2330: Greetings from Bukit Selambau! Reached here at 9.45pm via the Sungai Petani North exit of the North-South Highway. For the second night running, a police check-point had been set up immediately after the toll booth.
Arrived at a nasi kandar restaurant, only to see some activity outside, where a small crowd of curious onlookers had gathered. Turns out it was the former Jerai PKR chief, B Kalaivanar, giving a speech in the open-air just outside the restaurant.
Kalaivanar said he did not belong to the PKR nor the BN, but was an “NGO”. I didn’t quite catch what he was saying as he was about to leave but from what I understand, he seemed in favour of the BN now. Moments after he left with his small entourage, a silver police CID car arrived. Too late.
Apparently, there is still some unhappiness among the Indian PKR party workers at the choice of political greenhorn S Manikumar being selected as the PKR candidate, but some of them appear to be putting it behind them and looking at the big picture.
While there may be unhappiness among party workers, the situation on the ground appears to be different. Speaking to citizen journalists who have been talking to folks here, I gathered that out of half a dozen people they randomly selected from the old Bukit Selambau town for interviews, all of them appeared to favour Pakatan. Another small sample conducted a couple of weeks ago revealed a similar result.
Kit Siang is in town tonight giving a ceramah in the old Bukit Selambau town to about 100 people. A journalist who was there told me the crowd appeared receptive. Samy Vellu is also still in the area and the reception he has been getting, I am told, is less positive.
“Coincidentally”, I am also told that the folks from the EPU are in town processing applications for Tekun loans – basically RM3,000 loans for small-scale businesses at 4% p.a. interest, with hardly any collateral. These have been opened to young Tamil entrepreneurs. These loans comes under the purview of the Ministry of Entrepreneurial and Cooperative Development. Meals were also being served to applicants.