Below's a pretty comprehensive article about the Silibin Conversion SMS from Ipoh Echo - a little biweekly local Ipoh newspaper. You can download PDF copies of the rag from their site.
I would raise a couple of points though, on possible inaccuracies.
1. This and virtually every other article about this in the mainstream press has characterised the crowd outside the church as aggressive. Ipoh Echo used the term "near riot". It also reported placards in the crowd denouncing national mariner, Azhar Mansor. It even goes on to say that eyewitnesses saw people "scale the church gates".
However, have a read of another eyewitness account which has a totally opposite description of the crowd and the general atmosphere. According this account posted in Ipoh forums, the crowd was simply curious and placid.
2. Secondly and on a lighter note, this article and the whole of Malaysia routinely state that Azhar Mansor sailed solo around the world in 1999.
hey hey let me correct that since i was there too..
i wanted to take pics of FRU in full gear but was disappointed.. there were no protest, demonstration, heckling, insults, stare-down contests, shoutings or anything that can spark tension. also, i didnt see any potential weapons, slogans, signs, posters, banners, etc.
i bet most of those who came were merely curious.. ya lorr, being a quiet town, anything 'sensational' is a welcome distraction..
the best part is that many groups of malays, indians & chinese were hanging around in one huge group beside each other rather than segregated into different 'camps'.. everybody was chit-chatting while waiting for 'the show'..
so where's the disharmony?
seriously, if you dont believe me, try check out the pics.. there were so many photographers around and i hope some will post the pics on the internet..
But in fact, he experienced several mishaps and had to helped out of trouble, so much so that on 16 Apr. 1999, the World Sailing Speed Record Council reclassified his attempt from "Round the world single handed [ie. solo]" to "Round the world, assisted stops, Eastbound". Refer to the attempt's chronology of events here.
Read my earlier blog on this topic: Perak Mufti Harussani and the Silibin Conversion SMS