BUKIT MERTAJAM – Almost the entire village of Cherok To’ Kun excitedly came out to welcome home their famed prodigal son, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was sworn in as Malaysia 10th prime minister in November last year.
The villagers came to participate at a community feast to celebrate Anwar’s appointment, arriving in droves to such an extent that organisers at the site near his old family house were overwhelmed.
There was no room to sit at the makeshift tent, and the situation was complicated by the rainy weather at the site here.
The site will soon also see the erecting of a museum to highlight Anwar’s almost 25 years of struggle to bring political reforms to the country since he was fired from the seat of deputy prime minister and his then party, Umno, to join the ranks of the opposition in 1998.
Born and raised in Cherok To’ Kun near here, Anwar was schooled at the nearby Bukit Mertajam High School.
Among the school’s other alumni are the present Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak, Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim Chee Keong, and the fifth prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Cherok To’ Kun is mostly known for its plantations and for nutmegs, as well as an excellent hiking trail and forest reserve in nearby hills.
Sim, who was present, said that the folks in Cherok To’ Kun will continue to support Anwar in his quest to bring reforms to the country.
He added that he and Anwar share the same teachers, who imparted the need to have strong moral values and character when growing up.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow hailed Anwar as an inspiration to everyone due to his tenacity, despite having faced various setbacks and betrayals.
As Anwar arrived with his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar, cries of “reformasi” rang from the crowd.
His message to the audience was that there is no room for any form of corruption in the country.
Anwar was MP for the nearby Permatang Pauh constituency from 1982 to 1999 and from 2008 to 2015.
Azizah served as MP there from 1999 to 2008, and again from 2015 to 2018.
Nurul Izzah won the seat in 2018, but failed to defend it in the 15th general election last year. – The Vibes, January 23, 2023