neutral says:

    A big thank you to all of you guys who brought us news/info not only from PP but from all over.
    A big thank you also to the voters of PP who help pass the message of the rakyat to UMNO.
    To YB Anwar thank you for being there. A lot of work needs to be done especially bringing parties like PAS and DAP together.
    The main aim should be towards a BAGSA MALAYSIA and an accountable govt.
    Lastly be aware of the very desparate UMNO.

  33. Kenny Gan says:

    81% turnout on a working day (for many), voters outstation, heavy rain, traffic jams. FRU intimidation, and police road blocks is fantastic. It equals the 81% turnout for P44 in the G.E. 2008 under ideal conditions.

    Either it shows the extraordinary determination of voters to express their will or a more sinister possibility….poll boxes may have been stuffed to reduce Anwar’s majority.

    At 4pm, the EC announced 64% voter turnout with 1 hour to go. After counting it was 81%. Such a huge discrepancy. How many people can vote in the last hour with all roads to polling centres jammed by police road blocks?

    I have my suspicion. What do others think?

  34. Azmitaufik says:

    Dear Susan, thank you for reporting the by-election.

    I want to thanks all Permatang Pauh voters for voting for a new Malaysia. At last the “silent” majority wins. Really hope that DSAI can make 16-Sept-08 a reality for us.

    BTW, today my wife will be making “pulut kuning” for “kesyukuran” and celebrating the PP by-election victory of Pakatan Rakyat.

  35. Phua Kai Lit says:

    Dear Susan

    1. The ones who played
    longkang politics (gutter politics)
    fell into the longkang themselves.

    2. I like these slogans from my days as
    a student in the USA: “If the people lead, the leaders will have to follow”
    and “The people united cannot be defeated”

  36. Billau Chris says:

    All said and done, BN had to swallow the humble pie in Permatang Pauh and left ignominiously and quietly last night when she was trounced miserably by PKR. The result once again demonstrated that the people could no longer be stopped by all the underhand and fear-induced tactics used by BN at the by-election.

    I hope that BN learned a significant lesson here. Come clean in your future campaign. The electorate can see through your machinations and interlectual bankrupcy.

    The concocted alleged sodomy charge was nothing but just a smearing and character-assassination device aimed at derailing DSAI’s ambition to return to politics to bring about changes for all the people of Malaysia regardless of race, colour or creed.

    The message is loud and clear. We need an honest, sincere and transparent government that cares for the people’s welfare, progress and development. We do not need stooges and sycophants to be in the cabinet that bring disgrace and disrepute to the image of the nation. Besides, the Rakyat have tolerated and suffered enough for the past 5 decades.

    For 50 years, you sing the same old songs and pluck the same old strings and talk nothing but lining your pockets best. Look at the transport system in the cities – you do not seem to have any clue and solution how to overcome it. Why? Because of your greed, bias and selfishness which have affected your vision ahead of you.

    At the rate you are going, you soon become a dinosaur totally irrelevant to the social eocnomic needs of the Rakyat. You do not want change but the people will change you in due time. Your coalition is now an anachronism from which you amass power which you are not prepared to share. The coalition is just a front for perpetuation of your self interest.

    We respect the rights of all decent people. But not the right to abuse, mitigate or deny other people’s rights to freedom of speech, action, religion, association and equal employment and education opportunities and benefits of the national resources. Your nonchalence and insensitivity will be your downfall.

    The whole world is looking at how we deal with the dastard and bloody disposal of Altantuya. The case has taken an usually long time. The public would want to know where PI Balasubramaniam and Dr Mohd Osman are at the moment. Why do they need to disappear or free themselves into hiding elsewhere? Is our country not saf enough?

    BN if you wish to stay in power then please follow the recipes of change of the Rakyat. Otherwise, you will be voted out in due time. Good Luck UMNO and its coalition partners, your days are numbered.

  37. We’re fortunate to have pro-justice and pro-peace bloggers
    To keep us all up to date and well informed as non-political bloggers
    They all deserve a big congratulatory pat on the back
    For being able to distinguish clearly between what’s white and black

    (C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 27th Aug. 2008.
    Wed. 27th Aug. 2008.

  38. RN says:

    Thank you for keeping us informed and those wonderful pictures. MSM should go and hide as they are not fit to be in the field of media.

  39. CK says:

    As to my expection – Anwar won!!

    I was out of internet connection but the ABC (Australian Radio) did mention about the election but fail to have the latest result even i have been waiting till late nite (very late nite!!) on Msian time, for it…

    The next day, i rush to the nerest internet cafe for the results and i have my whole day fill with joy of DSAI’s victory.

    Congratulate DSAI, Congratulate Permantang Pauh voters, Congratulate PKR and congratulate Malaysian –

  40. CWQuah says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for the interesting coverage and pix. Followed the excitement from Germany. Was there in PP in March 08. Good reason to celebrate Merdeka,

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