Friday, February 15, 2008

Terengganu here we come (again)

So it is election time once again.

For me, election time is holiday time. This is the tradition for the Rahmans. Actually I am not really sure if you could call it a tradition, since the tradition is only two election old. I first started voting in 1999 in the aftermath of the worst political crisis in the country, which basically opened up my eyes on the country's going-ons. The election of 2004 was our second vacation.

What we saw on the way to Terengganu - this one along the old road of Pahang. The East Coast Expressway was non-existent then. It should be a breeze now.

I remember the trip we had in 1999. It was a great trip. We had a combined flags of the parties we supported and the kids would enthusiastically waved it everytime a car passed us by.

Many would wave back, smile or honk in approval. I don't remember us getting long, angry honk.

Immediately after voting, we would head to back to KL and wait for the results.

I registered as a voter just before the general election in 1990. I didn't do it purposely, out of my political conscience actually. I was sitting on my verandah at my kampung house at Jalan Bunga Raya in Dungun, Terengganu, when a bunch of the kampung kids approached me.

"Bang, bang dah daftar ngundi?" they asked. I am sure it was asked in the pure Ganu dialect, which I could understand then but not now.

"Belum, naper?" I replied.

"Bagi IC, kami daftarkan untuk abang; kakak pun."

I gave them my and my wife's IC.

So that's how we became voters in this rural town of Terengganu. And yes, while we no longer lived in that house, I guess we are still registered at that address.

And I am sure that there a few other families are registered there. And I am sure many would say that we are pengundi hantu.

But we are not.

I am proud to be a voter in Terengganu, and so far I had twice voted there (1999 and 2004). We normally took the opportunity to go for a holiday there while doing our duty for the nation. It is like killing two birds with one stone.

Then we saw only the green flag of PAS. It is not like we didn't want to take flags of others, but we didn't see it when the camera was ready! ;-)

It is like going home for me and the family.

This one at Bukit Besi. I wonder who would be climbing this chimney of the old iron ore smelting facility to plant the flags there.

So here we are again, after 4 years. I will be doing the right thing, and hope the results will be in my favour, and more importantly in the favour of the country.

The kids enjoying themselves in the crystal clear water of pantai Teluk Bidara, one of the best beaches in Malaysia, a pantai we once used to call home the day prior to the election in 2004.

So Terengganu, here we come again.

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