After exactly 4 years in power, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the dissolution of Parliament and general elections to be held on 5 May 2013. I was glad that general election was finally called but the problem was that I was scheduled to run a 10KM marathon at the Borneo Marathon to be held at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah!
Unfortunately for the organisers of Borneo Run, they did not anticipate the election day and had to reschedule the run. The organisers changed it to a midnight run (first time in Sabah!) on 5 May 2013 so that runners can return to their respective voting areas to vote after the run. Unfortunately, someone stole some detonators in Kota Kinabalu and the police advised the organisers to cancel the run! To avoid a terrorist attack like the Boston bombing, the organisers cancelled the run – when we were already in Kota Kinabalu! I am told that over 2000 runners traveled to Kota Kinabalu to run the Borneo Marathon.
Notwithstanding the bad news, I took the opportunity to attend some ceramahs in Kota Kinabalu City. Prior to that, I attended some ceramahs held at Happy Garden and Taman Desa, both fall under my constituency. The ceramahs were massive – perhaps a few hundred people. Ceramahs in this general election have turned to be a festive affair with hundreds and some even thousands attending.
At Happy Garden. Tereka Kok and Nurul Izzah spoke at this ceramah.
Taman Desa with Asalkan Bukan UMNO (ABU) ngo Harris Ibrahim
Some came prepared
Lim Lip Eng (Segambut candidate)
But the first ceramah I attended at Kota Kinabalu City was one by local opposition party, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), in particular by Melanie Chia. It was a small ceramah held at a small park near my in-laws place. She spoke in Hokkien, a dialect that I do not understand. Nevertheless, I managed to catch some of her messages when she put some slides on.
Melanie Chia’s ceramah.
Basketball court on the right XD
After leaving Melanie Chia’s ceramah, I headed to Pakatan Rakyat’s, national opposition parties collision, ceramah held at Foh Sang. It was not a ceramah. They were playing PSY’s Gangnam Style and Gentlemen! They were got people dancing there!
The ceramah continued after the song. There was a small commotion during the ceramah. President of SAPP, Yong Teck Lee tried to storm the stage after a speaker blamed him for the Project IC. The police were there to mediate the situation and Yong went back to his ceramah held one street away from Pakatan’s ceramah. I thought the police was trying to stop the ceramah because the ceramah played Gangnam Style and Gentlemen!
PAS Candidate for Tanjung Aru came with his entourage of tudong clad ladies holding PAS flags. It was a common sight to see Chinese waving the once feared PAS flags in this election.
I later stop at Yong’s ceramah. There were quite a lot of people – far much more than his fellow colleague, Melanie Cheah.
Sabah’s political sphere is quite different from Peninsula Malaysia. They have many parties which are not aligned to each other. 3 corner fights are normal. There is even a 7 corner fight!
This is how you campaign in Sabah!
Found this in my MAS flight back to Kuala Lumpur.
Since I didn’t get to run, I ended up eating non stop in Kota Kinabalu City. The next blog postings will be about food and thereafter the election results and my views about the results.