“Malaysia, Tanah Tumpahnya Darahku”
Cerita Undi by Calvin Ong.
On the way to KL, en route to go back for work next Monday. Thousands from oversea must have left early. Some left right after casting their votes last Wednesday. Some, like me, decided to take extra leaves to spend some quality time at home with our families. After all, it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow. And I’m sure there will be more who will head back today and tomorrow.
The euphoria is slowing down now, but boy, what a crazy few days it has been for us Malaysians. It started with the announcement of the polling date on a Wednesday. Thousands questioned the intention of the Election Commissioner (EC) for holding a General Election on a weekday.
Airplane tickets’ price sky-rocketed within hours, bus tickets were snapped up faster than pisang goreng. So, how cow? Just forget about taking leave, go to work as usual, and no need vote-lah?
But itu-lah. These silly and crazy bunch of Malaysians, sometimes when the mood takes us, we can be really creative. We immediately setup carpooling groups on Facebook, Twitters and other social media platform alike. This includes the “Jom Balik Undi (Carpool GE14)” which I created because I noticed most pages setup were for Malaysians based in Singapore and the postings are mostly all in Mandarin. I thought a lot of banana (like myself) and those do not read Mandarin still do not have a proper platform to lookout for ways to travel home to vote. This group, saw a dramatic sudden surge of activities in the last 48 hours towards the polling date. I do not have the numbers of how many voters decided to return to vote, or managed to find their Carpool match from this group, but if there is even one extra voter who has benefited from this, I’d consider it a success.
A couple of days later, I was talking to Aziana Teh and I told her how much I’d love to lend a hand to spread the awareness among the rural folks. She mentioned INVOKE Malaysia PACA (Polling Agent Counting Agent) initiative, which I had heard of but never really bother to read much about them. Luckily I took some time to find out more about this cause and at the end of the same day, I signed up as a PACA. Managed to squeeze some time to attend a training session at my hometown and gosh, it was quite overwhelming at first with so many rules, procedures and borang to remember.
On the eve of polling date, I was praying that the traffic would not be too bad. Managed to cross the causeway without much problem. I later took an overnight bus from Johor Bahru to Taiping. The bus terminal in Larkin was unusually crowded. We never talked to each other, but I am sure each of us there knew that the majority are heading home, to exercise our rights as the citizen of Malaysia.
The total journey time home was 10 hours, two hours longer than usual. Upon reaching, I wasted no time although I hardly caught much sleep in the bus. The semangat was too membara to take even a short nap haha! Showered, and prepared to go to my polling station. We have five voters in my family but all having different polling stations lol! My sister and I were placed in Saluran 6. There was already a bee-line queue the moment we arrived at half last eight. After waiting in the queue for an hour or so, it was finally my turn. It was my first time voting at home (the last time, I was a postal voter in Tokyo) and I’d be honest, I felt a slight nervousness before I stepped into the Saluran. I’ll never forget the feeling of adrenaline flow the moment I put a cross on the ballot paper.
Right after I’m done with that, I headed to Changkat Jering. I was placed as a PACA under the Bendang Siam voting district at N13 Kuala Sepetang. Despite numerous reports I read about how SPR being unprofessional and all, I’m grateful that my Ketua Tempat Mengundi (KTM) and the four kerani were nice people. So guys, not everyone in SPR are orang jahat, kay? In fact I even had small talks with the PACA from my neighboring seats.
Right after Borang 14 (hahaha now I think most Malaysians know what this form is) was signed, that’s the end of my PACA duties. Headed home and glued myself to the TV and phone to follow the latest updates as the results came flowing in.
At the same time, I felt disappointed and disgusted to see some irresponsible people sharing unverified content on their social media. What is your intention? Wanna be the first to share “breaking news”? To gain more likes?
As the hours gone by, more and more began to feel restless, impatient and wonder what took the EC so long to announce the result. Still remember how that Karim Raslan guy lashed out live on national TV? – “This is despicable, absolutely appalling, and what I would like to know is that what are the pressures behind you? Who’s whispering in your ears? This is the kind of ridiculous rubbish that we have to see the end of today.” Or how that Pak Cik Hashim SPR kept asking us to “bersabar, sikit lagi…” and “sambung tidur dulu…” lol!
By 4:40am, finally the result was out and the rest is history.
To those who had always believe this day will come, in spite being ridiculed by certain friends for flying the Jalur Gemilang, to be told that “you will be the only one to fly the flag in the neighborhood, and that “Malaysia has no more hope”, this is your Merdeka.
Perhaps this is a good time to remind these friends that the love for your country and the support to the current government are two totally different things and must always remain separate.
You can throw your support for the government when they deserves it or take it away when they are no longer working for the rakyat. But your love for your country is not something you let go when it no longer suits you.
Afterall, Malaysia is our tanah tumpahnya darahku and will always be.
12 May 2018