Sinatra_Z - Grassroots Politics (Pictorial Essay)

As has been mentioned before Pemuda UMNO have been taking a new route under the leadership of Khairy Jamaluddin by which it is now more focused on solving issues rather than the usual rallies and speeches. It's a cue from the Prime Minister's slogan of "People first, performance now" instead of having a bunch major programmes which would later termed to be as "syok sendiri". Combining this with Tengku Razaleigh's election strategy in Galas (localised and people centric) it's truly a grassroots politics here in Galas.

The thing I noticed in this by election is that things are awfully calm. It's not that there's anything awful about it, it's just that the heated, poster/banner wars and fiery ceramah's seemsto be missing this time around. PAS did try to play to their usual trump card by organising a gargantuan ceramah at Sungai Terah (PAS stronghold) by inviting speakers like Nik Aziz, Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Guan Eng, but it was, well, quite sombre. You can read all about it here.

As a result, so far the campaigns, or at least on BN's side, things are more dispersed, down to earth and small.

Caricature flyers are more effective rather than long boring propaganda newsletters.

Now one of the approach that UMNO took for this by election is the "Salam Sayang Sembang Petang" programme which is a joint venture between Wanita and Pemuda. Wanita UMNO's machinery will organise get together on various houses while Pemuda speakers will come and and have a little propaganda chat. Something like Multi level Marketing or a Tupperware party.

Just so happen that your's truly is one of these MLM agents :P

Local guide in blue kancil.

4WD, pfft! Kancil boleh.

Venue a small home on top of a hill.

kids having a picnic outside.

Folks here like to organise a "bacaan yasin" event, by which folks get together and recite the Surah Yasin followed by a small meal, a sort of a kampung style high tea. The usual itinery would be recital, light meal, political talk and feedback session. The feedback session is when locals would express their problems and various opinions on issues that they feel most related to.

Sirap and cakes.

Wanita UMNO volunteers.

Sembang Petang.

As the name says, Sembang Petang, instead of the usual 'ceramah' this approach is more relaxed as it's more of a conversation rather than one way marketing. It's quite an eye opener when one hear the feedback from the folks and realise that sometimes the issues that politicans play can be so far off from what is in the mind of the rural folks.

The biggest issue here would be the PPRT (Projek Perumahan Rakyat Termiskin) housing scheme and various problems in accessing government implemented policies or programmes. Seriously speaking, folks don't really car about Islamic State, 2010 budget or even the Merdeka tower, these so called big ceramah where they invite speakers from outside shouting on things slamming the opponent don't seem to work here, or at least to my observation.

View from the porch.

Perhaps one can say that this has been one of the most peaceful, relaxed and very local centric by election so far.

Then again, it's still too early to tell.

Till then.....