Ready To Roll

Countdown: N-Day Minus 24 Hours

I am still doing my evaluation of the Three Musketeers as mentioned in the last post as we approach N-Day or Nomination Day. Its been hard to find time to really sit down and open up the mathematics of it with the slow Internet connectivity. Some of my more adventurous buddies went all the way to bet with me that there will be other numbers apart from three and want me to put my money where my mouth is. Thank you but please be patient and do be mindful that betting is illegal. I can't help smiling at the offers and bets they want me to take up but hey guys, either way you will lose your bets as I will stick with my Three Musketeers. Don't you think their picture looks cute? I will see if I can sit down on it tonight. Anyway here are some images I manage to get while on duty to Lubok Antu again today.

Lubok Antu town was a hive of activity until 5 p.m this evening. One can't help not noticing the fancy cars coming into town - those that are not from this area.

Visiting Tinting Lalang longhouse 15 minutes from town area - the local Lubok Antunians who will be voting at N.29 Batang Ai are a calm lot. We visited this nearby longhouse to chit chat with the folks and get the 'feel' of their anticipation for the By-Election. The folks there were more focused on their harvested padi putting the rice in gunny sacks, maybe to stock it up for the year. No familiar parties flags were found in this longhouse so you can't really know what's in these potential voters' minds - were they into jazz parties? Hip Hop? Disco or Rock Contemporary?

Visiting the District Office which has transformed its meeting room into the Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya (SPR) or Election Commission Operation Room. Everything is ready and set to go and the job is made simpler with modern technology. Imagine how difficult it was long ago when one had to make use of a simple typewriter or pen.

The transparent ballot boxes are all set for inspection and picking up by the various Ketua Tempat Mengundi (Presiding Officers).

The setup reminds me of the past elections I was involved, especially for the Padungan State seat and Bandar Kuching Parliament when I was the Ketua Tempat Mengundi (Presiding Officer). It would be an interesting experience to see how the voting is done in this part of remote Sarawak. So far no news of these MAFREL team in town except for the local journalists. I had my encounter with them when I was the Presiding Officer for May 2006 Elections. But i hope they respect the rules and regulations, they can be quite sticky sometimes - and if their boss, B.K Ong is around I will try to get a picture with him.

Along the way one gets to see the party workers working hard to get things ready for Nomination Day. The flag wars are going to go up pretty soon by the look of things.

In terms of creativity things are certainly heating up as people who come in and out of Lubok Antu through the bridge would not be able to miss this banner put on the raft at Batang Ai river. Anyway if I were to look at it I would be wondering who they are refering to as the banner just say perompak aka robbers. I hope we do not offend our foreign visitors whom we always associate with robberies. So those in the propaganda side need to polish those marketing and advertisement skills.

Familiar T-Shirt: Barisan Rakyat Bloggers team in my camera sights in full war gear. The things he carries looks familiar - lap top, camera and other useful gears

Do these Three cannons outside the District Office (outside the Ops Room) confirm my Three Musketeers theory?

Anyway - if one is to evaluate the state of readiness for this election - everyone is ready to go into full swing. The Election Commission, the Parties or Independents involved, the candidates, the Media and Al Jazeera, the Blogs and Bloggers from both sides with their daggers drawn, the shopkeepers and traders, the bookies (i hope not), the Police who will be going after the bookies and trouble makers, the Indonesians who will be crossing the border from Badau Kalimantan side (they will be wondering what in heavens name is going on here), the Helicopters, Spy Drones..... even the Antus (Ghosts who roam this town will be wishing for all these people to go away) name it.... and the voters...ermm...the voters....what can I say about those whom I have met. You see when the political machineries approach them, they do get all excited but when familiar government servants approach them its a different story: I am not that sure about these folks as the Election fever has not really caught on for them. We listen and talked about their harvest this year, those ikan kelis or fish that they are rearing in the tanks. Nothing about the By Election. Maybe when the nomination is confirmed and the candidates start playing their cards, things will get hotter. My occassional chit chat over mee kering noodles, coffee and langkau with the folks seem quite normal without anyone lecturing me on their polictical alignments. The party workers will have a different view, and its funny when they talk to you.... they whisper in your ears.... even if no one is around to listen. Okay okay I appreciate all your secrecies but I do not like the way you lean over as if you are going to kiss my cheek. I only whisper when i talk about Britney Spears and her latest music video. After all this is my first experience in a rural election settings. Except that the would be voters do appreciate the attention they are getting from everyone but sometimes too much attention can backfire also. But we leave the mechanics of voting to the politicians as it still remains the greatest mystery to a simple minded fellow like me. After all I am just a local graduate, studying at the same Uni with B.K. Ong who is now MAFREL Coordinator or Boss in this Batang Ai Election. Some people have all the luck I guess. Not bad dude. One thing for sure I will know is that come Election Day, the voters will be treated like Kings and Queens by all sides. And so your majesties and your Highnesses, the choice will be yours as you will have the "X" Factor.


PPS said…
Ready to roll or ready to rock, whatever. Twosome, threesome, foursome or more, it will be interesting...may the best man win. Come Sunday, the F1 will burn rubbers in Australia and the heat will be felt in LA!!
Salak said…
Desmond, I'm gonna pinch some of your pix but will as appropriate attribute where credit is due.

Was down in LA a week ago. In less than 30 mins after I arrived I was humbled by the security there. A mata-mata car pulled up; a sore sight for tired eyes!

Got a pix of that grand tree in the quaint little square.

They're H E R E and H E R E !

Yeah! May the best man win!