Bila berkempen.

A typical day in Machap during my 10 days helping the candidate in her campaign:
I wake up at 8 am to children’s rhyme playing on tv, accompanied by yang yang, ginie’s 1 year-old nephew, howling. I step gingerly over the dun candidate that is sharing the same lumpy bed in the guest/store room to bath. Luckily there’s hot water installed in this quaint kampung house. I wake her up when I’m done and we breakfasted on sponge cake and milo.

We reach the operation room at 9am, sometimes, we’d go for real breakfast at the coffee shop behind where Lian Jie steamed bread that ginie likes; once we meal there, a fellow; another breakfast customer paid for our meal. That’s the perk of being a potential YB. 😉

By 10 am, Bakar and the mat and minah rempits would have arrived. We would discuss where to round that day. I would stay in to write press invites, print leaflets or update her blog; otherwise I’d go round with her and take photographs.

We would be back at the ops room for lunch, which consist of takeaways from the Malay shop. Once when the rounding team were having lunch outside, Ah Mock, the semi blind a pek whom is the unofficial office manager, bought me Covered Rice, which look and taste something like the claypot rice here.

Other than Ah mok, we have Ah Loy, another old Chinese uncle that usually does our Photostatting and buying stuff. Kulei, an agile old man that likes to climb poles and trees to put up Ginie’s posters. These 3 musketeers never failed to be at the office from 9am to midnight.

After lunch, ginie would go out for another round of visiting constituent; I am usually her designated driver unless I’m needed to do computer work. We would walk straight into the kampung houses, kirim salam to napping makciks or pakciks. Sometimes we would be very welcomed, asked for drinks and snacks and sometimes they close the door as they see us coming. But you can always count on ginie to be amicable to people, even if u are the 100th one she has said hi, how are u to today; she’d still be up to discuss with you the reason for price hike on goods and how it affects people’s life. I usually would only be able to stand for an hour, then I’d walk back to the car and drive it to her but I’d then rest in the car until she gets tired or we are due back at the office as bakar instructed.

We would be back around 4 or 5pm. Ginie then would nap for an hour or so. I would go online while commandeering the mat rempits and uncles to put posters in plastic so we can hang it outside without fear of rain; or stapled the various leaflets in the same language together; or getting them to hailer about the ceramah venue for the night.

At 6pm, I would wake ginie up and we would go to pasar malam. Once I got to hailer in a pasar malam as they were rounding, it was quite exhilarant to be loud speaking in bm and mandarin, promoting a candidate. It was a little like sales and demonstration rolled into one, yet without fear of being hauled up by police.

Then we would break for dinner which usually would be a sponsored meal of some sort, mee goring by the next door diner to the ceramah venue or a local hakka delicacy of rice flakes mixed with green chopped up vege poured in green tea which taste quite bitter. After the first night of doing ceramah using the hailer, a kind supporter generously donated 2 amps for us to use. We also had donations of yummy chocolate biscuits and boxes of drinking water.

The ceramah is an utterly boring event of 4 or more speakers talking about the same thing – a corrupted and useless BN, promise to lower the price of goods and how better Ginie is than her rival. It is usually just a stage to see who can speak better. Ginie, as the candidate is usually saved till last to speak, which I find, is the reason she has less intelligent points to speak of as everyone else has already mentioned them. But she still tries to make a good show of it and her multi lingual usage of BM and Mandarin is pretty impressive.

We would finish the ceramah at 11ish, go back to ops room to evaluate or discuss tomorrow’s plan or we would supper while discussing or if it’s really late, we would all head home to bed. Again, I’m very thankful for the hot water system.

That was pretty much the 10days of my life while assisting genie in her campaign. I was amazed I survived 10 days of doing the same thing over and over. Although I had learn quite a few things it would not be something I would choose to do again. i believe that meaningful activities can be creative and exciting; that is the way I learnt and work best and is the way to get people to enjoy engaging. When we love doing something, it shows, and then people would also enjoy being a part of it. How does one make election campaign exciting? Well, I think Mak Bedah has definitely showed folks how to do that in style. 🙂


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