Update (10.22pm): The free food at Pulau Tikus market has been cleaned out. One of my blog readers who dropped by there is thus unable to ‘ta pau’ food home! (Others had done that previously, I hear.) Diners are now queuing up to receive angpow packets. Inside each packet are three lottery tickets. Cans of free beer are being opened and served. Welcome to 1Malaysia. More photos to follow.
It is the bizarre makan-makan election season with large crowds flocking to free 1Malaysia dinners.
The scene at Pulau Tikus market tonight:
And this is an earlier dinner:
Tan Keng Liang didn’t say in his tweet if this was free.
But last night at the 1Malaysia free dinner near the Mount Erskine market in Penang, one resident living nearby who could hear what was happening reported that people’s names were being called out in a lucky draw. But to be eligible for a prize, apparently you had to be wearing a 1Malaysia T-shirt!
The area around Mt Erskine market was jammed last night. One blog reader phoned to report that the area around Pulau Tikus market is similarly congested tonight as another free dinner is in progress. The caller jokingly expressed disappointment at missing two big dinners already and asked me if I knew where the next big dinner is supposed to take place! Heard from another source there could be even beer, fireworks and vouchers being handed out….
Others consider these dinners an insult to their intelligence and are staying away.
Most people I know – whether or not they attend these dinners – would consider them to be inducements to influence people to vote in a certain way – i.e. vote buying. And yet the Election Commission says nothing.
Then again, are these dinners the BN’s grand farewell treat to Malaysians after 55 years in power? Certainly many Malaysians are thronging these dinners and tucking in like there’s no tomorrow! Well, there may not be a tomorrow for the BN government in Putrajaya come 5 May.
Eat, drink and be happy – for next month, we may have a new federal government!
Have you been to a 1Malaysia dinner? Share with us your personal impressions.