And on the eve of May 13, a date that has many painful memories for Malaysian Chinese, Anwar did not disappoint. He lambasted Prime Minister Najib Razak and Umno-BN for continuously raising the spectre of the May 13 racial riots to scare the Chinese community in to docility and to stir up fresh hatred amongst the Malays for the Chinese.
"Why should we be bound b the mentality of 1960s era? Today's Malaysia is about one united people. Kami anak Malaysia (we are all the children of Malaysia)," Anwar told the hushed crowd which broke into thunderous applause on hearing his words.
The 64-year-old had been forced to come to the rally on a motorbike due to the massive traffic congestion. He was immediately mobbed by the crowd. Labelled a political chameleon by his nemesis and former boss, Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar certainly called it right this round, in refusing to concede defeat in the May 5 general election.
From the ashes of what he has alleged was a most unjust loss, he has turned the crisis to his advantage. If before he was already among the top 3 most popular leaders in the country, he is now in a class all of his own.
And it is not all about blind hero-worship. For his supporters and many Malaysians, Anwar represents their hope to a just Malaysia where law and order can persist without being twisted at the whim and fancy of the Umno elite, which has ruled Malaysia since 1957.