[Updated with more photos] A lawyer chronicles her adventures as a political campaigner for Parti Keadilan Rakyat in the upcoming Hulu-Selangor by-election. With 2 days to election day, she goes ceramah hunting and ends up trying to suss out the competition’s campaign strategy, with puzzling results.
(Day 4): Restless & Ruminating (LB Note: Link updated – 2.00p.m. Apr 23, 2010)
Day 7: What Strategy!?
Only 2 days to go and supporters are still out putting up Pakatan flags. As I walked along the narrow and busy road of Hulu Yam Bharu, a four-wheeled drive drove past playing the Keadilan theme song. The momentum has not worn out yet despite the heavy campaigning over the past few days.
I was on a mission today. I wanted to visit a Barisan ceramah. Since I’ve never been to one, maybe I could be convinced by them. Maybe. Anyway, I got news that there was a Barisan and a Pakatan ceramah held side by side in Hulu Yam Bharu. The Barisan ceramah looked like a small one; they had about 50 chairs – unoccupied. I was hoping that they had not started, which was unlikely as I reached at 10.30p.m. One of the persons at the Barisan tent, Kanapathi (not his real name) told us that another Barisan ceramah was around the corner and pointed in the direction of the Pakatan ceramah.
We went hunting for it and could not find it. We went back to the Barisan tent, wanting to ask further. Murugan (not his real name) who was stacking the plastic chairs told us that the Barisan ceramahs do not usually go past 10.00p.m. He said that Pakatan wants to win, when we pointed out that Pakatan ceramahs goes on until late. We were about to leave, when Murugan said to go to the Pakatan ceramah instead and he said he was a Pakatan supporter but was only here to stack up chairs because he was paid. He is a local and said he will be voting for Zaid Ibrahim this coming Sunday. What was more amusing is that immediately after he was done with his work, he rode his motorcycle and shouted: “Reformasi!”
The Pakatan ceramah was going strong. The speakers were using Malay and Mandarin interchangeably trying to address the racially mixed crowd. I estimate that 400 people were there and most were standing. The speaker was fired up calling the people to make the right choice and vote for Zaid.
Disappointed, thinking: “Seriously, Barisan does not want to do any campaigning?” Apart from the news I read, all I see of their campaign is motorcyclists holding the Barisan flag doing the “mat rempit” style all over town. They had told us that MCA has not come to give any ceramahs. Why isn’t Barisan Nasional giving ceramahs? The suspense of the outcome this Sunday is killing me.
LoyarBurok Note: Read more from Eunice at her blog.