Monday, November 09, 2009

UKEC Homecoming for Budu

It was Friday and I was insisting my football mates to play our weekly football on Saturday so that my weekend would be filled.
I would be bored as a Man Utd’s game if I had nothing to do for the weekend. It’s not that I have a wife or a child to hang out with like everybody else.
Having said that, Saturday night would be a poker night. But for the day it seemed gloom… until I heavy-heartedly accepted the UKEC invitation for this talk by my KMYS PNB senior, Nik Nazmi who is currently the ADUN of Seri Setia.
It’s not because of Budu (as the rest used to be calling him because these kids were calling him YB YB YB) that made me a bit hesitant to join the event. It’s simply because it was organised by a group of student ‘leaders’ or wannabe-leaders of tomorrow called UKEC that made me felt a bit uncomfortable. Previous Facebook discussion about ‘Allah’ being used by Herald Bahasa version with one of UKEC ‘leaders’ didn't help at all to convince me of their so-called ‘greatness’.
But well, yeah, for the first time, I did join their event, with the objective to actually write about that event. And so, I’m writing this, because it’s the Monday blues, with no work to do in Guy Carpenter, quite weird when everybody else is working their ass off.
So, on that Saturday afternoon, as usual, I didn’t wanna be late… because its not good when interrupting the session. So I thought. But I was not late actually. Smq gave me a call and he was with Budu, were only on their way from Holborn and it was already 2:10pm. I could see the rest of the people, about 15 of them, lepakking in the S221 room, waiting anxiously for the great YB.
2:10pm – Head count = 15 people. 1 Indian, 2 Malays and the rest Chinese. Shannon Yeoh the blogger is here. Many of them students.
I wonder why the composition was like that? The Chinese again showing how good their time management is? Or, simply the Chinese are more keen to change Malaysia.
2:15pm – While waiting for Budu to arrive, I had realised one thing which is quite crafty I must say, about the logo of UKEC. It has a bit of a PKR in it to be honest. The so called ‘eye of Zion’, the two crescents, are actually visible from the UKEC logo. I smiled. And it was a lonely smile because I sensed the mood of the audience to be a bit sombre, probably tired of waiting.
2:30pm – the event finally kicks off, Chairperson Teow Yoong Jing, from UKEC, is an avid Pakatan Rakyat fan, evidently from the banner from her blog.
Headcount = about 30-ish. Probably less. Not impressive. Was expecting more. Chinese proportion still overpowered the rest with only 4 Malays and 2 Indians. Now I am judging this group already. Is it because they don’t have many Indian or Malay friends? Or again, are the Chinese more inclined for a ‘change’ in Malaysia?
Why? Does it matter, Jeg, about what race you belong to? Well, even Budu was still talking about races when giving his speech. One of the few things he talked about are Selangor State to make the DUN independent, all Pakatan Rakyat party components sitting together for the December convention (bear in mind this has not been done ever by Barisan Nasional) to discuss about the common principles that they will uphold if they were to stay together, targeting the young voters, the constitution of Malaysia and the general election March 2008.
I am not going to elaborate more about what he has told us. Nothing special really. Because I’ve heard that before. Maybe because I have been reading a lot. However, its good to know that PKR is still keeping our Constitution as they promised in the General Election 2008, stating that ‘the Constitution is what that shapes our country’, which is fair enough, but maybe not favouring some members of the floor, who might thought Pakatan is to do away with policies that favour the Bumiputras.
Budu did give his personal view on the education system, in which I agree. He always believes there should be a single-streamed school for all Malaysians to promote unity. However, his concern about quality being the main obstacle to do away with vernacular schools is somewhat far-fetched. I have a friend, and I bet he is the best SPM student during my time, went to national school. He is now in Cambridge under the Agong Scholarship, doing PhD. I myself went to SRK St. Francis and I thought the teachers were superb!
The question over the quality, being the reason why many Chinese want to keep Chinese schools is just an excuse to me. Having said that, I am no saying we should abolish Chinese and Tamil Schools. I think we should keep them at primary level only, as stated in the Constitution. And it will give the opportunity to even Non-Chinese students to learn about their language and have the best of both worlds.
But to have Chinese Secondary schools, will polarise us more, forever.
Coming back to the event, names were brought up. Badrul, Saiful, Zulkifli, Hasan Ali, Taib Mahmud, ‘son-in-law of someone’ (I wonder why all Malays?).
Well these people are perceived as liabilities in Pakatan Rakyat or the nation. At least from Budu’s and PR hardcore fans point of view.
But kudos to Budu for not bashing them too much because it will only make him look like a typical politician.
I think it’s worth taking note here that PKR’s way to win the hearts of young Malaysians are really, really good. They are planning for an internship programme for youngsters who want to experience about what a political assistant do. (Saiful Bukhari was meant to do this really but he was just a bad apple. Or a ripe one? :P ) And Budu being Budu. He is young and now an ADUN. No wonder these young ‘leaders’ are so inspired. They feel, if Budu can do it, they can too. I believe that’s the mood that they are having right now. Which gives a positive impact to the new coalition.
I wonder what are other programmes being held by UMNO London apart from organising football tournaments, free breaking-fast in Ramadhan in collaboration with Shell and the latest being Eid Celebration, again with Shell. Why can’t we have UMNO’s Ketua Pemuda KJ coming down to London and meeting the students like Budu did recently? Arrogant maybe? Or we are not worth it since we don’t actually vote?
Anyway towards the end of the event, I can say that about 90% of the members of the floor are hoping for a change in Malaysia, if not, Pakatan Rakyat believers.
When Zulkifli Nordin’s name was mentioned, almost everyone in the room laughed as if he is a bad person. He is still a PKR MP. What he did was not that bad, when he was defending the rights of Muslims, going against Bar Council trying to officially change Lina Joy’s religion status in her MyKad and pushing the case as the precedence to changing the law about Malays being able to be Non-Muslims, as opposed to the Constitution.
But again, since there were only 4 Malays in the room, these people might not understand what Islam is about, and what the Constitution is about still. They are young students and still learning anyway. I just hope that these people are not being brainwashed to not knowing the truth and trying to be impartial a bit not to blindly following what they thought is right, in the expense of their judgment being clouded by hatred and emotion.
“I think it’s about us, knowing and understanding other people’s beliefs and religions, not condemning them. It’s a sensitive issue for us to argue about it” Budu said. (something like that, same substance but different words used). And I spontaneously gave a wink at one of the so-called leaders in UKEC who was present, the same person who went on arguing ‘Allah’ being used in Herald in Facebook..
Again when Hasan Ali’s name was mentioned, again the crowd laughed. But for many Muslims, Hasan Ali is just doing his job as a Muslim leader. And since he is from PAS, it’s not that hard to believe what he did.
My take on this is that, most of the members of the floor; don’t actually know their Malay/Muslim friends. I blame the school system!
But it’s worth mentioning here there was an Indian guy (who I assume to be neutral), who asked about why Sept 16 was made at the first place.
Budu was fast to wisely say that PKR had to go on offensive but admitted that when Perak crossovers happened, it has somehow affected PKR, if not Anwar’s credibility. His way of giving a ceramah is not a ‘typical politician’ way, which is very good actually. He is always ready to give his own opinions, despite how it can be against the party’s principles and ready to admit the flaws that his party has. He even admitted that he could be bias when commenting something where some people might think it’s a political blunder, but for me, hats off to that!
This is a unique way to win young voters. If he stays this way, avoiding any blips like Liverpool (the team he supports), then he has a lot of potential.
One thing that I forgot to ask him was his take on Anwar Ibrahim. After Anwar’s many blunders recently (Sabah issue, endorsing crossovers, playing hide and seek with Sodomy II), it would be great to know about his opinion on his previous boss.
Overall it was an Okay event. Maybe a better mix of the crowd could make it a great one. I bid him farewell and asked him to send my regards to his wife.

No comments: