Quiet town of Simpang
When we learned that our aunt was sick in Taiping on Wednesday, we asked her to go to the hospital. She said, there was a terrible jam going from Kuala Sepetang to Taiping because of the coming by election and it took nearly 3 hours to reach Taiping, so she decided to wait till the election day is over. We were stupefied because, it would normally take only 20 minutes to drive from Kuala Sepetang to Taiping, even if there are many cars!
We then came to realize that, the situation in Kuala Sepetang was really, really as hectic as we were told by our aunt. We went back to Taiping for Ching Ming this weekend. The moment we reached the Changkat Jering toll, it was already almost midnight.
The usually quiet and almost dead stretch of road in Changkat Jering to Simpang came alive with people and vehicles parked haphazardly along both sides of the road. There were many flags everywhere. There were even FRU trucks and fleet of police motorcycles. It was not even the election day yet and there were already so many cars and people.
We saw both ceramah places by PKR and PAS were filled to the brim with people standing till the sides of the roads. As we turned into Simpang towards Kuala Sepetang, flags were lined up from one end to another, even graves along the right sides of the roads were not spared!
Unusual busy road in Kuala Sepetang
I was rather shocked that the residents in this small, tiny fishing village were aware of what was going on and one old uncle even came to talk to me about RAHMAN theory. I found it rather impressive as, most of the people here are not highly educated but yet, they KNOW! We heard of the many free things being handed out – kgs of rice, free newspapers, money and even bicycles! And the villagers were disgusted!
They spoke fondly and with excitement about YB Ir Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin came to visit them just a day ago and shook their rough, weather beaten hands. Everybody swarmed YB Nizar’s car as he arrived and he was welcomed with open arms. Imagine the impossible – a PAS guy in a predominantly Chinese area – welcomed with open arms! It wouldn’t be possible in the old days with old school thinking! I could never imagine I would live today to witness changes in the people’s perceptions in today’s trying times. What we want now, is a harmonious country where all people are treated equally and really given freedom of religion and speech! And all races unite to build a greater nation!
The otherwise quiet road towards the small town Kuala Sepetang was packed with cars! For the first time, this place is jam-packed with cars and people. It was not THAT busy even during Chinese New Year!
Along Matang & Simpang
Sitting in the porch, listening to the people’s voices is definitely better than watching any afternoon Venezuelan soap opera! This weekend, I didn’t even need to watch tv to get entertained. Here, people from all walks of life – the cockles herder, the fruit seller, the newspapers seller, the dentist, the retiree, the fisherman, etc all sat together and spoke in unison of what they want out from this by election. We shall not tolerate anymore corruptions! No more telling us to go back to our own country! Malaysia is where we belong! We want transparent, responsible and capable leaders!
As I went back into my late grandmother’s house to get away from the afternoon sweltering heat, I was greeted with Louis Armstrong’s song – What a Wonderful World, blaring from the school behind. What other song could be more apt to describe how I felt at that moment! Century-long struggles of the black people has finally bore fruit, having President Obama be elected as the first black president! A wind of change has come! Now, it’s our turn.