Saturday, 28 April 2018

Nomination day, GE14

Me with Steven Sim
Nomination day today for the 14th General Election in Malaysia. Had taken a decision yesterday to locate and support my local candidates-to-be when they walk to the nomination centre at the Jit Sin High School in Bukit Mertajam.

Steven Sim with his aunties....erm, I mean, supporters.
Chong Eng, the incumbent for the Padang Lalang state constituency arrived a few minutes after me and went around to greet the Pakatan Harapan supporters. "Remember me?" I asked her. We had met at the Red Rock Hotel on the island last December when she opened the Penang Heritage City chess competition. I had mentioned then that, like her, I was a "BM lang". Not that I was a true born-and-bred BM lang but one transplanted from the island a long time ago due to circumstances.

Steven Sim Chee Keong, incumbent candidate for the Bukit Mertajam parliament seat, was the next to arrive. "Hey, Quah, sorry I couldn't reply you on facebook. Very busy nowadays," he greeted me. Never mind, lah, I'm here anyway. I managed to find the information I wanted.

Lee Khai Loon (Machang Bubuk), Steven Sim (Bukit Mertajam),
Chong Eng (Padang Lalang) and Heng Lee Lee (Berapit)
Soon later, the new hopeful for the Berapit state seat, Heng Lee Lee, arrived. First time seeing her in person, of course. Almost didn't know who that lady was. And a short while later, car horns honking loudly, Lee Khai Loon, who is defending his Machang Bubok state seat, arrived too.

The quartet having gotten themselves ready, the walk towards to nomination centre started. Around the corner we went and there we were, at the barricade set up by the Police. The Press went busy to work with their cameras. We supporters followed suit. Then the Police opened the barricade slightly to allow the quartet through together with their proposers and seconders.

A question of the Press going overboard with taking pictures?
All of us that remained behind had to wait where we were, under a sun that was getting hotter as the morning progressed. Eventually we were forced to retreat to the shades to wait for the emergence of the candidates from all the political parties who were admitted into the nomination centre.

From where we stood, I could see the supporters of the rival political parties assembled at the far distant end of the road. From a distance, there were the Barisan Nasional supporters, the Party Islam supporters, the Party Rakyat Malaysia supporters.

Seeking respite from the blazing sun
And that's how I spent my morning today. Mostly in the company of strangers. Almost all unknown to me but connected through a common bond to see our political party win in the General Election.

But it was strange that I did not see any of my friends there. Friends who had supported the same candidates five years ago. Friends who had turned up at the nomination centre then. All absent today. I wonder what's up? I wonder why?

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