I agreed to cover some environmental issue today at the Dewan Undangan Negeri. So, like a noob, I went there early. Very early because after I dropped my son, I went straight there.

But I kena tendang balik because the guards insisted that I wear long sleeve blouse. I told him I am not going into the dewan, just outside the perimeter. He was si peh lansi, and I refused to let these kind of lansi-lanyong buggers enjoy bullying me.

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Then, I drove back home to change. From Dewan to my house in the race course, to and fro, I took only 35 minutes. Plus finding a long-sleeve blouse that doesn’t need ironing, changing and drinking a glass of water. When I got back there, I was expecting 1,500 people standing outside the Dewan. But doh….I reached there the same time as the handful of people. No FRU red truck, only MPPP lori sampah. Chey… I was hoping for tear gas, really. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have volunteered.

So, I gave the guards my ‘press tag’ lanun cetak rompak one, and got into the lobby of the state legislative building. Set up my tripod, camera and I wanted to ask the people whom I am supposed to cover, some questions because everyone is standing there doing nothing as the politician is not yet there.

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(My tools)

Manatau, sekali I unraveled the external mike wire, the rest of the real McCoy reporters also stood up with their cameras, huge kickass TV cameras and reporters. Doh….Imagine lah…I alone, they circled around. I tell you…it was so comical to me because I have never stepped foot into the Dewan Undangan Negeri, never go for press coverage alone, first time bringing my tripod and video camera to an event (thank God I did that at my church’s youth gathering or else I wouldn’t even know which knob is for which function on my tripod!) and I managed to get all reporters on alert. *gimme a five!*

If my coursemates are with me, sure we pinched each other blue black due to the amusement. It is hard to put on a poker face instead of laughing…”Aparah…I want to ask some questions, you all sibuk-sibuk apa lah?”

Then, came the politician and fuyoh, lucky my mother gave birth to me so tall and so garang. I stood close to the politician so that my video can capture what he said. At my back, people are shoving, pushing and squeezing through to him. On my left cheek and right cheek, all those burly, hairy hands with their big mikes are pushing through. My video was on tripod but I had to ‘close’ up the three kakis so I had to balance myself, sweating in the hot sun, making sure the subject is still in the frame while some si peh lansi photographers with their si peh tua tay DSLR cameras are shouting ‘tepi tepi tepi’. I boh chap siao because I got no where to move and any nearer, my video can only capture the politician nose. My Canon video cam wide angle is rather bad so I have to stay a distance to get the subjects properly framed. Tepi apa lah, you tangkap satu gambar saja, saya mau whole recording, tepi apa? Find your own space lah.

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(My Pemberita press tag)

After the first one is over, there is another one about the swine fever. I went in to the library but I quietly crawled out because my card ran out of memory. Anyway, I was suppose to fetch my son and it was already 11 am. But, I met one politician at the corridor…..he was trying not to see me (but he got nowhere to hide LOL). I cepat-cepat, loud-loud called out “YB (surname)!” Boh pien, he had to wish me, “How are you?” I fast-fast retorted, “No good lorrr….you ignored our pleas for the homeless.” He said, “We are very busy at the moment.” (Like doh…when is a politician not busy, ever? With all the buy-elections, I also know lah.) I si peh shiok man….”Ya lah…too busy even for the homeless and poor people hor?”

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(My brunch of Hokkien char from the Esplanade)

Come to think of it, I think I am very chek-ark (cruel). Poor chap probably doesn’t even know who the hell I am except I assume he better know me because I dissed him before. Hey, actually, it should be me avoiding him for saying he sucks LOL.

So, it was a nice experience being a citizen journalist because I don’t get paid for my work so I am my own boss, editor and writer.

It was still a bit early to pick my son so I had my breakfast cum lunch at the Esplanade. They give free foods at the Dewan but doh…I don’t want to see anymore politicians prowling around.

P/S : I am very thankful ICFJ-Malaysiakini has trained us citizen journalists very well because I wasn’t even a bit nervous eventhough one will feel a bit intimidated with the league of media people there. I was so confident because of the skills imparted by sifu Teoh who is a veteran videographer, Maran who taught us video filming and editing and Anil who taught us how to research and interview. One of my CJ coursemates already had encountered rather unfriendly reaction from the ‘real journalist’ but who cares lah…Just don’t mess with the 5xmom, hor?