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