Our first stop yesterday night was to stop at a curiously named mass gathering. It was named as perlancaran pertubuhan klab anak jati bukit gantang. I was wondering what it was.
It turned out to be a launching of an organisation to mobilise the locals born in Bukit Gantang. It was meant to be an organisation for the brotherhood of Bukit Gantangians. The BN candidate Ismail Safian is a local born.
It was almost 10 pm. The MC announced that the BN candidate will be coming. The gathering was mostly attended by young people in red t-shirts. I wondered if they are of voting age. One thing that was immediately noticeable, we saw more chairs than people which they were supposed to accommodate. There were probably 1000 attendees if one counts the empty chairs, lamp posts and occasional chickens.
Then suddenly, the MC announced the candidate has arrived. As if on cue, the boys and girls trooped assembling themselves to greet the BN candidate. The speakers blared out the UMNO Song.
It turned out the MC made a mistaken announcement. The candidate has not arrived yet- he was still caught up somewhere in Matang. The traffic jam was preventing him coming here on time. More about the jam later.
Moments later, the MC once gain announced- we are pleased to announce that Dato Mukhriz is here. Some puteri and youth rushed towards Mukhriz to welcome him. They didn't lose time to have their photographs taken with the usually stiffed Mukhriz. That was about the only highlight of the night at this Perlancaran Klab Anak Jati Bukit Gantang.
I know Bukit Gantang is near Taiping. It is in the state of Perak. It was made notorious by the incessant fighting between secret society members a long time ago, Ghee Hin and Hai San.
Perhaps, the anak Bukit Gantangians have actually learnt something from Perak history. They are moved to induct themselves in a secret society like sub organisation and why not call it kelab anak jati bukit gantang? In time maybe they could even rival Pekida. Maybe they thought without even 1000 attendees yesterday, they could win this Bukit Gantang Elections.
What's with the fetish about creating an organisation consisting of homogenous brownshirts? Was this meant to whip up some clannish instincts to the exclusion of others? I think this kind of organisation is sending the wrong message in this election. The UMNO national leadership is moving towards inclusiveness but the rank and file are still stuck with provincial ideas.
But then perhaps, taking a cue from the BN candidate, I may send a petition to DS Najib asking him to be the MP for Kuala Lipis instead of Pekan. He is after all not an anak jati Pekan. So when Malaysians go on behaving in this fiendish way, I am sceptical whether they have warmed up the idea of One Malaysia, Performance now, people first.
Since the launching wasn't about to start soon, we decided to make our way back to the car. A Chinese man riding a motorcycle stopped to ask. Helo kawan, sudah lama ini ceramah mula? I answered- kawan, belum start lagi. You mana mari? He answered he just came back from listening to Nik Aziz and Anwar Ibrahim. Manyak jam sana maa....
Then it dawned upon me that was the traffic jam that trapped our BN candidate.
We drove on towards Simpang passing through throngs of cars and people listening to PR ceramah. In the distance we could hear Teressa Kok holding court. Thousands of people with skullcaps and headscarves were there. At the back of our car, we saw a lorry with PAS flags hoisted on the back carriage. The people manning and holding the flags were Indians!