Monday, March 31, 2008


Wakaf Baru may not ring any bell to many people outside of Kelantan. Most tourists coming to Kota Bharu via train will know of Wakaf Baru as it is the embarkation point for Kota Bharu. Kota Bharu doesn't have a railway station of its own since it is on the other side of the river. Wakaf Baru is in the district of Tumpat on the west bank of the Kelantan River opposite to Kota Bharu. After alighting in Wakaf Baru, a traveller must take a taxi or 'kereta sewa' be it licenced or the unlicenced ones. The unlicensed ones are also known by the locals as 'private sapu'. Whatever it is they will get you to Kota Bharu at a price. Make sure the price is agreed upon before getting into one.

The ride to Kota Bharu covers a distance of approximately 8 kms from the railway station to the other side of the bridge and the time taken varies from 5 minutes to more than an hour depending on how massive is the traffic jam trying to cross the bridge. Imagine a three lane traffic trying to converge into a single lane on the bridge and if you are a meek driver, those on the left lanes will cut into your lane from any point in front of you. Don't worry the Kelantanese are very tolerant so nothing happens when people cut the queue, if you feel like it, just join them.

Wakaf Baru is a small town. Due to its proximity to Kota Bharu, Wakaf Baru developed faster than the town of Tumpat itself, the administrative place for the district. Together with Pasir Pekan which is on the bank of the Kelantan River near the Sultan Yahya Petra Bridge, they will merge to form a satelite town to Kota Bharu. Housing development with SBJ being the major player, makes Wakaf Baru as the residential place for those working in Kota Bharu. Once the additional bridge is constructed to ease the congestion at the present single lane Sultan Yahya Bridge, the traffic jam will become history.

What interest me with Wakaf Baru is the number of Thai food and Chinese food or a combination of them in this small town. The restaurants are concentrated in a predominantly Chinese and Thai populated village of Kulim on the fringe of town. Upon closer inspection the reason for this phenomena is this Budhist Wat located withing the village. Anyway this is my guess as it seems to be the focal point for the restaurants.

The most peculiar thing about these restaurants are their names. One of the earliest to be set up was this Ban Kok Restaurant.

Later it was perhaps followed by this one called Chieng Mai.

The next one seems to be more down to earth and thus named after the very village itself Kg Kulim and thus Restoran Kg Kulim.

Kg. Delima is the next village to Kg. Kulim so the next restaurant took after the name of the village and is thus named Seri Delima.

The owner of the next restaurant must be an avid fan of Chef Yan of the famous television series Wok With Yan and so he named his eatery as Yan Restaurant.

The next restaurant has a very Thai sounding name of Prik Knu. This must be an authentic Thai food restaurant.

The front of this eatery below don't seem to be well kept. Either the food must be so good that it is well patronised as it is or it is facing a rough time.

If you don't know where to find those restaurants, don't worry there are ample signages to lead you to the place.

Since all of the above restaurants are non halal meaning they are not for moslems I can't say much about the food. Hopefully some of the bloggers who write about food glorious food will get to visit them and write about them. How about you l'abeille?

During the festive seasons, the Yam Seng will resonate through the nights. So who says you cant drink and eat pork in Kelantan? You need only to know where to go.

By the way KBguy lives in Wakaf Baru so he should be able to tell us something about these eateries.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Please Pray For My Daughter Azura

When Azura my eldest daughter called us that her third child will be a boy we were so overjoyed with it. This is God's gift to her after having given birth to two girls Nur Alia Jazleen 8 and Nur Farhana Jazreen 6 both of them I lovingly referred to as Budak Puchong.
Though she works in Kuala Lumpur, she prefers to deliver her babies at University of Science Malaysia Hospital in Kota Bharu. She intends to deliver the third child at the same hospital.
While still in Kuala Lumpur, a check at the hospital there showed that the baby was in a breech position. This is a bad sign as the baby's head should be pointing downward towards the cervix, the exit from the uterus. Her due date was barely a month away and in the breach position, the baby is definitely in the wrong position to join this world.
This is the age of modern medicine with all its sophistications, a breach position means caesarian delivery. The baby will have to join this world not by the normal way but a via a cut in the mothers stomach which will leave a scar for life.
The traditional midwife still plays a part in the delivery of a child. The important part played by the traditional midwife is in correcting a breach position. So far the taditioanl midwife has never failed to correct this problem in any of our family members including my own wife. The first attempt to correct the breaching position by a midwife in KL succeeded for a short while but the position reverted.
With the due date getting nearer, we asked her to come back to Pasir Mas to get it done by a midwife who was known to have been correcting the breaching postion of babies due for delivery all the time. The baby returnrd to the breeching position after being corrected by the midwife. She refused to make another attempt for fear that the umbilical chord maybe a factor in the failure.
Since Azura's husband works in Ipoh and cant be back yet, I had to take Azura to HUSM for the check up on 18th March 2008. We went there very early in the morning arriving at HUSM a few minutes past 8 am. There was already a long queue at the outpatient department but at the Oncology and Gynaecology clinic the crowd was quite normal at that early hour.
Since her appointment was with the specialist, it took quite sometimes for her to be examined. Having the child for more than 36 weeks means she was due anytime and by right the baby should be in the correct position for delivery.
The doctor who examined her decided to retain her for observation in the ward. She was admitted into Ward Akik on the second floor and was scheduled to be operated on the next day which was the 19th since there will be a holiday for Maulidurrasul on Thursday the 20th of March. A holiday on Thursday to be followed by the weekend on Friday and Saturday means three non working days. The hospital will be short of staff if the operation was not done on Wednesday before the extended weekend begins.
Azura (second from left) with the family members in the ward at Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia.
On Wednesday the baby turned and prepared to exit into this world. We were overjoyed, natural birth was possible. But the doctors needed to see how stable will the baby be in this position as attempting a normal delivery was dangerous if the baby turn to a position of breach again. An endoscopic examination was done to find out if the channel of delivery was ok. Then the worst thing happened, my daughter started to bleed. The kind of bleeding never associated with predelivery of a baby. Another examination was carried out by the gynaecologist on duty and Dr. Ramli Ibrahim found a 2 cm tumour at the cervic! It was this tumour that was bleeding. The baby had been turning away from the tumour. Thats the reason for the breech. Nature ensures that a certain signal is sent when condition is not normal.
Samples were taken of the tumour and sent to the lab. Since it was already evening, the lab staffs have left for home and tests can only be done on the samples by the earliest on Sunday. The doctor supervising my daughter is Dr. Kumar. So friendly was he that he was willing to share all the informations that he knows and answered every one of my questions and my son inlaw's question however silly some of them were. He undestood that under the circumstances, our minds were one of absolute turmoil. His answers eased our mind.
If the cervical tumour growth was malignant tumour, which means cancer, the following procedures will be followed: caesarian operation will be done to bring out the baby. As the trauma of childbirth will result in swelling of all the blood vessels and thus the operation to remove the tumour will not be done at the same time and must be done later by a specialist. Its not just the removel of the uterus but also the lymph nodes. The lymph nodes if not removed will be the entry point for the cancerous cells to invade the rest of the body. When that happens, nothing can be done to save the life of the patient. The operation to remove the uterus and the lymph nodes can only be done after about 2 weeks of the delivery by caesarian but not later than 4 weeks. Too early an operation means not letting to allow the swollen blood vessels to recover from the trauma and too late may mean the exposure of the rest of the healthy body part to cancerous cells which are already within the body.
Of paramount importance is the confirmation by the pathologists on the status of the tumour. Only by culturing the cells will the confirmation be made. The 3 days holiday wasn't helping matters at all. Now a week is necessary. If the tumour is cancer off stage one, removal of the uterus will more or less remove the cancer for good, otherwise chemotherapy is the only other available cure.
Chemotherapy with all the side effects is dreaded. In essence chemotherapy is like killing the cancer cells by burning them. To ensure all of them are cleaned, more than the infected cells must be destroyed. The side effects are too numerous. At a comparatively young age of 33, chemotherapy will result in so many undesirable effect without even the guarantee of obliterating the cancer. She could live better without a uterus and forgo all future chances of having another child.
With already 2 daughters and a son, my daughter's family is quite a family already. Saving the baby's life and her own life is of paramount importance. It doesn't matter if she can't reproduce again. My own is only a family with 4 children including Azura herself. So having one less children than me won't make her any worse. There are others out there who are not even blessed with a single child.
Dr. Ramli took another sample on the afternoon of 20th March. He can't wait for the lab result. He will do a microscopic study to satisfy himself that a caesarian operation was the better option and the sooner done the better.
At exactly 4.00 pm Azura was wheeled into the operating theatre with the blessing of all the family members including Jo her husband.
An hour later a 3.1 kg baby boy with matted black hair was taken out of the operating theatre with perfect body part. The child is beautiful. Thank you Allah for saving the child.

Two hours old Mohamad Aqil.

Half an hour later one by one the immediate family members were allowed to enter the room outside the operating theatre where Azura was lying on a hospital bed before being taken to the recovery ward. She was operated on while being conscious. Only her lower half of the body was under anaesthesia. She felt no pain at all while the operation was being done. Azura recuperating after the operation.

Lis and As looking at baby brother Mohamad Aqil

We stayed with her till the end of the visiting hours at 7.00 pm. My wife Fatthiyah was allowed to stay with her in the ward to be with her for the night to lend her support with whatever way she could. The painkillers helped Azura through the night.
21st March, we visited Azura again at the ward. She was feeling better. She problem, the baby was not suckling much since early morning. It was important for the baby to have the mothers first milk which is called the colustrum containing rich antibodies essential to ward off any disease attack on her. After 6.oo pm, we told her to change to the sitting position and allow the baby to suckle while being cradled in her arms. Alhamdulillah the baby started to suckle and slowly Azura's mammary glands started to lactate. Muhamad Aqil fell asleep after getting a stomch full of his mother's milk.
Aqil having the first feed of his life.

One day old Mohamad Aqil

To all dear friends, I beg you all to pray for my daughter's well being. Let the tumour be benign. If it is malignant, let it be in stage one so that an operation to remove her uterus and lymph nodes is all that is necessary for her to carry on living to look after her 2 daughters and the newborn baby boy.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

eTAK oh eTOK

Fresh etak being soaked in water

kerp (ph.d) of Let's Go Land has been persistently asking me about etak, so to answer your questions about etak, I dedicate this post to you for being interested in this bivalves and hopefully one day you will get to taste it the way the Kelantanese has been enjoying it for generations. Kerp, this blog is dedicated to you.
Raykinzoku wrote a great informative piece about etak which he called etok (the way the Kelantanese called it is somewhere in between etak and etok) in his blog: Distinctively KeLaTte : ETOK This is how Ray describe the etak.
Etok is a small, pebble-sized, freshwater corbicula clam which lives at the bottom of rivers and canals, alongside scavanging fishes and crustaceans. Mostly found in the shallows and sandy parts of the river, they are least known or simply neglected by most Malaysians.
A very apt description. I can't do any better than that.Via his blog we now know that etok is not only found in Kelantan but also in other states of Malaysia and as faraway as Japan! Only thing I would like to add is it is found only in fresh waters and it is very sensitive to the quality of the water.
When I started schooling in 1957, I went to school in Kampong Kangkong about 5 miles from my home in Kg Chekok both in the district of Pasir Mas to live with my maternal grandparents. The river was our source of life. We get our water for cooking and drinking from there carrying by the pails. My being small I have to carry a small container which is a kettle. We depend almost everything that has got to do with water on the river. Washing, bathing and as the toilet. A floating raft complete with cubcles with a gunny sack of a curtain as the door was the public toilet! Transportation back then was by river boat plying downstream to Pasir Mas and around noon upstream back home. Tarred road only became available much later.
Above all that we get some of our food like freshwater fish and prawns and etak from the river too.
Every time we go to the river for whatever activities especially bathing where we will get wet, we will use the opportunity to collect some etak. Without the pengokok, we either use our hands or feet to search for them. To use the hands was easy provided the place is muddy and there is no pebbles in that area. Most of such areas are by the river bank and much deeper than the sandy area. The way we do it is to dive in and feel for the pebble like etak among the mud and throw them on the bank or put them in the part of the cloth we wore to cover our 'aurat'. I was considered to small then and can just dip in without covering the 'aurat'. The etok from muddy areas are usually darker in colour and larger. The sandy areas where the water flows mcuh faster the etak is of much lighter color and look very clean.
For the sandy areas usually towards the middle of the river where the water level is much shallower due to flat sandbank, etak can be collected by shifting the top 2 or 3 inches of the sand on the river bed to one side using our bare feet. If the etak were there they would be exposed and become visible to the naked eye provided the water is clear which was often the case in the olden days. The water should be shallow enough to bend down like you are in the roko' position when doing the prayers. Another condition is there must not be ripples on the surface of the water which was usually caused by the wind if it was a windy day. The ripples will prevent you from seeing the etak when it was exposed. During the dry spell some parts of the riverbed will be exposed. If it was recently exposed many etak will still survive and there are tell tale signs to show where the etak are. Digging it with the finger will expose it and if it is big enough, it will be collected. If the sandy river bed is exposed to the sun for too long the etak will die off.
Using the pengokok needs some strength.The pengokok is made of metal bars of about 2 mm diameter strung together with wires to form an open cage attached to a long bamboo or wooden pole for handle like in the picture below. A bamboo pole is preferred as it is lighter.
Syed Azmi demonstrating how the pengokok is used

Details of how the pengokok is made

It is like a sieve to filter out the smaller sands and keep the etak inside. Some pebbles that are larger than the gaps between the metal sieve will also be retained. At the stage where the etok and pebbles are caught in the pengokok, an expert can segregate the etak from the pebbles using the principle of differences of specific gravity between the etok and the pebbles and the water flowing through the sieve. While the non expert will have to collect the etak by sight. In places where the sand is fine, only the etak will remain in it.
My activities of collecting etok ceased after I went to an English school in Pasir Mas. The occassional weekend trip home didn't provide enough time for such activities. Only after 1981 when I started working with Kumpulan Fima and based in Kuala Besut that I began to go to Sungai Besut to collect the etak. The locals there who were mostly descendents from Kelantan knows how to collect and consume etak. So whenever I feel like having etak, a trip to the river near Kg Amir will yield enough etak for my small family.
Later in 1996 when we moved into our own house in Kg. Kasa, Pasir Mas that we were able to enjoy etak again. Kampong Kasa is located on the bank of Sungai Kelantan and lots of etak were found. They were gathered and cooked by roasting it on a small fire after marinating it in a paste made of salt, blended with lemon grass, shallots, ginger and garlic. I suspect monosodium glutamate is lavishly added. Some may deny using it entirely to entice those non MSG consuming etok lovers. The marinating process takes at least an hour.
Before marinating the etak it must be washed clean and soaked in clean water. The soaking will make the etak purge all sand particles and mud within itself which may make it feel gritty when eating it if it is not totally purged. Soaking it over a minimum of 3 hours is necessary and overnight will be best.
Washing the etak
Roasting platform
Lighting the fire.

As Ray correctly said it, etak are mainly used as light snack but some people use it as appetizer to go with their rice ecpecially nasi kerabu. It can also be taken as lauk which I will describe later.
Roasting over a small fire on a platform raised 2.5 feet above the floor. The platform is made of long split bamboo pieces spaced close enough to each other to prevent the etak from slipping through. Over a slow fire the etok are constanly turned with a piece of plank attached to a wooden handle. The constant turning over is necessary to ensure eveness of exposure to the heat below. An hour of roasting is enough. Overheating or too long an exposure can result in the split up and the flesh to dry up and become less succulent. If there are extremely large etak in the mix, they must be seperataed and roasted first before adding the rest to it.
Turning ove the etak

Other than roasting over a fire, the etak can also be roasted in the hot sun. Some people love it that way. This way will ensure that the flesh will be succulent enough. For those who make a living out of roasting and selling etok, the sun is not a reliable source of heat and the timing isn't suitable. Grilling job must be finished by the latest at 11 am for them to start selling.
Roasted etak or etak salai as the local term for it is highly hygroscopic due to the salt coating on its shell. The best container to keep it is a badang which has more surface area or a bakul. A badang is best. Both are made of plaited bamboo slices and so has better breathing quality compared to metal containers. Thus the etok will not become wet too soon due to the hygroscopic nature of the salt coating it. If metal containers are to be used, absorbing materials are necessary to be placed on the container before putting the etak in it.

A badang
Etak in a badang
Newspapers being very good material to absorb moisture is the best material to use as wrappers. Unfortunately the ink used for printing is hazardous to health and the sellers are often reminded by health inspectors to refrain from using newspapers as wrappers. If you care for your health, better don't buy them when they are wrapped in newspapers. If you still have to use newspapers, quickly transfer them to some other containers so as not to allow the newspaper ink to stick to the shell of the etak.
Etak salai can be taken as snack or as lauk with rice be it nasi kerabu or nasi putih.
Etak salai showing the succulent flesh.

Beside roasting, etok are also consumed by making it into a dish called sayur etok where the gravy becomes opaque like, after adding pounded shallots, garlic and crushed lemon grass with salt and sugar to taste. MSG can be used instead of sugar. For etak masak lemak, santan is used instead of plain water as in the case of sayur etak. Why the word sayur etak is used by the Kelantanese really confounds me. It must be the misuse of the word like they say makan air or makan rokok. Makan angin is of course a different matter altogether.
Etak sayur
Etak masak lemak

Eating sayur etok or etok masak lemak is easy as the shell will be split open when subjected to heat but eating etok salai is a different ball game altogether. To retain the flesh succulent, the shell must not be allowed to split. If it is splitted, the flesh will dry up.
Lots of practise is required to acquire the skill to open the shell of the etak. Unlike the cockles which merely needs sufficient force to open them, the etak is too small and smooth to grip the shell the way you do to cockles. The regular eaters will just use their teeth to split them using the incisors (the front teeth) without breaking the two sides apart. The shell should open outward with the hinged part intact. The next act is to suck out the flesh from the inner side of the shell. The ingredients sticking to the external part of the shell will give flavour to the flesh. That is why splitting it with the teeth always taste better.
Those without the incisors or using dentures can still enjoy etak salai as there are other means of opening it. Ray's mother taught him how to use the knife to open the shell to save his teeth from wearing out faster. In Ray's case his mother taught him to scrape the edge of the etak to reveal the slit between the two sides. Inserting the blade of the knife and twisting the blade to either side will open the shell. In my case I will just put the knife blade across the slit and slowly turning the blade to align with the slit with a little pressure will make the blade penetrate the slit. A slight twist of the blade will open up the shell.
Using the knife to open the shell

Using half a shell

If you dont have a knife around, using one half of the shell can be a substitute for the knife.Using the sharp edge of the shell, use it the same way as a knife. With some practise, it will get just as good as a knife and less dangerous.
My two grand daughters Lis 8 years old and As 6 yrs from Puchong which I used to call Budak Puchong in my earlier blogs is back in Pasir Mas for 2 months. We have introduced them to etak salai and they are learning up on how to open up the etak with their teeth. For the moment they could open them but the shells spilt apart. Give them abit more time they will soon get the hang of it.
Lis and her sister As enjoying etak

Etak salai can be purchased in many places like the markets and roadsides. Near my home in Kampung Kasar there is a special gerai constructed by the Majlis Bandaran Pasir Mas solely to sell etak. Unfortunately not many sellers prefer the place and only one or two sellers use the place. Others prefer their own spots down the road.

Mak Su Minah selling etak

I told you when I first returned in Pasir Mas in 1996, etok was still available in the Kelantan river. A few years later they were not there anymore. What happened?
I asked Syed Azmi a regular etak gatherer whose livelihood solely depends on etak. He said etak disappeared from the Kelantan river some years back. The reasons was the proliferation of the use of chemicals to catch udang galah, the fresh water prawns. The other reason is the many sand mining operations along the river. The spawns of the etak were sucked up by the powerful water pumps used to suck up the sand being mined.
So where does the etak come from now?
He said he has to go everywhere as far as Pekan in Pahang, Terengganu and Perak to get his supplies. He will go in a mini lorry with his other brothers and brother in law. They now know where the locations are and every trip will secure about 100 kg. His own need is about 30 kg perday so he had to store them somewhere. Earlier they tried putting them in the Kelantan river and harvest them again for use on the day itself. To his consternation he found that only 50 percent survived.That was a heavy price to pay. Now he kept them under referigeration. At RM8.00 a kg, his loss was quite substantial.
A commentator at Ray's blog said etak was a nuisance at his place in Pahang. During the dry season they had this vast expanse of flat sandbar near they village which they use as a football field. They even call it the stadium. The problem is the dead etak leave behind sharp shells that often cut up the players feet as 'beach soccer' is of course played bare footed in his kampong in Pahang. He is appealing to anybody to come and harvest all the etak from his place. It will be a gold mine to people like Syed Azmi if he were to know the place.
The only solution is to educate the people there on how to consume etak. Once they have acquired the taste, they will harvest them for their own consumption. Another way is to teach them how to harvest the etak and sell them in Kelantan. It will be an economic activity and contribute to their income. Hey isn't that an easy way to make money?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

12th General Election - The Final Post

This is my final post about the 12th General Election. We all know the result and further discussions are of course available on the political blogs. I will continue to post my comments there as right from the very beginning I wanted to refrain from turning this site into a political one.
The need to inform readers about the goings on in Pasir Mas made me change my mind to temporarily use this site to disseminate informations about the GE in my beloved Pasir Mas. If I succeed in making you all happy and informed, then my mission is a success. It was impossible for me to be impartial as the pent up feeling in me of the injustices done was too much for me to hold back. To those whom I may have offended, I tender my sincerest unreserved apology.
Ahead of us is uncharted territory. Kelantan is the only state that has experienced changes in government on regular basis with about 18 to 20 years as the normal cycle. The trend is bucked this once. It is OK for Kelantan as we know we are in good hands. No one could say for sure about the other new states like the rich Selangor whose wealth itself can be a cause for concern. it is only too easy for someone to lose their level thinking at the sight of instant wealth. Not many can withhold the desire to be instant millionaires given the opportunity.
There is hope of course to go the straight path if we allow ourselves to be guided by sincere group of people in the form of Ombudsman which should immediately be formed. Let us show the Federal Government how to run a state using good governance as a tool to keep the country running and make the people happy.
When PAS took over Kelantan in 1990, they inherit the same staff from the previous Government. After sometimes, their mindset was changed to the same tune as the Government of the day. This was achieved by none other than the adage of leadership by example. If the leaders are perceived to be clean and examplary, the rest of the government servants will just follow suit. Humility is never a bad trait in a leader, it will endear him more to the rakyat.
With this post, I would like to close this chapter on the General Election in Pasir Mas and Kelantan in general. Thank you all for bearing with me.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Kelantan Is Saved

Unofficial Result. PAS won 31 seats and retains Kelantan, Allahu Akbar.

When the election result was streaming in, I was looking in disbelief at the Malaysiakini unofficial result that PAS had already won 31 seats in Kelantan and Penang was already in the hand of DAP. My ex teacher from the Pasir Mas school days and now residing in Johor called me to congratulate me on the success of the incumbent state government to retain Kelantan with an even bigger majority. He knew that I was supportive of this government even though I was a member of the other party opposed to it. I could guess his happiness at having heard that DAP has taken over from Gerakan in Penang. Congratulating him on that and throw him a caution that the DAP must not neglect the Malays of Penang. He assured me that the DAP won't neglect them. It will be detrimental to the whole intention of bringing the BN government if the DAP choose to be another UMNO which they had been unhappy with all these while. The DAP being similarly race based is still looked upon with suspicion by the Malays. It will be detrimental in the long run if DAP doesn't improve its image as multi racial party like the PKR is.

Today 9th March 2008, the mood among the supporters of the current state government is in a state of euphoria. Who would have thought that PAS would be returned with such an overwhelming majority, 39 to 6 for BN?
In my post on nomination day I made the following prediction:

PAS - 33
BN - 10

I can't predict the other two seats.
Well, I wasn't far off wasn't I? The prediction was made on nomination day and based on gut feeling.
So what next? It is time to walk the talk. Those who have found power must walk the talk. State like Penang which be governed by the DAP for the first time must tread carefully lest they maybe accused of the same thing that of favouring a specific race and thus damage once and for all the good faith that were accorded to them.
Time for me to grab some sleep.
Thank you God.

12th General Election - Pasir Mas 8th March 2008


Rain started to fall as early as 7.30 am in Pasir Mas. An hour later it abated somewhat and I went to the polling center at the school near my home. Is the rain a 'hujan rahmat' or is it a way of Allah trying to tell us about something bad being done on his 'ummat'. Naahh who would believe such a thing possible.
On the way to the center I saw this banner.
Untuk mengundi kena lafaz niat ke?
The scene at the entrance to the voting center.

I registered to vote at the SPR table where about 6 personnel sitting at some tables with laptops hooked up to the internet. I got my chit indicating my stream and my serial number written on it.

The queue at stream two where I was to cast my vote was too long so I loiter around without casting may vote. I went out of the school compound and took some pictures of those party workers. After that I went home to check my blogsite.

The long queue at Saluran 2.

My son who had voted earlier told me to watch out that those people issuing the ballot paper will be writing my serial number on the ballot paper which will render my privacy absolute. If the serial number in my case 601 is written on my ballot paper then people will know whose ballot that is. This is the catch that they are doing on the voters. They do away with the printed serial number but they write the serial number on the ballot paper. So what is so difficult to check who vote for whom? Who says your privacy is guaranteed? LIARS.

When I finish this post I am going to go and vote and try to protest them from writing my serial number on the ballot paper and let us see how they will react. If they insist that they must write the number then I may have to opt not to vote or just merely submit a blank ballot paper. I am writing this BEFORE I cast my vote.

Meanwhile a neighbour told me that he received informations at the Kelar voting center that 200 unknown voters had casted their vote there. The way they are doing it, Kelantan may have a new government by tomorrow he said. I hope this isn't true.
Last night there was news about my old classmate being struck by someone from another party. My classmate was sent to the Pasir Mas hospital for treatment and the BN candidate Hanafi Mamat was shown visiting him at the ward. The attacker was made out to be from an opposition party. That was a blatant lie. What actually happened was my classmate negated on his earlier promise to pay his party worker for putting up his banner. He didn't pay the promised RM20 and instead paid the worker RM5. That incenced him so much that he went to look for my ex classmate and struck him with a piece of wood. The unfortunate thing was that this worker came in a car with the flag of PAS and thus the blame was put on the party.
Now I am going to cast my vote.
I will continue this post after I come back.
The time now is 11.55 am.

2 PM.

Just came back from casting my votes. The stream that I was allocated had a long queue and took me more than an hour to do it. On the way in I enquired from a party worker who informed me that they had lodged a protest with SPR about the writing of the serial number on the ballot papers. When my turn came they didnt write anything on my ballot papers so I can't have definite proof of the allegation of writing the serial number on the ballot paper.

While waiting for my turn I met my classmate and enquired about the incident. He jokingly told me that some budak-budak were playing with some wood and the wood hit him. Poor bloke hahahaha. Anyway it was irresponsible reporting by the TV media to put the blame on the party.

There was an incident at my polling station whereby a voter from KL found his name being marked as to have his ballot casted even though he hadn't. How could this have happened? I think a police report was made by one of the parties involved in the election.

My friend Tuan Haji Azmy Omar send me these pictures from his voting center at Sekolah Dato' Abduk Hamid 2 somewhere in town where he voted.

Tuan Haji Ibrahim Hussin standing in line to cast his vote.

The people on duty at the voting center. Those in yellow are the SPR staff. Dont mistake them for Bersih's members.

Below are some friends found by Tuan Haji Azmi at the center.

It is 6.00 PM now. The voting centre was closed an hour ago. The PAS side were confident of winning more votes for the KASA area while The BN people were confident of winning the State of Kelantan and form the next state government. Maybe they know something that the others like us don't know?

My neighbour was confident the BN were up to something and will be able to topple the current government in Kelantan. I guess they do since they have SPR to help them.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Run Up To 12th GE Pasir Mas, DUN Chetok - 7th March

Lunacy is a Kelantanese in Sabah. He longed to see the goings on in his Kampung Galok which is next to my kampong of Chekok in the Chetok constituency. Chetok is one of the state constituencies under the Parliamentary constituency of Pasir Mas.
DUN Chetok is a straight fight between Dato' Ab. Rahim Abdul Rahman of BN against the incumbent Ustaz Halim Abdul Rahman of PAS. Ustaz Halim isn't expected to face any problem against this challenge as he had been serving the constituency very well the way the people there want him to be. He is very close with the people on the ground and will not discriminate those who didn't vote for him.
I went over to Galok just before the Jumaat prayers and performed mine at Masjid Hujung Galok which is still under construction. The construction of this mosque is solely based on donation and thus takes a long time to complete.
The Imam directly exhort those who attended the prayers to vote PAS as it is considered the only party that adheres to the Islamic laws. I find the way he does it as too crude and may not be attractive to those who regard politics as seperate from religion.
It was raining most of the time so the photos didn't turn out well.

If only they would accept contribution from the Federal government, this mosque would be ready in no time especially during such election tme.
They are so creative.

Guess which party are they referring to.

The junction to Tok Uban in Chetok.

This poster is a cheeky one I found near the moslem cemetery in Chekok

During Pak Lah's time the people are asthmatic

How high is high enough?

In the evening I went out again to take some pictures of posters that I have misssed. Most are self explanatory.

The above picture showed the level crossing in town. During festive holidays this crossing create massive traffic jam in town. Both parties promised to construct an overhead pass to fascilitate crossing during the recent Pengkalan Pasir by election. Since PAS won, the party started the construction work this year and scheduled to be completed next year (2009).

Incase they are accused of not keeping to their promise, they put up a large signboard saying that they have started working on it on the other side of the railway track.

Reverse psychology.

Colorful flags.

This is their promise.

The Kelantanese from outstation are arriving.

My neighbour Dato' Abdul Fatah Haron contesting in Bukit Tuku State seat.