A lawyer chronicles her adventures as a political campaigner for Parti Keadilan Rakyat in the upcoming Hulu-Selangor by-election.

(Day 1): Armour, Shield, & Sword

(Day 2): Nomination Day

Day 3: On the Ground

By-elections are very tiring. I cannot imagine the general elections! I reached Batang Kali at about 3.30p.m. today. I brought a friend along today; he was my driver for the day.

As I entered Hulu Yam, I was welcomed by Keadilan flags which I did not see last night. I can’t help but feel a sense of pride when I saw that there were significantly less Barisan flags than ours. (Of course, just in that area at that time)

I started my day helping with the flags. They used used bamboo poles to hold up the flags. Recycled from the last elections, I assume. The bamboo poles were dusty and dirty. We worked at a playground opposite our station. By the time we were done, my hands and jeans were dusty and dirty too. I remember putting up flags at Gombak last Hari Raya, and we worked until nearly 2.00a.m. then. It was painfully tiring. Nonetheless, my support for the party surpasses these curable, necessary, pains. I’m a fan girl and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

Zaki, Bob, Zali and Vern preparing the flags
Zaki, Bob, Zali and Vern preparing the flags

Next, we headed out to distribute fliers for the ceramah at night. There was a carnival nearby set up by Pakatan Rakyat, called “Karnival Rakyat.” Then, the rain pooped our party, resulting in very few people walking into the carnival and us having to just leave our flyers with the stall owners. I was hoping to catch a local to speak to.

More of our flags!
More of our flags!

The thing about helping with the flags and giving out flyers is it’s not personal enough. I want to know what the locals think. I made a mental note to speak to at least 2-3 locals today, which I did! I have to say, it is difficult speaking at random to strangers; I’ve got a shy streak which surfaces when I least need it. Annoying. Anyhow, we went to Kuala Kubu Bahru for dinner. I caught the Chinese lady who served us and asked her, who she’d vote for? She seemed reluctant and said that, she’ll see when the day comes. What would you read of that? Sidebar – the food was great and cheap! We had mantis prawns, pork ribs, and vegetables for two and the bill came up to just RM20.50.

We visited my friend’s grandmother and when asked, she told me that it has been a habit of hers throughout all these years to vote for Barisan, but she does not know who P. Kamalanathan is. And I’m told her idol is Chua Soi Lek.

When we gave out fliers later that night, I walked to petrol stations and also the Malay shops to give them out. One asked, “Siapa ni?” to which I answered with the best smile I could give, “Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, undilah dia ok?” “Oh! Ok ok…”

And when I gave them out to other people, I received mostly welcomed responses. I really do hope it is because they will vote for Zaid, and not because of anything else (if you know what I mean).

We stopped at a Chinese shop then for a drink, during the ceramah. The owner came and asked if we were reporters and when we told him whowe were, he said in Cantonese that there would not be many people tonight because Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim is not here today (He is at Sibu, by the way). When probed further, he spoke with admiration of DSAI. He said that he likes the stories DSAI tells and it is funny. He added that he would have gone and listened to the ongoing ceramahs, but he would not understand it because his Bahasa Malaysia is not very good.

Cikgu Faris taking his time in persuading the people to vote for Pakatan.
Cikgu Faris taking his time in persuading the people to vote for Pakatan.

The ceramah we had at night was a ceramah kelompok, which means it is catered for a small group of people. When it started only a handful showed up. The tent was small and the rain from the evening had yet to subside.

After the second speaker, the numbers of the people increased. And since, there were not enough chair, they were standing under the drizzle listening to YB Amiruddin Shaari and also Cikgu Faris – rather attentively, I’d say.

Am I more confident now that we will win? I doubt I have changed my opinion since the last I expressed my thoughts on it. Then again, my job is to do my best and hope for the best.

HS Diary3_4
The crowd getting larger as the rain subsided.

LoyarBurok Note: Read more from Eunice at her blog.

16 replies on “Eunice’s Hulu Selangor Diary (Day 3): On the Ground”

  1. thank you for working so hard, on behalf of others who can only be there in spirit.

    I like Zaid, but personally I think the culture of letting the central leadership choose the candidate instead of consulting with the local people is totally undemocratic. Did all/majority of the HS PKR local members choose Zaid or did Anwar/Azmin/Azizah put Zaid there? (I am one of those ppl who rooted for Khalid jaafar who lives near HS, although he hails from Melaka)

  2. From past by-election experiences, we know that the people who live in semi-urban or rural areas are more concerned with how to bring food back to their table.

    While issues of national concern are good to know, in the end the people of Hulu Selangor wants to know what will their MP do for them in the short term & long term to ensure that their lives will improve for the better. This is the bottom line.

    For one the MP could start with improving the street lighting as per your observation to make the place look more vibrant rather than the present sleepy hollow that indirectly affects perception and business like insects drawn to the lights.

    I wish you and your team good luck in your endeavors to promote PR in HS and keep the spirits high as it rubs off your team members.

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity . . .

  3. Eunice,

    Here are some tips that could swing the voters to the winning party:

    To make the ’sin’ of drinking alcohol an election issue in Hulu Selangor is a major mistake of UMNO/their proxy bloggers. PKR should learn how to ride on this potential backlsh.

    1. A large % of Indians have no problems with drinking a beer or two.

    2. While Christians generally avoid alcohol, they will sympathise with the first person who publicly repents of his sins. Guess who?

    3. Muslims know there is hypocrisy in taking a holier than thou attitude. No man is perfect except God himself.

    4. The vast majority of Msians respect leaders who are humble and are ready to confess their mistakes unlike the batch of leaders we have in UMNO. (anyone recall Tun Mahathir being apologetic for his mistakes or Najib for the mistakes of departments under his purview e.g. MACC, Defense ministry, etc?)

    Pride comes before the fall and the humble shall inherit the earth. May the most transparent and Malaysian first (ethnic 2nd) man win the Hulu Selangor election.

  4. Hei, Eunice,I too was there in US during nomination day.We were distributing PR pamphlets in Kalumpang area.Good response from malaysians.We must win,Voters please vote for PKR.Say no to umno,no,no,no,no,no.

  5. Thank you for the updates.Its really good of you to keep Malaysians like us who are working overseas in touch with current affairs.

    Malaysia walk towards real democracy ,fairness and good governance has started with the REFORMASI movement and you should very honoured and proud that you are and so many are part of it.

    The deaths of Altantuya,Kugan,Beng Hock and so many who died whilst in police custody is an urgent alarm bell that we are heading towards a police state if Good Men & Women say and do nothing.

    Your dedication and spirit,Eunice is much admired and appreciated.

    Say NO to RACISM, Say NO to Corruption and No to Injustice.


  6. This election is all about the Malay votes.

    The Chinese is for PKR and the Indians will be slightly for 'Perkasa is OK Kamala'.

    So goes, the Malay, so goes Hulu Selangor.

    I am worried with reports PAS is not all out action yet.


  7. InsyaAllah Melayu cina india akan bersatu hati mengundi Zaid Ibrahim dari Pakatan Rakyat.


  8. Hi Eunice

    TQ for the update, although I'm working overseas it is incredible to hear from you.

    Drop me a mail too if you can.

  9. Hi Eunice, thks for reporting…

    How i wish i, too, have a driver to take me there, and join all of you…

    I hope esp the Chinese and Indians will have eyes to see and vote for Zaid as he is the MAN, come on …

    Hidup Zaid, Hidup Paktan !!!

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