Thursday, July 30, 2015

My non political life.

Throughout my entire life I have voted twice. The firtst time after my return to Malaysia and living in Kuala Terengganu where i registered myself through my neighbor and the second was in Penang where i re-registered myself to be able to vote here. Sadly enough for both I voted for the the Barisan Nasional and i did this not because I have faith in the party and on the later occasion knowing fully well that the party stood no chance of winning gainst the DAP in Penang, I voted for the UMNO led party because of my loyalty to my family and friends, I still had had no real interest in politics and as a matter of fact only has disdain. The first time i voted for UMNO was because of my experience after attending a gathering where the then DPM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was present along with Idrus Jusoh who late went on to become the Menteri besar for Terengganu and another Minister who was my childhood friend from Penang, Zainol Ariff. I was invited by the Primula Hotel manager to attend the event as he thought it would be a good experience for me. There reason i was at Primula was because i was having my first Solo Exhibition at the premise.

After borrowing a batik shirt from my neighbor, an English man married to a Malay Professor both were teaching at KUSZA, I attended the function and was the first few to enter the Hall and was ushered to sit up front.
After a while i was joined by a few tough looking gentlemen who were friendly and we started getting to know one another and I learned that i was in the company of the Millitary Intelligence officers as well as the Special Branch who were wondering what i was doing there in the first place. Being straight forward as i have always been I had shared everything about who I was and before long they were telling me who they were and why they were sitting at my table; I was a suspicious character. But after learning that i had just returned from being abroad for the last 24 years and that this was the first time i attended such a gathering and how i was invited to, they chilled. They were entertained by my exploits as i started telling tales of Alaska and Wisconsin and of Colombia and Quito.
Then the show began and the hall was filled to capacity and everyone who had an ax to grind against UMNO was there among the supporters as the State was then ran by PAS and was not doing any better. The DPM made his speech and after 30 minutes or so sat down and asked for questions. I thought it was going to be a short event until the first guy somewhere from the back of the Hall shouted something like, "Yo! Pa' Lah! You cannot manage the issues face by the Malays in Penang what makes you think you can do any better here in Terengganu?!" Being said in the local Malay dialect it was sharp and hit hard like a brick which sent the heads of all the three ministers sitting on the stage shaking from side to side like they were being hit by a stink bomb. There was only silly grins on their faces but not one could make a comeback to this challenge and it lasted for eternity or so it felt as the whole Hall full of young adults went dead still; it was scary.
Then I felt an elbow jabbed me in my side and one of the guys leaned over and asked me to break the ice. Go up there and save your friend from your home state of Penang, he whispered. Said in a Penang dialect it had a greater impact on me. So like a fool I got up to the microphone and laid out my spill and by the time I was finished it seemed like the Hall came back to life with more people raising all kinds of issues and the gathering last till 1 a.m. in the morning. I shook the hands of the Ministers with a thank you from Idris Jusoh and my childhood friend Zainol Ariff as they left the building and later went on to win the State back from the opposition party with a vast majority of almost ninety percent. PAS rule of Terengganu came to and abrupt end.
In short i told the crowd to leave the Penang Malays and their issues out of the discussion, i said we know how to handle ourselves. Then I told the DPM why they lost the State to the opposition in the first place and it was because of lack of care and genuine concern over the lives of the people. Elected officials failed to do their jobs and the people were sick and tired of their will and deal filling their own pockets while the rest of the society lived in abject poverty. I rambled on with whatever came to my mind like i knew what i was talking about and it got their attention.
That was when i decided that i should vote and perform my civic duty seeing that i was home and planned on settling down as a Malaysian.
To be contd.

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