Thursday, July 30, 2015

Politics and politicians are not my cup of tea.

In 1998 when I first arrived back into the country my wife and i were employed in the East Coast State of Terengganu where she was a lecturer at a local college, KUSZA and i was employed as a health and safety officer at the Petronas construction site where the present refineries stands in Kerteh, Terengganu and later in Gebeng, Pahang. We were new to the life and the people and were either accepted with lots of tolerance and understanding or repelled with disdain and often cold shoulders by the society especially my immediate family. But we managed to survive even if our lifestyle did not met up with the expectations of the locals. I felt more oppressed living then in my own country than having lived for three years in Japan and 21 years in the USA. I often felt regret for having made to move to return and could never forgive myself for dragging my wife and children 'home'.
That was water under the bridge and today i only look back so as to be able to make some sense in what had happened and why, in order that I will find some answers to justify myself if not see how I had gone wrong. It was in 1998 that the former Deputy Prime Minister, Dato' Sri Anwar Ibrahim came to Kuala Terengganu to give a speech at a gathering which was held at a residence along the beach at Batu Buruk as they could not secure a better place for him. The DPM was then making his roadshow trying to garner support for his 'Reformasi' movement which the government had deemed illegal.and he was being sacked accused of sodomy among other things. (It is all in the Internet if one is interested.). I decided to attend the the gathering out of curiosity as i have never heard him speak nor had ever attended any kind of political rally in my adult life anywhere. 
So there I was sitting on top of someone's concrete pillar of a gate listening and getting caught up with his fiery oratory, I was way up front and exposed but did not think much of it then. After the rally i even got to shake the man's hand while he was being driven away in an open top vehicle. I have read his book while living in Japan and donated the book along with Dr, Mahathir's to the Sendai International Center's Library. The Asian Renaissance I think it was or something like that and i was very impressed by his mind, hence one of the reason why I was curious to see the guy up close. I had also written to him from Sendai volunteering my services to clean the Sungai Pinang River in Georgetown, Penang, I was asking for his blessings and support as he was also from Penang. He had his secretary replied me but insisted that the reply came from the Chief Minister of Penang at the time and had a carbon copy sent to him. I was impressed that he took the trouble at all. Looking him in the eyes up close while shaking his hand I felt like i knew him and could trust the man if push comes to shove. I was not shaking the hand of a tomb stone or zombie; he had fire in him.
Later in the evening upon my return home i got calls from my brother and sisters asking why i had exposed myself at the rally getting my twin brother into all kinds of trouble with his bosses!I did not realize that my face was on TV in the Evening News, and this added to the already strained relationship i had with my siblings. It was the closest i had come to being involved in a political rally and all for the wrong reasons. I felt bad for my twin getting the flack for my 'mistake' but what to do?

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