Malaysia Votes 2018

Malaysia election: PAS under Hadi Awang retains pull among its faithful

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang feeding a a four-month-old baby a sweet mixture of dates and water from the Zamzam Well during his rally on Saturday in Alor Setar. He enjoyed strong support at the rally.
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang feeding a a four-month-old baby a sweet mixture of dates and water from the Zamzam Well during his rally on Saturday in Alor Setar. He enjoyed strong support at the rally.ST PHOTO: ARLINA ARSHAD

Across the country over the past week, Malaysians have flocked to rallies held by the three main parties. Our correspondents report.

As a faint moon rises and light rain pitter-patters on the sea of dark-coloured tudungs and white turbans, a corner of Alor Setar transforms into a scene that would not be out of place in the Middle East. "Hujan rahmat (blessed rain), this is a good sign," a woman whispers, gesturing to the sky. "The end of the world is near, choose Islam."

She takes her seat among several dozen women, some wearing full-face veils or niqab, in front of the building which during the day is a "Bundle Jepun" thrift store selling second-hand clothing from Japan.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 06, 2018, with the headline 'Parties rally the voters: PAS under Hadi Awang retains pull among its faithful'. Print Edition | Subscribe