Lings My Name is Singh puts on his Penangite hat and gives us the low-down on Penangites’ love-hate relationship with their homegrown party, Gerakan.
I was at Line Clear Nasi Kandar, having my nasi with juicy ayam goreng masala, blanched bendi, papadoms on the side with the best curry ever and a cup of teh tarik kurang manis while this uncle at the next table was singing Ji Ba Pan. No, that is not a curse word, although we use plenty of those daily.
You see people, I’m a Penangite, and we Penangites find so much bliss in eating delicious foods. We love Penang – the smell of the beach, the warm weather, the history, the big beautiful green trees, the unique people, the culture, and just about every single thing about Penang!
We are very nostalgic people. We like memories. We like to eat and talk, mostly al-fresco. We are simple people and we take great pride in being Penangites. Ever noticed how people from Penang always say “I’m from Penang” with a certain sense of confidence and pride? Yes, most of us do think being Penangite is so cool and so special. In Penang, as long as you can curse in Hokkien, we are brothers. I know, how crude right? But that’s the case for many of us, cursing has become a habit and soon to be culture.
We are straight forward people. We tak pandai pusing-pusing – if we think you stupid we say you are stupid, or mangkuk, and if your worse than that its mangkuk hayun. I’m used to hearing “Ask him go die la” so many times that it is simply a phrase to express disappointment. People here can be very harsh with their language, but that doesn’t mean they are rude or anything, it’s usually only between close friends. Ironic, isn’t it? We use curse words to a certain degree to portray closeness.
On my table was a copy of GERAKAN Matters – Apa Anak Malaysia Mahu?, the official newsletter of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia. Why on earth is Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia not in Pakatan Rakyat? This is probably because they are not listening to the rakyat.
I think I share the sentiments of the younger generation of Penangites with regards to Gerakan. I flipped through the pages of that zine, I saw the spirit of Penang encompassed in it. It contained articles written in or translated into Malay, Chinese and Tamil; okay, maybe just a little bit of Tamil.
So why did they loose big? Simple, because they refused to listen.
We love Gerakan, oh yes, the whole idea of it. The founding father, the principles, the ideology, the opposition voice in the Barisan Nasional, our homegrown Party – our pride! But they have failed us. Failed us by compromising too much, failed us for not opposing when they should, failed us by remaining silent. However, as I have said, we are sentimental a people and our love is true.
So if anybody from Gerakan is reading this, then hear this; we love Gerakan, oh yes we do! We are Penangites, we could even sweep DAP out the next election if we want to, so listen and listen well.
Just leave the coalition! Repent already! We are ever willing to forgive you and only you, so please join us, the Rakyat. Listen to us, we are asking you to leave Barisan Nasional, just leave. We are not asking you to join Pakatan but we are asking you to join the Rakyat! Well, you can join Pakatan if you want to, but leave Barisan Nasional; this is the will of Penangites! Listen to us, not UMNO, not the Prime Minister, not Khoo Tsu Koon, but us the younger generation.
Yeah, we do like our current Chief Minister, and I am sure he is going to be around for a while, as long as he doesn’t play us off. Nice guy la, but not so authentic, I mean we are proud of a person who holds true to good values, but we wished we had a Penangite like him. Not so important but we wished lah… it’s a state nationalism kinda thing. As things are now, Gerakan would most probably disappear soon if they don’t listen to Penangites. They should, because we love them, we want them out of Barisan Nasional. We don’t promise them the state, but we would like to see them as strong and wise oppositions.
Gerakan needs no rejuvenation plans; it just needs to leave Barisan Nasional, now. That is all, we are ever willing to forgive you, we want you back, do not disappoint us. I believe this is your last call, if you do not leave now I guess you have betrayed us for the last time. By the way, Line Clear Nasi Kandar, damn nice la wei!