Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tuesdays With Bapak

In Opposition "Country" -- Tuesday, March 11 2008

I had been covering the country's general election since 1982 as a journalist with the NST. This GE was the first I was observing and monitoring as "an outsider".

My first GE (in 1982), I was sent to Kedah where Dr Mahathir Mohamad was campaigning for the first time after becoming Prime Minister.
He was promoting the Barisan Nasional's "bersih, cekap, amanah" slogan.

Of course, I was a little nervous. And Kedah was pretty foreign to me. I'd been to the US, Europe and back but had never been to Kedah.

Those days, I'd often turn to Bapak for tips on what to look for in a political story. And he'd offer me his analyses of the situation and his "prediction" of the outcome.
In every general election, until this year's, of course.

On Sunday -- the morning after, Nina told Bapak that Parti Keadilan Rakyat had taken over Selangor.

Here's her report:

Nina: Bapak, the Opposition now rules Selangor.

Bapak: Yah kah? Siapa?

Nina: Yang banyak seats PKR.

Bapak: PKR?

Nina: Parti Anwar...it was called Keadilan dulu.

Bapak: Yah-kah? Barisan? Aaah...Well, you cannot be arrogant....

Nina: Mmm...I suppose.

Bapak: What about Kelantan?

Nina: Still with Pas.

Bapak: (Smile and grin).. They (BN) can't win Kelantan unless they think like the Kelantanese......

When Bapak was a journalist covering elections in the 60s and 70s, he'd be away from home for days.
I learnt later that he was travelling across the country, going down to the ground, meeting his contacts, and talking to constituents in the kampungs and towns
to write his analyses and articles.

This time, I did not want to trouble him with "election talk". I did not ask him for his "prediction".
I suppose I did not have to.


Pak Tuo said...

Salam Sis,

Pleased asked your ayahanda(my mentor) if he remembers a Singapore Police(SB) by the name of Insp.Idris Abdullah.
Love to have both sitting down to do the jotting for future reference.
He is in his 68 and aging now.and wishes to settle the past once and for all.
Pleased Sis.

a malaysian in riyadh said...

Sis Ena
Concur with Bapak on the essential requirement to win over the Kelantanese voters. The Pade Doh campaign was like kail panjang sejengkal. And this was immediately followed with another No-No soundbite Tahun Merawat Kelantan. Both of these uncouth statements "Pade Doh" and "Tahun Merawat Kelantan" clearly rubbed the Kelantanese the wrong way, Methinks.

Maimun Yusuf said...

" Bapak: (Smile and grin).. They (BN) can't wrest Kelantan unless they think like the Kelantanese...... "

Indeed, your Bapak is a wise guy.

If you chose to extend the conversation, we would have said,

" for you to fairly understand or write about the Kelantanese, you too should think like the Kelantanese ! "

bailey said...

i went to terengganu to cover the election kak Ena. and i was nervous like hell.

i learned so much about politics kak ena.

bailey said...

i wish i had someone like Pak Samad to guide me kak Ena. i got lost often.

abdul rahim said...

Nationally or personally, I don't know of anyone who rightly predict the outcome of this election. I really wonder what makes this election really hard to predict. Maybe this is because of the efforts of the local political movement on the ground which have become very influential, thus make the outcome harder to predict, rather than what we see as national issues or any contesting party's image. Shockingly the party's identification became irrelevant especially in the case of opposition parties, and people vote them in wave.

fenway said...

Nina: Parti Anwar...it was called Keadilan before.

Bapak: Aah...bagus lah. You cannot be arrogant....

Bapak: (Smile and grin).. They (BN) can't wrest Kelantan unless they think like the Kelantanese......

Wow, respect, respect, respect for your father. In such short statements, his wisdom of truths said it all.

And yet, BN wants to engage an independant body to post-mortem their loss. Lol.

Dharan Sea said...

Salam Nuraina,
I'm hungry for more on this week TWB... but I understand you've been busy these couple of weeks... looking forward to more in the coming weeks?

warrior2 said...

There is no govt formed yet in Selangor (as far as I am aware as at 830 am this mornign).

If the govt is formed from the parties that won the majority of the seats , it will not be a PKR govt. It will be a coalition of pkr, pas and dap govt.

Anonymous said...

Do know why people went against BN in the GE12?

To me because people don't think like Abdullah Badawi.

Hi&Lo said...


Wonderful to hear Bapak as sharp as ever.

Heartening to note, he is on the side of truth and justice. Political parties are not worth put on the pedestal. We must not be coloured by prejudice or support certain politicians blindly.

Political writers in MSM during the recent campaign failed to report as it was on the ground. It goes without a doubt many of them are mercenaries.

You keep well.

Sean E said...

If you want to have a better future for our children in Malaysia, do you part by signing the on-line petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/RCER2008/petition.html

This is one of the way (non-violence) to bring our message to the Government. Don’t just sit there, stand up and be counted!

Why do we need to reform the Election Commission?

1) Gerrymandering. The discrepancy between number of voters in voting areas is too great. The smallest parliamentary seat (Federal Territory, Putrajaya) has only 6,608 voters while the parliamentary seat for Kapar in Selangor has 112,224 voters. What this means is that one vote in the Putrajaya parliamentary constituency is equivalent to 17 votes in the Kapar constituency.

2) Phantom voters. A common tactic is to ‘buy’ the identity card of the voters. Party members from the ruling parties will then vote on the voters’ behalf. Random checking of a person’s identity must be conducted using those finger print checking device (like the bank use). Any voting done on another person’s identity must be made a serious offence under the election law.

3) Postal votes. The rules on postal voting must be reviewed, tightened and amended. The current rule favours the ruling party as the armed forces personnel and policemen who vote by ‘postal voting’ would obviously not jeopardize their career or promotion prospect by voting for the opposition. Voting under postal voting is not secret as it is under the watchful eyes of the senior officers.


Lim Guan Eng sepatutnya lebih berhati-hati bila mengeluarkan kenyataan. Tersalah cakap buruk padahnya. Silap-silap kerajaan DAP di Penang hanya sempat bertahan tak sampai 3 bulan. Tolong jaga sikit perasaan hati kaum Pribumi Melayu Islam. Agaknya beliau terlupa bahawa kemenangan besar DAP di Pulau Pinang adalah hasil undi daripada semua kaum, termasuklah melayu. Jadi beliau tidak seharusnya bermegah diri mendabik dada dengan beranggapan bahawa itu adalah kemenangan mutlak untuk Democratic Action Party (DAP) yang terkenal dengan konsep slogan ‘Malaysian Malaysia’.

Sila baca artikel seterusnya di:



mH said...


It is so true when Bapak said yeah they cannot be arrogant. It is so precise to sum up in a few words on the main reason why BN had loss.

But then again in this manner the party cannot be at fault because the party is just a party without any attitude. The leaders of the party should be at fault for thinking that they do know better than the rakyat and they know what best for the rakyat, which of course is a total bull manure!

I just wish sometimes they should listen more than talking & perhaps they should follow what the elders always say - that is ... always listen to the elders!



donplaypuks said...

Dear Nuraina

A bit long, but while we're at it, let's ask the EC Chief, in the interest of truth and justice the following questions, as well:-

1. Was the order ever placed to purchase 48,000 bottles of indelible ink from India at the cost of RM 2.4 million?

2. Was the ink delivered before the elections? Please provide documentary evidence such as Purchase Order, Invoice, Customs Declaration and Import documents, Delivery Order from supplier etc.

3. Please provide the names, occupation and IC Number of the person(s) who made police reports that indelible ink had been smuggled in (and from where was it smuggled so quickly). Please provide copies of the relevant Police Report(s).

4. Please explain rationally and in detail, how national security could have been imperilled and compromised, and electoral fraud committed, had indelible ink been used, Weren’t your officers out there by the thousands to prevent just that from occurring?

5. Please explain why your legal officer(s) had not addressed the issue of Constitutional amendment , or sought the AG’s opinion on such an important issue, much earlier.? Please identify and name the derelict and delinquent legal officer so that he/she can be reprimanded as provided for by the SOP.

6. How is possible that after 30 years of your tenure, we have some 8-9 thousand registered voters age 120 and over on the Electoral Roll? What do you intend to do about this now?

7. How is that they were reports (as shown on national TV) of phantom voters and also duplicate registration of army personnel?

8. Why is it that after 30 years, it is still not possible for those residing outstation to vote by post, instead of actually having to travel back to their home-towns to do so - a rather expensive and inconvenient process you agree?

9. Why is that after 30 years, it is not possible for those eligible citizens studying, working or who have travelled, overseas, at the time of Elections, to vote at the respective Embassies, High or Trade Commission offices overseas?

Please do not insult our intelligent by announcing, like a (in) famous, now defunct MB, that our standards are higher than those in New Zealand, Belgium and other leading western cities and countries.

If you feel that you do not owe the citizens of this country a proper and detailed explanation to the foregoing questions, then please tender your resignation to the Government forthwith!


Kerp (Ph.D) said...

eh, and that kery fella will use that tip given by bapak for their GE13's 'pade Doh!' campaign to try and wrest Kelantan for the umphteenth times...hehehehe.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nuraina,

I was trying to put comments at RPK's blogspot but was not successful so I decided to leave my comments on your blogspot and would appreciate if you can share this with Rockybru and RPK.

To all the Esteemed Bloggers

All of you must be singularly congratulated for making history in the recent outcome of GE12. If not for the bloggers, so much would have hidden away from the general masses. But YOU must NOT stop your work just yet as they say "Hit the iron when it is hot". I want to put forward 2 suggestions:-

That must be the new call that we are all Malaysians, period. Don't let anyone divide us into Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Taoist, Buddhist etc etc. Religion is personal and it is between the Maker and me and we do not need that state to dictate terms on such issues. Henceforth, we all must behave like Malaysians, think like Malaysians, work together as Malaysians and move forward in this world like Malaysians. I had always in the past and now have also said this to all and sundry whenever me asked all over the world "Who am I? Am I from India",with utmost pride, I've always said "I am a Malaysian first and an Indian second". This is an opportune time for us to forge and move forward as Malaysians. If we lose this opportunity, forever we will never get it back.

2.Our Royalty-The Public Conscience
We need to show our Royal Rulers that they are the public conscience at all times. They are the only ones we have to assist us to "correct when things go wrong" in the way the goverments act, behaves and conduct themselves. We in return must show our love to the Royal Rulers. Though I am a Malaysian working in Bangkok, it is with pride that I wear my YELLOW T-SHIRT every Monday, that's the day the King was born, joining millions of Thais who wear yellow every Monday. I've noticed that both RPK and Rockybru have requested people to wear Yellow every Saturday, let's start a campaign to get every single Malaysian to wear YELLOW every Saturday to show our love and respect for our Royal Rulers as they uphold the rule of law and as holders of "Public Conscience". As millions of Malaysians, irrespective of race and religion, start this movement of wearing YELLOW in honour of Royal Rulers, our politicians will always be wary that we do have another branch to hold on just in case if they tried to something against the people.

With you Bloggers at the leadership in terms of disseminating and changing the political landscape during the recent election of GE12, now it is time that you move to the next level. As your fellow citizens, I stand up and salute the excellent work that you're performing and will continue to perform and if there is a vote for "Malaysian of the Year" for 2008, I am sure all you bloggers will win it hands down.

Nuraina, I will leave the above in your good hands and I am sure you will do something about it.

Many thanks and kind regards


mutalib saifuddin said...


yes, your bapak was right. they can't be complacent/arrogant anymore. the rakyat has spoken through their votes.

and i suppose you and your Bapak covered the election news without any 'berat sebelah'. i've read yours.

in just few words, it has a DEEP meaning, on "Aah...bagus lah. You cannot be arrogant....".

prediction? me so too, but i think the prediction in his mind soon after your sis told him that!


pak tuo: I will...

aMiR: i think Umno was over-confident...they misread and misunderstood,,,

maimun: Yay!

bailey: i'm glad you learnt..and you know, there are many veteran journalists who are only too willing to show you the ropes, bailey.
take care, my dear.

abdul rahim : it seemed that way.

fenway; the thing is...it is something so obvious, isn't it.

warrior2: you are right.. actually, i simplified the dialogue. i have corrected it since.

anon@12:08Pm: that seemed to be the case.

dhahran: alamak..so sorry.

hi&lo: thank u, my friend. thank u.

MH: i know what you mean,.

kerp: haha....

mutalib: thanks for visiting..