I was in Ipoh for these few days over some personal matters including attending a schoolmate's wedding. Yesterday, I went to the car workshop in Maxwell Road (Jalan Tun Razak) for my usual car service. These people know me well there for most of car maintenance work was done there.
Usually, the two men there, Hussain, the store manager and Zul, the workshop manager would greet me whenever I am there. This round, I was surprised when Zul greeted me with "Ubah". I immediately thought that he must have gone to a DAP ceramah or something there. He then told me about the possible parliament being dissolved on 22 February with polling date on 30th March
I said, "Ubah is DAP's", and suggested instead with "ABU - Anything But UMNO" reasoning that it could have more impact, considering some people who still may have a negative perception of DAP (being chauvinist, anti-Malay). I asked Zul whether he had went to a DAP ceramah where he must have got that slogan or so. But instead, Zul revealed that he also moonlights as a PAS member in Gopeng.
Just to refresh the memory, the MP for Gopeng is PKR's Dr. Lee Boon Chye (formerly the Ipoh Specialist Center cardiologist) and under the constituency would be three places: Sungai Rapat, Simpang Pulai and Teja. Of course Sungai Rapat's incumbent assemblywoman is of course Hamidah Osman.
Zul asked me whether if there are any materials that can be helped to inform voters abreast of the current issues, in all areas and especially to increase voter support for PAS in Sungai Rapat (remember that Hamidah won by less than 700 votes vs IR Radzi Zainon).
I replied that materials from the ABU website would be sufficient to help his PR team more. I told him to print the leaflets including the Lao Tzu vs CSL comics, show and distribute those videos there to the public to keep them informed. Also, rather than people bashing, I asked him to try bringing out those bread and butter issues and asking the public about the present problems they are facing like buying a house or a car, or even get them to think rationally out of the box rather rather than on religion and race matters - an issue that can never escape from the Malay mindset.
I also explained that the Christian state problem is a zero sum game, for it requires not 2/3rds but 3/4ths of the MP support (stage 1, being an extraordinary case) and the overall consent from the Council of Rulers (Majlis Raja-raja Melayu, stage 2) before it can happen, but chances of that happen is less than 5%.
With the permission to use their office computer, I showed the ABU website including the leaflets to the entire staff that can be downloaded, printed and distributed to the masses. The only problem for Zul's PR team was to have Chinese versions of the Mengapa Harga Barang Naik - considering that Simpang Pulai and Teja is Chinese majority area - which if possible to provide a Chinese version of the leaflet as well.
Lastly, I cautioned Zul and team to be very very careful of Ngeh, Nga and associates. Not because of prejudice, but sometimes their actions indirectly caused the fall of the PR state government in 2009. Lately, the two cousins were mentioned prominently in a scandal in MediaPerak ran by friend and fellow blogger Mat Saman Kati. Also, we got to remember the incident in Taman Kaya where old man Simon got harassed by a couple (I know who but won't mention here).
If PR wants to recapture Perak and run a full 5-year term, then one of the things that must be done is that Ngeh-Nga people have to control their ego by not calling the shots, lest it will be the same mistake repeated over and over again.