HULU KELANG,. Pakatan Harapan-endorsed candidate P. Prabakaran shared the stage with chairman Tun Dr Mahathir at a mega-ceramah in Taman Keramat here on Sunday night (May 6).
The independent candidate and his new mentor Batu MP Tian Chua arrived at a ceramah halfway through Dr Mahathir’s speech after campaigning in Sentul.
Dr Mahathir stopped his speech to welcome Prabakaran as Tian Chua led him on stage.
“This is our new young candidate,” Dr Mahathir introduced Prabakaran to the 5,000-strong crowd.
Dr Mahathir, 93, then held up Prabakaran’s hand in the air as the 22-year-old law student smiled jubilantly.
This is the first time the youngest candidate and oldest candidate of the 14th General Election stood on the same stage together.
Prabakaran seemed starstruck at the sight of Dr Mahathir and other Pakatan big names sitting at the back of the stage including Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, and Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahahtir and Mohamad Sabu.
He looked in awe at the crowd as they applauded and cheered.
Prabakaran then proceeded to pull out his handphone and take a selfie with Dr Mahathir while the crowd looked on in amusement.
After the selfie, Prabakaran triumphantly pumped his fists in the air as Dr Mahathir told the crowd to vote for the party’s latest addition.
“He is younger than me but already has a beard. I am still waiting for my beard to grow,” Dr Mahathir teased Prabakaran.
“When you go vote in Batu, do not throw batu (stones),” he joked.
“We welcome our independent friend, but he is not so independent anymore as he is now with Pakatan,” Dr Mahahtir added.
Prabakaran and Tian Chua then took a seat at the back of the stage with the top leadership, while Dr Mahathir continued with his speech about the importance of going out to vote on May 9.
Neither Tian Chua nor Prabakaran addressed the crowd as Dr Mahathir was scheduled to be the last speaker of the night.
Prabakaran, who will be contesting with the key symbol, has been joining Tian Chua on the campaign trail and speaking at ceramah together ever since Pakatan decided to endorse him for the Batu parliamentary seat under the PKR ticket on Friday (May 4).
This is Prabakaran’s biggest event yet and his first time gracing the stage with the coalition’s biggest icons.
Also at the event were former ministers Tun Daim Zainuddin and Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, as well as national laureate Datuk Seri A. Samad Said.
Before Pakatan’s endorsement, Prabakan had only focused on a digital campaign and had released three videos on his Facebook page.
His platform involved representing the voices of youths and increasing the participation of youth in politics.
Tian Chua, a two term Batu MP, announced that the party will endorse Prabakaran after the High Court dismissed his bid to reverse the Election Commission’s (EC) decision to disqualify him from contesting in the Batu seat.
Chua, whose real name is Chua Tian Chang, was disqualified by the Election Commission (EC) from being a candidate for the seat again on nomination day, due to a RM2,000 fine imposed on him by a High Court on March 2.