Friday, March 14, 2008

The day after

Its been a long while since the last blog. Why? Oh that’s for another time.

I passed by Kemasek the day after the famous 8th March 08 election. The day that all feng-shui believers will look back at in disgust and disbelief. The 8th was not ‘ong’ at all, at least not to Pak Lah and his Barisan’s men. Already, my phone is being filled with smses of jokes and gurindams, making fun of the unfortunate losers; but I m not putting them down here. You can find them easily on the web somewhere.

Despite the tsunami that swept away five states, six if Kuala Lumpur is included, Terengganu remained in Barisan’s hand. As was the Kemasek state seat . This is one place I often joked that Barisan can win even with a ‘batang nyior’ as a candidate. I was not being disrespectful. I knew how loyal the folks here were to UMNO and Barisan. I knew because my family was a firm believer in UMNO. My father was once one of the kampong stalwarts of the party, having been for years the ‘wakil calon’ for the YB and once he claimed almost to be the candidate for the party. I said was because I was not sure where the allegiance is anymore, certainly not since 98.

The traffic light junction in Kemasek (the only one) still look festive with the party flags from both sides flying in the strong wind. The blue on the upperhand, of course. It looks fun.

In my much younger day, election was fun. It was time to help cooking kanji paste to glue the posters on coconut trees, challenging one on the other side on who could go higher, hanging out at the party posts, truly bangsal wrapped in party flags, having free biscuits and tea and helping to print t-shirts and banners. The flags and banners would be much sought after, for kain sahang, and the billboard plywood for gok ayang, good till the next four years. It was way before election paraphernalia were imported from China.

Elections every time held had for us some measure of memory.

I remember the first Barisan’s rally in front of the balairaya. It was the first post Perikatan election and the kapal layar (or was it perahu layar) was replaced by the dacing. [I wonder why dacing is still used as a symbol when SI system was introduced not much later and all dacing were banned from marketplace – talk about being outdated/outmoded] Then it was against Kasim Ahmad’s parti p’ala lembu (how the people called Parti Sosialis Malaya). I remember the scathing attack on Kasim not for his socialist ideology but because of his poem ‘Tuhan Sudah Mati’

That year PAS was part of the pioneering Barisan.

In another time, even earlier, I remember how Che would quietly told us when we asked she voted kapal layar against Aki’s instruction to vote bulan bintang.

And later in another time when the young Hj Hadi helmed the rejunevated PAS I remember how Ayah Mat’s family would be avoiding us because they were pro PAS and we were all the instruments of thaghut. But that was a passing fad I believe and air dicincang takkan putus.

In 78, my father spent his time campaigning for Barisan and ended sacked from his job – such sacrifice.

In 99, I recalled how embarrassed I was because my son Amir, then about six but well into reading Harakah for his age, asked his Aki for a flag and when given an UMNO flag refused and said, ‘Amir nok d’era PAS.’ That year, under the current of reformasi, Barisan took a beating and Terengganu was lost.

My family has all left Kemasek. Most in KT with the rest scattered from KL to south of peninsula. We have become at most politically conscious yet distance from the thick of politicking. We had seen how ayah had spent the best years of his life, once putting life at the golok’s end (that’s again another story) for his party, retired and watched in disgust at the excesses of his party men. We became non political because he encouraged us to be professional and businessmen instead. That way we can help people he said, albeit in our own small way.

We passed by many more villages along the way and see flags, posters and bunting some with funny quips being slowly brought down and put to fire. The battle for seats how ridiculous it sometime seems was now over.

Elections, the many of them seems to pass just a while away.

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