We have talked about it and talked about it even more for many weeks. But on 9th of June 2011, a group of us decided to get down and do it – we “turun padang” at Hulu Langat.
Hulu Langat is divided into 3 districts: Kajang, Semenyih and Dusun Tua. The population’s racial divide is along the lines of the national average.
Kajang is well known to everyone as a bustling mini city so I do not need to tell you much about it. I am sure almost everyone has been there for satay.
I thought Semenyih was a small kampong town but I was surprised to see it has a Tesco hypermarket! And I was told Carre Four will be entering their area soon. It is a town on the verge of becoming a mini city. It is also home to a large commercial cemetery.
Dusun Tua is a typical small town with narrow roads and lots of trees. It is a town you could drive by without even noticing it.
11 of us volunteered to turun padang that day. We reached Semenyih in time for a nasi lemak breakfast. Then we took a walk in the pasar pagi. We talked to the friendly traders. I was surprised to learn that most of them knew the name of their ADUN (Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri).
After that, we went to the office of the various ADUNs to meet the people’s representative. As UndiMsia! is non-partisan, we have no qualms working with political parties from any side. We explained our position and listened as the ADUN or their staff talked about the problems and challenges facing the residents. We drove around the districts to get a visual feel of the area and its people (translated as “we got lost even with the GPS”). And this was the heart of turun padang; we can talk and plan but it will be useless if the people in Hulu Langat do not accept our programmes.
Then we split the team into two: one team went to Dusun Tua while the other went to Kajang. I led the team going to Dusun Tua.
We could not meet the ADUN at Dusun Tua so we met the PAS representative working for the district instead. He was very receptive of Undi Malaysia’s goals and was very supportive.
The other team met the ADUN of Kajang who was also supportive of UndiMsia!. This ADUN also pledged to help us with space to conduct our programmes in Kajang.
At the end of our turun padang, both teams met for lunch and compared noted. Generally, the people we talked to in Hulu Langat was more or less aware of the political situation in their area or nationally. The problems they face include unemployment and they fully expect the ADUNs and MP of their district to help them. They are happy that big town commercial companies are entering their communities e.g. Tesco and Carre Four. On the other hand, they are unhappy their school children are spending too much time at cyber-cafes that have sprung up.
To join UndiMsia! and be a part of Pepper’s Hulu Langat downstream team, drop an email at [email protected] The time is NOW!