Tuesday, February 21, 2006

An evening with Pak Lah

Pak Lah (Prime Minister of Malaysia, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) is in Perth !! I am not sure if I should feel excited about this, but having a meeting with the Malaysian students session in a 5-star hotel with good food served is just an occasion I could find myself not to miss. The session was held today at 4.00pm at Hyatt Regency Hotel in Perth.

Upon arrival there was already a swarm of people flooding the registration corner. I made my way to the UWA booth, registered my name, and the person in charge gave me three things in return. Everyone else got the three things as well.

The Malaysian Flag

They must have thought we, students who study overseas may have forgotten how Malaysian flags look like. So they gave FREE mini flags away to remind us of our country flags look like, in hope that we will remember it while living our lives here outside Malaysia.

The event booklet

When I was handed the booklet, all I can think was, darn it !! Why this booklet is made of such cheap materials? Blue lousy paper with printed black ink... Wah lau, so inappropriate for an event of such status.

Inside the booklet, there it is, the printed lyrics of the national anthem. Gosh, I was wondering when was the last time I actually stood still like a rock and sang that anthem. I believe it was years back when I was in secondary years (2001), with the weekly school assembly at the hall, when every student were forced required to sing "Negaraku". How many years has it been since I have not seen or heard of that anthem?

A mysterious envelope

At first I seriously had no idea what was inside the envelope, and whatever documents or sheets of information given to us can be just in plain papers. However... there was a piece of blue looking paper inside...

Ta da.....

Yiippieee... Mr Money Cash !!! AUD10. Am I supposed to be happy receiving AUD10?? I was thinking to myself, the bus that directly services from the hotel to my place in Nedlands should not be running after 6.00pm, and I might need to take a cab home later. Pardon me for being calculative, but AUD10 was just not enough for my cab fare. Come on, what can anyone do with just 10 bucks? Go have a Value Meal in KFC ??

And so I went in the hall, and found myself a table somewhere in the middle. The hall was already packing up with people, and unfortunately, the number of chairs and tables available could not accomodate everyone present. I estimated 20-30 people standing at the back for almost one hour before more chairs were provided to the audience. Well, a typical Malaysia event don't you think? After all, Pak Lah is our star and hero, be it hail-storm or fire-storm, people will still make it just to see Pak Lah. That is a true spririt of a real Malaysian which I find myself seriously lacking of

The entire event listing was rather formal and straightforward. The arrival of the Prime MInister, the "inspiring, uplifting, influencial and one million dollar worth" speech from the Prime Minister, followed by question and answer sessions open to the hall. I must admit though, I find the speech from Pak Lah rather calm, relaxing and peaceful. That clearly reflects the nature of person he is, I believe and portrays his sincere and genuine intentions in speaking the words. He has this "I am a good man, I am an honest man, I speak for peace, I have good intentions" kind of tone that flows smoothly throughout the lenghty standard one hour speech. I admire that quality in him. A different approach than conventional fight fire with fire and offensive styles.

I shall quote a small bit of a memorable piece I learned from Pak Lah's speech. "Patah, tumbuh, hilang, diganti". The phrase is in Malay Language, which can be translated as "broken, but regrown, gone, but replaced". Well, it may not sound that appropriate after my 50 cents worth of translation effort, but hey, the message is clear. We need progress in whatever we do in our lives, Whatever that is broken or lost, must be fixed or replaced in order to move not only onwards, but upwards. That is one rather significant rule of thumb for success.

And of course, the moment EVERYONE has been waiting for, the FOOD. We were sitting down comfortably in the hall, but to my surprise, the food was NOT served in the hall. There was a buffet style table setup just outside the hall, and we have to walk our huge heavy asses out the room, line up with hundeds of other hungry vultures, just for the food.

Just look at the lines !!

And yeah baby, my plate full of goodies.

And the best part of all, Pak Lah was only one table away from me !!! I was less than 10 Meters away from him !! Ok ok, I know I sound overly excited here.. but hey... a boy has a right to be happy, has he not?

There was the photography session. I was seriously hoping to get a one on one photo shot with Pak Lah, but I guess that dream was just too sweet to be true. All we had were group photos, whats worse, categorised by universities. Yeah, imagine me sardined into a frame of photo together with hundreds of faces I have never seen before. There were like dozens of cameras lining up the front for the shoot. I just could not find a way for my camera to get in line. Sadness.

I met up with quite a number of people, mostly from other universities. Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to take pictures with everyone.

Here is the lovely Lorinda from Notre Dame. She is currently doing her final year, just like me !!! She knows not of Malay language, and for her to survive more than one hour of blurness while Pak Lah was delivering his "meaningful" speech, I truly admire her !!! Of course, she has a blog too !!! Wooo-hooo.. another blogger on my list.

And finally, here is the gorgeous Charmaine, aka Cynical-Idealist, the blogger whom also from Kuching, and studying in Perth, just like me and Kenny Sia !!! Thank you so much for informing me about this particular event Char !!! I trully appreciate it. Yeah, without her, I might never even see Pak Lah in person for the rest of my pathetic life. I owe you one Char !! You guys out there, check out her blog !! She has some good reads there.

So to all Malaysians especially the people in Sarawak, do keep an eye open for the local newspapers no more tribune, sadness who knows, possibly you may turn into a page with the group photos of Pak Lah with UWA students, and go find yourself a magnifying glass to zoom in the image and view the angelic and full of pimples face of yours truly !!!


  1. Sorry to dampen your high spirits and praise to Thy Wise Man, but while you were enjoying the food and party, have you ever wondered who paid for this event? It might be paid by the blood and sweat of our tax-paying rakyat!

    Nevertheless, good job on the photo-taking and it really gives us the insights of his trip besides sourcing from the mainstream media.

  2. hey housy !!
    Thanks for dropping a comment. I really appreciate it a lot. I was not expecting much from the event though, having PM present was the best thing ever !!!
    point taken on the tax paying part.

  3. typical malaysian politic, $10 can buy a vote each! hehehe!

  4. The students also one kind. What could've been opportunities for debate and discussion on issues that need to be addressed back home turned out to be shameless demands for money, no?

    But great pics and writeup. =) I should probably do mine, but there's not much else to say.

  5. hey wuching,
    you are so right !!!!! and definitely we are worth more than that !!! we are not CHEAP !!

  6. hey cynical-idealist
    yalar, i didnt expect the Q and A session to be so "dramatic". Those people really shoot the PM kow kow with their demands especially financial needs.
    But i would say that they see it as an opportunity to voice up such matters. How many times would you have PM visiting Perth directly?? People just get overly excited when they can communicate and speak right to PM's face. It was never easy to get his attentions anyway.
    There, you can blog bout the Q and A session with PM !!!

  7. damn it! how come no one tell me?? I wanted to tell him so many things.. all the complaints and bitchings..=)

  8. hey cynthia,
    err.... not afraid of ISA meh??? wahahhaaa... i think the people there done enough complaints and bitching already... wahhahahaa

  9. The only 2 reasons for me to go to that students session with Pak Lah are the $10 Aussie notes and the free food to save my dinner! :D

  10. hey kenjj
    well, the food was not sufficient for my dinner !!!!

  11. wah, finally meet PM liaw oh.. i'm here in KL yet never seen him b4 haha. but then i think i saw Mahathir in the car when i was in putrajaya.. does that count? ;P AUD10 + few bucks can buy Broadway Pizza!!! Muahahaha

  12. wahhahaa...
    yalor.. i really want to meet mahathir one day though.. i kinda really respect him in a way or two.
    broadway pizza... havent had any yet... sigh.. no $$$ lar.. very sad here

  13. Dude,Watch where that hand is going....!!!(pic with cynical_idealist)...

    hehe,just kidding!!

  14. hey arth..
    yeah.. go ahead and be imaginative !! It is going somewhere...... (fill in the blanks)

  15. I think it's a "sweet" gesture by the M'sian Gov to meet and greet the future of the country. It's a special occasion and will definately make the "student times" stories interesting for your "cucu-cicik"s**!!
    ** correct spelling?

    Notice the cool sunset seaside pic on the blog header. Good job and don't forget to put a bit of study time in the midst of all the socialising....wah! Student life 2006 is waaaay more exciting then the 90s!

  16. hey chan gang !!
    Long time no hear !! Yeah, socialising nowadays are sure different.. with the presence of internet and all...
    School will start soon, this coming monday actually, and I shall start firing up my engine for it.

  17. Found this blog half a year after it as posted. Anyway, I was at the event too. See Badawi is in Perth for my version, and the group photo that you missed.

  18. $10 is the money to buy student moral support.

    after getting AUD10, just raise your hand and said " Kami Sokong", "Mana titah patik junjung"

    that how smart pak lah , Khairy, nori and Kamaluddin, PAtrick Badawi converting Malaysia Goverment into family goverment of Abdullah Badawi without parliment concent.

    Watch out

  19. hey tzuyen,
    thanks so much for the group photo, it was so hectic back then that I did not think I could fit in my camera aywhere to snap the group photo. Not only that, my cam would definitely not be powerful enough, the lighting was horrible in that hall !! Thanks so much..

    hey mrzahz
    oh well, I for one would care very little about political issues and would avoid myself being involved as much as possible. no matter what government is ruling over any country, there is bound to be mess and undesirable outcomes one way or another, and people will forever never be satisfied with whatever they have, and asking for more. That is just plain life.