Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Get Ready!

Never mind when the general election is, just get ready to go out and VOTE.
It is anytime soon and I am all ready.

Are you?

This will be the first general election I am NOT covering as a journalist (with a mainstream media).
The first GE I covered was in 1982 when Dr Mahathir Mohamad had just taken over from Hussein Onn as Prime Minister and Musa Hitam, was his deputy.

Together, Dr M and Musa was dubbed the Two Ms and they traversed and toured the country expounding and exhorting the slogan the BN coined -- "bersih, cekap dan amanah".

That was a household slogan.

When Dr Mahathir announced the date of the GE that year, I was assigned to Alor Star where Dr Mahathir was campaigning.

I was, of course, a little nervous. Kedah was pretty alien to me. Strange it may seem for anyone in this day where a foreign country is just a click away, but Kedah was to me a faraway place where people spoke differently, ate different food and where even the currency was foreign.

I had lived in Petaling Jaya for some 23 years and the only northern state I had been to was Penang (in the north).

Okay, so I had been to the United Kingdom and had studied in the US but I had not been to Kedah.

I went to Penang as a child some time in 1962 or '63 to visit Mak Busu (my mum's youngest sister) and her husband Ayah Chu who was sent to the island to assume a post at the Penang Port Commission.

All I remember was that people there had a strange accent.

Of course, I knew many Kedahans-- at ITM (my room-mate, Naimah, was from Kedah) and at work.

But, I had never been to Kedah.

By the time I got to Alor Star, I was fine. My senior colleague, Zainon Ahmad (Pak Non) was already there, having been assigned the more important task of assessing the situation.
There were also my colleagues Farush Khan (then the state correspondent) and Balan Moses who was the NST journalist in Alor Star.

With me from KL were Kadir Jasin (then associate editor of Business Times) and Nazri Abdullah who was Berita Harian journalist.

So, I was really in good company. Thanks to all of them, my assignment was a lot of learning and very gratifying.
And yes, I learnt to use "kupang".
It was a good experience.

And that seems like just yesterday.

So today, I am just waiting for the announcement on when I can go to Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sultan Abdul Samad in Section 11, Petaling Jaya.

There will a booth with a ballot box waiting for me!


Anonymous said...

Feel good aside, as Pak Lah rightly observed, we the discerning voters demand acceptable faces to be our MP or ADUN.

Pi Bani said...

Yes, am ready to vote. Despite being someone who hates politics and politicking, I never failed to exercise my rights to vote ever since I was entitled to vote.

And oh, been using kupang since I can't even remember when... foreign currency to you, huh?

Anonymous said...

The first time I voted in this country (first time I voted was in England), was in April 1995. Two days before polling, I was struck by an asthma attack and warded in Assunta Hospital.

My physician, Dato' Dr. Joseph Ong came and did his ward rounds that Sunday morning. He checked me and said,

"Young man, I will give you two hours leave and I want you to go and vote.

I trust you will do the right thing and vote the right people".

So I did. My father picked me up and went straight to SK Damansara Utama, to find out that my polling station is in SM Sea Park.

Later I found out that SPR "screwed up" my address, and I had to vote in DUN Taman Aman (instead of Damansara Utama) alhough I live in SS 21. That means, in SPR, my record is lsited as Sect 21.

Until present day, SPR have yet to rectify my records. But its okay, it is still the same parlimentary const.

Anyway, later I found out that Dr. Ong was in support of MCA. In Apr 1995, was the first time MCA wrestled PJ Utara from DAP. Ir. Vincent Lim was the first MCA MP for PJ Utara.

Whether I did "the right thing" or not (in Dr. Ong's eyes), I would not know (we never discuss politics ). However, MCA have held the PJ Utara seat since then.

Anonymous said...

The right to vote is also a right not to vote. When you are choosing from the devil and the deep blue sea, well.. you have a third choice.Just stay home and be a spectator to the circus.
I will be expecting many critics for this ,but I do beleive I belong to the real silent majority...

Anonymous said... have been doing quite a bit of that lately. It's good for the soul though.

I hope you use your vote well.
Take care.

ravi said...

Well, being someone too young to vote it should be fun or rather I say comical to see this election coming, with more dirt on all sides of competition on the whole.

zaitgha said...

not officially announced yet the date but here in Seremban i felt that the voting would be only next week ha ha ha...Najib is doing Lawatan kerja here from the what the many banners hanging on every lamp post here said la....and together with UMNO flags and the dacing flags all around Seremban...sheeesshhh what a waste of RM....

btw...i am ready whenever it is..

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