It was a full house of around 2000 diners at the MCA-Gerakan unity dinner along Jalan Raja Uda in Butterworth last night – but not everyone was paying attention to the main speakers who included Ng Yen Yen.

Check out the diners paying little attention to the speakers:

Teng Hock Nam urged the crowd to vote for any Barisan candidate whether from Umno, MCA, Gerakan or MIC. Ng Yen Yen touched on the Kancil car park fiasco at Penang Hill. She mentioned something about the lack of cinemas in Kelantan, congratulated Umno for a ‘progressive’ general assembly’, and tried to get the crowd going with 1Malaysia chants. In between, speakers alluded to the DAP pandering to Pas in terms of budget allocations for certain target groups and Pas’ inclination for hudud laws.

Gushingly, Yen Yen declared the MCA-Gerakan unity dinner a historic occasion. The crowd acknowledged her solemn proclamation by heartily tucking in even more food.

Finally, it was time for the sing-a-long with everyone on stage swaying We-are-the-world style with the BN theme song (We are with you – or something to that effect). And then a gangnam dance on stage by a young troupe. That was a bit unfortunate as I couldn’t help thinking about that other animated gangnam Youtube video featuring an MCA leader which has gone viral.

As for the crowd response, I would say one third (especially those sitting at the back and either side) had turned up with their families and friends focused on enjoying a sumptuous meal. They paid little attention to the speakers despite the sound system being set at full blast and Ng Yen Yen prancing around the stage doing her best to whip up some enthusiasm. And they looked bored while waiting for the next course, and the course after that…

The other one third looked mildly or vaguely interested and the remaining third (I’m being generous here), probably the MCA party faithful, applauded the speakers enthusiastically but their attempts at cheer-leading fell flat as the rest of the crowd failed to take the cue.

Why did most of the crowd stay on till the end? One reason was that the servings of the various courses were timed to perfection, so that by the time the speeches concluded before 10.00pm, there were still a couple of courses that had not yet been served.

Well, maybe this is the MCA-Gerakan’s idea of reaching out to the unconverted or the floating undecided voters – i.e. not preaching to the choir. But by the looks of it, last night’s dinner crowd showed up with the main objective of making the most of the feast.