I am going to type out what I had jotted during the four hours I spent at the Esplanade. Maybe, this will serve as a reminder so that next year, we can evaluate the state government again. All the photos were taken by me and the caption below the photos are different things from the paragraphs.
PAS – Adun Permatang Pasir
YB. Tuan Mohd. Hamdan Bin Abd. Rahman
His speech is in Bahasa Malaysia. Obviously, he is a not a fan of UMNO and gets fired up when he told us about the fitnah UMNO on the religious council. Utusan and other Malay medias have wrongly reported about the issue and PAS has immediately come to the aid of the Pakatan Rakyat to clarify the matter. This shows that PAS works very well with DAP and PKR. They work for the people interest and not just limited to political issues.
He praised the Chief Minister because the CM readily went into the kampungs when there are tragedies. He said the CM is very caring (prihatin). There is no such thing as penindasan Melayu as claimed by UMNO. He said it is UMNO themselves who oppressed the people.
Deputy CM – Prof. Ramasamy
He also spoke in BM. He said the rakyat are happy because there is now a choice other than BN. In the last 11 months, the state government has secured RM10 billion in foreign and local investments. The downturn in economy situation is not so serious in Penang and still within control. With a progressive policy, they will try to curb the situation from getting worse.
Law Choo Kiang
Pertanian & Industri Asas Tani
Pembangunan Luar Bandar
I don’t recall ever seeing him in any ceramah before. But his speech is impressive. He began by putting it very bluntly that every cents they earn are from the rakyat. He said the rakyats are the boss. So, the power comes from the rakyat also. He said the rakyat sudah sedar dan tidak boleh diperbodohkan lagi. But the BN is still in denial. He urges the Penangites to use their influence to tell the Perakians, Kedahans and Sarawakians to vote for PR or all of us have to suffer toll increases and all the dusta (lies).
(It is very difficult to take photos under the extreme bright spot lights mixed with darkness. Without a tripod or a zoom lens, this is the best I can get. But I love the majestic building in the background. It is the MPPP building. The crowd was listening to the Deputy CM Mohammad Fairus)
YB Tuan Mohammad Fairus bin Khairuddin (Timbalan Ketua Menteri 1)
This is the first time I hear his speech or see him in person. I have read so much controversies about his position as Deputy CM. I am surprised to find a man very committed, full of charisma and friendly. This is nothing like what I read about him. He said if there is one single thing that Najib must do as a Prime Minister, it is to abolish ISA.
Danny Law Heng Kiang
Now, is he the brother of Law Choo Kiang? They not only have almost the same name, they looks similar too. He said tourists arrival have increased since the PR took over. He also claimed that Penang has earned several ‘awards’. He was recently under the spotlight for not having very good English. I don’t mind the English but I wish he will at least sit more proper instead of slouching on the plastic chair, on a stage with thousands of pairs of eyes looking at him! He did that through the whole event! Dude, you are a Yang Berhormat, act like one lah.
He is possibly the most popular MP of all. He is a best speaker because he speaks BM superbly, Mandarin with his lilting slang and he even speaks Thai. The crowd just love him and his speeches.
He told us that the Penang State Government is possibly the first in Malaysia who set up a unique concept call Rakan Anti-Kemiskinan or RAK. It is an organisation whereby the corporate companies contribute money through the state government to be channeled to the poor. There are 1,000 families in Penang who are in the poverty group whereby their total income does not exceed RM400 per month. So far, the State Government has received RM1.6 million. The funds will be audited by an international auditor.
There are more speeches after the list above but my course mates and I turun padang to find out from the people from all walks of life what they think of the state government. Our aim was to find opinions from both sides but most of the people only heap praises or they refused to be interviewed.
Look at the whole scene, I find it rather amusing that they put photographers with big big and long long lens at the VIP area, near the podium. Come on lah, which angle of the politicians have they not seen nor captured? Why lah need to sit there the whole time and take photos after photos of the same faces? This is the same scenario everywhere. The same old faces of the VIPs are usually the focus of the ‘official looking photographers with cameras that cost a bomb’.
(The stark difference between the BN led State Government and the PR government is how casual events like these are. People crowded on the stage, the stairs and all around the stage. One can easily go up and down the stage and take close up photos of the CM. If I did this during Koh Tsu Koon tenure, I think the burly bodyguards will throw me, my camera and bag into the mud. The other different thing I notice is how the VIPs sit on plastic chairs, unlike those BN times when the VIPs have those wood craving, velvet cushions with gold ribbons couches.)
As it was raining heavily when I was leaving my home, I dare not bring my zoom lens (that costs RM2.6K) and only used the D40 kit lens. Yet, I believe I have captured photos that tell people what the scene was like last night, eh? Hey, my photography skills damn good one, ok? Even the CM said so. Don’t play play hor? (I will tell you what the CM told me last night about my blog in the next post.)
P/S : I also noted something else during the evening. DAP very dedicated members have to somehow get over their ‘market’ style. While the CM and Karpal Singh speeches were going on, those people who run the booth selling DAP items were talking like they are in the market. I was standing quite near to them and even with the very loud speakers, their voices and laughters were above the speeches. No doubt the CM is their party leader but now, he is the CM of all the people and not just their leader. So, they have to ‘get over it’ already.