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Feb 25, 2008

Nomination Day In Pasir Mas


Annonymous asked me to blog about the election scene in Pasir Mas which I declined since this is not a political blog. Since politics is now part of our life, and I owe some readers who are not able to see or experience for themselves the scenes on sight in Pasir Mas by the virtue of them being away from home or people who are not from Pasir Mas but are interested in the happenings here. So Anonymous, from today onwards you will be seeing me making almost daily reports on the happenings here. Any other postings will be done after the election.

One Day Before Nomination Day, 23rd February 2008.

Though 24th February is the nomination day which was yesterday, BN (UMNO really) Pasir Mas announced their candidates only yesterday 23rd February 2008 at about 5 PM. The announcements were made at Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Mekasar about 500 meters from my home. About 500 youth on motorbikes attended the function and were entertained by a dikir barat performance before the speeches by the UMNO candidates. The Azan for Asar was heard from the mosque but the show went on unimpeded. Time selection was definitely poor. Datuk Rahim Ab. Rahman made his speech announcing the line up infront of youth on motorbikes who were gathered there at the school fileds. They were from all the constituencies in the Pasir Mas Parliament. Tomorrow all these youth on motorbikes will be riding in convoy to the Nomination Center at the Land Office in town some 5 km from the present location.

The motorcyclists gathered for the announcement.

The announcement by The Division Chief includes some surprises.The biggest surprise was the announcement that Dato' Halim Ahmad who was announced to be representing BN for the Parliamentary constituency earlier, wasn't contesting. In his place he announced Rusdi the UMNO youth leader for the division is standing against Datok Paduka Ibrahim Ali, an independence standing on a PAS ticket. Rusdi was earlier announced to be standing in DUN Chetok. With that move the void in DUN Chetok was filled by Datuk Rahim Ab. Rahman himself which he just announced. Rusdi was visibly absent from the function and somebody had to represent him making the introductory speech. Datuk Rahim left the scene because he had to go to UMNO Kelantan Headquarters to fill up the nomination form.
I didn't wait to listen to all the speeches as maghrib is nearing.

The Nomination Day 24th.February 2008.
I arrived late at the Nomination Center for today's Nomination Day as I had to send my grand daughter Balqiss to be taken care of by her paternal grand parents. Spent another half hour chatting with the other grandparents before drinking the customary drink and then only I managed to ask for leave. When I reached Pasir Mas, the nearest parking to the Nomination Center was more than a kilometer away. Too far for my gout suffering legs to carry. Drove home to take the motorbike only to find the front tyre to be flat. Tried to inflate the tyre with a handpump but the air won't hold. Rode the bike with the airless front tyre to a repair shop and had the tube changed.

By the time I reached the nomination center it was almost 11.00 AM which signify the end of the protest period. After this point the Returning Officer will scrutinize all the protests, if any, forwarded by any of the contestants.

I was with a Kampong mate who is a avid supporter of Datuk Rahim Ab. Rahman. At that point of time his friend received a call from his friend at the nomination center for Chempaka. He was devastated because the candidate from BN Dato' Dr. Nik Mohd Zin Omar did not sign his nomination paper. Words were spreading like wild fire that they have lost the Chempaka State seat to who else but Tok Guru Nik Aziz himself due a silly oversight.
The sight at the front of the nomination place was a sight to be experienced. Inspite of the animosity, there was no untoward taunting which could lead to trouble. The UMNO supporters were just shouting among themselves by one side shouting "Lapan Belas" and the other group replying "Pade Dah"(Eighteen Is Enough) referring to the 18 years of PAS rule in Kelantan.

On the PAS side they were much more subdued with them in robes or baju melayu and wearing skull caps. One of them was leading a chanting of a written prayer asking God to destroy the coalition of their enemies. Quite a harsh words to use even on your enemies just because they happened to believe diferently from you in politics.

Personally I would like to congratulate the police for keeping the situation under control and prevent any untoward incidents due to the charged up sentiments on both sides of the fence. They didn't allow the use of any loud hailers which somehow managed to reduce any attempt at inciting the crowd. Though they had the rolls of sharp barb wires, it was never put to use as the crowd was considered as well behaved.
The following pictures will show give you some idea of the Nomination Day in Pasir Mas.
The nomination center at Pejabat Tanah Pasir Mas.

The main road was not closed.
All in pink and with the word Puteri Umno on their vest.

Blue versus green
This green umbrella is for Datuk Ibrahim Ali. This guy was waiting at the wrong exit and later he had to rush to the other exit where the PAS candidates exited.

A badge of Datuk ibrahim Ali on the shirt of a supporter.

The candidtaes coming out from the Nomination Center led bu Datuk Rahim Ab. Rahman (Datuk Rahim owns Rahim & Co)
Datuk Paduka Ibrahim Ali, an independent candidate standing on a PAS ticket.
The incumbent for DUN Pengkalan Pasir Haji Hanafi Mamat being shouldered by his supporters.
Badges, lapel pins, flags and caps on sale. I wonder if Maidin of Kota Bharu carries these items like they did for BN at Maidin Melaka.
The procession of PAS supporters with their candiadates on the way back to Bangunan PAS at the end of the road.

The 8.00 PM News announced that Dr. Nik Mohd Zin will be contesting the Chempaka State seat. The Star of the 25th confirmed that TGNA and Dr. Nik Zin reached an amicable compromise since BN too protested against TGNA and Nik Amar Abdullah had used their honorific titles "Datuk" in their nomination papers. Now we know that honorific titles can be a nuisance sometimes beside making it difficult for Emcees to remember when addressing them in a function. The loss could have denied Dr. Nik Zin access to massive election fund. Thus the contest also provide much needed entertaiment in this laid back constituency of Cempaka


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