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Kampung Pictures Tale in Ten Sedia Gempur or Reformasi?
Sedia Gempur or Reformasi? PDF Print E-mail
Written by straits-mongrel   
Sunday, 04 October 2009 02:34

The skies were a threatening grey by 8 o'clock. It would surely be a matter of minutes before the rain poured. In the backdrop of the numerous pondok panas set up at the Barisan Nasional's gathering point, the Port Dickson sea was etching dark and gloomy lines. But inside the pondok, a different sentiment permeated. Panas indeed.

 

Overheard: "Today, we change the story. No way dia boleh menang 8-0 (in the peninsula)."

 

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Yesterday was Nomination Day for the Bagan Pinang By-election. Barisan Nasional - which runs the Negri Sembilan state government - was in earnest mood to show that the coalition has been retooled, recalibrated, and ready to rumble.


It displayed the character which is now so familiar to the people of this country - yesterday, the weather notwithstanding, the ruling party flexed its machinery.

 

Thousands of BN supporters showed up in a display of might and organisation. Many were ferried in by buses. They came clad in crisp uniforms, and bore proud flags. And true to the microcosm of real-life Malaysia, they grouped together in clusters either in their respective component parties or ethnicity. There was Umno in darah red, MIC in vermillion, IPF in its star-imprinted shirts, Puteris in pink and many more.

 

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They were given the hill where the main access leads to the Majlis Perbandaran Port Dickson, venue for the day's nominations. Here they held ground like a citadel.

 

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Make no mistake. After a few lacklustre performances in recent by-elections, the BN brigade is back. Lording from atop of the hill, smartly attired, each cluster would run its own cheer or jeer.

 

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Below on the flatlands, the challenger would emerge. Just before 8.30am, an emerald wave flooded the tarmac and made its way towards the nomination centre, its broad line a simple unbroken formation. The PAS line was diverted to a side entrance of the venue via a neighborhood street.

 

The police preferred if the twain didn't meet.

 

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On the ground, the contrast was clear: fewer uniforms, civilians in all kinds of street attire, woven rather than clustered by groups or ethnicity, but no less spirited. It was the march of the Common.

 

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The rains fell hard even before the leading line could reach the centre. But the spirit would not be broken. The thousands continued their march to the gates. Umbrellas of course became a hot-selling item for the temporary stalls by the roadside.

 

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There were the usual dramatics - chants, slogans, speeches - that have become the staple for elections in general. Deep in the crowd of supporters, the mysterious death of a fallen comrade was once again resuscitated.

 

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Much as the authorities tried, the twain did meet somewhere along an overlooked footpath. Thankfully, no blows were exchanged (there was self-control amidst the hot air) and the police managed to calm down the two parties.

 

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It didn't stop a curious onlooker from catching mementos of the event.


By late morning, the Elections Commission's returning officer officially announced that only two candidates would be contesting in the Bagan Pinang state seat - BN's Mohd Isa Abdul Samad and PAS' Zulkefly Omar.


A third person, Shahruddin Abdul Wahab, who had announced his intention to stand, could not submit his papers as his proposer is not a voter in the Bagan Pinang state constituency.


Media reports have indicated that Isa, who is an Umno strongman, would be very difficult to stop. Although surrounded by controversy, the former Mentri Besar is tipped to "walkover" his PAS opponent and arrest the string of consecutive losses by BN. The constituency has 14,000 registered voters of which about 4,600 are postal voters. Voting day is Oct 11.

 

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Given that scenario, can PAS play the David against an energised Goliath? The answer, when it comes at dusk on Sunday, will mark a major turning point for the eventual winner.

 

For the good of the country, we only ask for a clean contest.


 


Pictures / Nandakumar Haridas and Suatu Ketika

 

Comments
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BennyG |2009-10-05 08:45:41
A picture tells a thousand words.

BN crowd are a paid crowd.
:P

:P


Hisham  - Mr |2009-10-05 09:57:40
The picture of PAS supporter in robe holding TBH poster - WOW... that is very dramatic... For me... faith, religions or race does not count when it comes to the matter of murder and corruption... the only option we got is to get away from it... say NO to UMNO-BN
Antares  - Excellent pictorial |2009-10-05 21:00:45
Thanks for the vivid photo essay, Nanda and SK! It's INCOMPREHENSIBLE to me how ANYBODY can possibly continue voting Umno/BN for ANYTHING! Talk about DENSE...
 

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