Monthly Archives: February 2008

Flashback: 1976 Sabah State Elections in pictures

Now, something so long ago that mesothelioma was still common.

A pro-Berjaya election poster in Kiulu town for the 1976 state elections. Berjaya was founded the year before and would take over the reins of government from Usno after that elections:

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This is the best zoom-in I could get on an election poster of the late Tun Fuad Stephens, Berjaya candidate in Kiulu:

Click here to see more pictures

Flashback: 1999 Sabah State Elections in pictures

One of the most interesting Sabah State Elections happened in 1999. PBS was still in the opposition then: they left the BN in 1990 and rejoined on 23rd January 2002.

The State Assembly was dissolved on 22nd February 1999 after much speculation. Nomination day: 2nd March. Election days: 11th – 12th March.

Here are some pictures that I took then, which, among others brings home the following points:
- personal attacks abound in politics, more so during intense campaigning so close to election day;
- there are no permanent enemies in politics, no matter how grave the accusations are

Pictures were taken in and around Penampang, Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran and Tamparuli in early March 1999.

The following was written by supporters of Datuk Wilfred Bumburing attacking Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan. Of course today they are friends again:

Bumburing was the incumbent, winning the 1994 state elections by 5,087 votes. This time, he lost by more than 2,000 to PBS’ Edward Linggu Bukut. Revenge was complete. Another candidate, Datuk Monggoh Orow, the former Tuaran MP, standing on a Bersekutu ticket, was totally rejected: only 475. A year later Linggu defected to PBRS with 5 other assemblymen. A further 2 years down the road, he’s back in again. Yes, these politicians can really make the rakyat go nuts. And among the six original who defected, it seems that only Johnny Goh and Louis Rampas played their cards right – they’re still assemblymen now (well, at least until February 2008).

The “frog” issue (exodus of PBS assemblymen in 1994) was exploited to the full by PBS, you can see many many pictures of huge frogs with human heads, like the following caricature of Bumburing and Dompok:

Click here to see more pictures

A Piece of History : Malaysian Opposition Leader Dr Tan Chee Khoon’s letter to the Pekemas candidate who could have defeated Tun Fuad Stephens in the 1976 DUN elections

In the 1976 Sabah state elections, for the constituency of Kiulu, an unknown challenged Tun Fuad Stephens, who has already achieved all the following things:

- played a fundamental role in bringing the state of Sabah into the Federation of Malaysia 13 years earlier;
- was the current, and first Huguan Siou (Paramount Leader) of the Kadazandusun community
- the first Chief Minister of Sabah, 1963-1964
- Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) of Sabah, 1973-1975
- in 1964, he became the first federal cabinet member from Sabah: Minister in charge of Sabah affairs under the Prime Minister’s department
- Ambassador of Malaysia to Australia
- co-founder of BERJAYA, the party that would rule Sabah from 1976 to 1985.

And with strong sentiments blowing against the ruling USNO at that time, one would expect that Stephens would crush this unknown like a fly.

But, surprisingly, he put up a very strong fight against the heavyweight of heavyweights in the local political scene.

Running under the Pekemas banner, he was the only candidate of that party who did not lose his deposit. There were 11 Pekemas candidates that year, with total votes garnered 2,800+. He got almost half of that!

The other guy in the 3-corner fight was Datuk Payar Juman, who a few years earlier defected from UPKO to USNO. In this elections, he was totally rejected by the Kiulu people, getting only 284 votes.

Vote counting was done at Dewan Masyarakat Tuaran.

This was the result:

N.15 Kiulu
Total registered voters: 4,262
Total valid votes cast: 3,539
Total voter turnout: 83%
Spoilt votes: 92
Tun Haji Mohd. Fuad Stephens (BERJAYA): 2,137 votes
Patrick Godomon (PEKEMAS): 1,026 votes
Datuk Payar Juman (USNO): 284 votes.
Majority: 1,111 votes

The impact was such that this unknown made it to the book Who’s Who in Malaysia around that time, and getting a letter from Tan Sri Dr David Tan Chee Khoon (1919-1996).

If you didn’t know, Tan was a major figure in Malaysian politics from 1959 to 1978, once dubbed “Mr. Opposition” for the outspoken views he presented in Parliament. He was Malaysian Parliament’s Opposition Leader 1964 to 1978. Tan co-founded Parti Gerakan, and also Pekemas (Parti Keadilan Masyarakat Malaysia, or Social Justice Party of Malaysia) after he became disillusioned with Gerakan.

Due to health problems, Tan retired from politics in 1977, whereupon most of Pekemas’ supporters defected to the DAP.

The following is the letter, dated 20th May 1976. Sorry it’s a bit small, I hope you don’t need a magnifying glass to read it.

You know your son is an Ultraman fanatic when…

…of all the cakes, he chooses the Ultraman cake:

…you get a lesson in Ultramanology; when I was small, there was only one Ultraman, now there are apparently 32:

…including a king and at least two females…

…due to relentless Ultramangelising, even seeing a Toyota Gaia on the road will immediately make me think of Ultraman Gaia

I think potty training boys is easier than weaning him off Ultraman.

And of course he knows his Ultraman song; even though the lyrics are incorrect (With 4 languages expected of our kids nowadays to master, adding Japanese to that is too much already, at least at this stage), at least the action and melody are:

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Why do the Timorese in Sabah claim to be bumiputera?

UPDATE 21st February 2008:

Apologies for not explaining the joke fully. In Kadazandusun language, “Om” means “And”, while at the same time everybody knows that “Om” is another word for “Timorese” :-)

I hope you found that funny. To me, as long as they don’t cause social problems, they can sell all the fake Patek Gondolo watches they want.

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The Timorese in Sabah claim that Kadazandusun leaders have acknowledged them as bumiputra, because when asked, they said: “Mereka selalu cakap Kadazan Dusun Om Murut.”

Exclusive photos of the Kota Belud anti-tank mortar bomb explosion, 1st February 2008

The Army has a camp, called Camp Paradise in Kota Belud. With the latest incident on 1st February, there have been 4 people killed by mortar bomb blasts in the area.

In March 2006, Saingkin Baril found a foot-long, oval-shaped metal object while looking for scrap metal there. Not realising that it’s a still-active anti-tank mortar, he took it home. Later, it exploded, killing him and and his 2-year old son (some say grandson; I am not sure if a 3rd person died).

Songkur Birang, in his 60s was among those at the scene of the blast. Apparently, he then told someone that “no matter how poor we are, we should never collect such items to be sold as scrap.”

However, in 2007 he himself started collecting them, earning up to RM100 (apparently per trip).

Then, on 1st February, the worst happened. He was knocking the shell under the kitchen when it exploded. Can you imagine what will happen when a human is pitted against such a bomb, not an ordinary hand grenade, but rather designed to inflict damage on a tank?

Here are some exclusive pictures of the house where it happened.

WARNING: bloody images follow.

Click here for more

Video: street fighting at Kiulu Town

UPDATE 18 Feb 2008: Apparently this happened on 16th January 2008 at 10:30pm.

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This is affray in the truest sense of the word – this was not staged.

According to a little bird:

One suffered a torn lip, the other a broken nose. The guy in white shirt is sober while the other one has drunk a fair amount. “Sountrack” courtesy of Cradle of Filth, England’s most successful heavy metal band since Iron Maiden.

Click here to see the video

View of Kota Kinabalu city from possibly the tallest building downtown

On 15th February, I attended a function on the top (13th) floor of Wisma Bandaraya, which is located in downtown Kota Kinabalu.

The building previously housed the Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri which has since moved to its own building in Karamunsing.

It is probably the tallest building at the city centre, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that up there, there’s a long balcony from which you are treated to breathtaking views of the city. It is different from being up at Signal Hill, this one is so close to the city centre that it literally feels like you are floating right on top of it.

But be warned, this is not for acrophobics – there are no safety nets, just a 1 meter-high barrier, like so:

See, even the barrier is made of glass, so it makes the experience even more unnerving.

This is a pic of the building taken from the ground:

And this is a close up view of the balcony:

All the following pictures were taken with a 2MP mobile phone camera. Click on the thumbnails for bigger pictures.

Looking towards Centre Point:

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Looking towards Hyatt Hotel / Wisma Merdeka:

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Looking towards Wisma Dang Bandang:

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Looking towards Padang Merdeka:

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See any digital signage?

I am not sure if one needs special permission to go up there, you can ask the building management, but I am sure one definitely needs company. The area definitely looks quite dangerous; no place for hyperactive kids to play in.

Got transferred, moving office, heavier responsibility

After having been at my existing office for slightly less than 2 years, the boss decided that it’s time for staff reshuffle again.

My transfer was effective 1st February, so I have been in the new office for about 2 weeks.

Not that I’m not used to it: it must be my 5th transfer since I started, but I really miss my grand room and its view. At my old office I can see Sutera Harbour, the sea and the islands like so…

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…while I had a huge table and floor-to-ceiling wood paneling:

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At my new office, everything is brand new, but on a smaller scale, and as for the view, well, there’s no view at all :-(

At my old office I had 7 subordinates, about 2,000 users and 600+ computers.

At my new office I have 13 subordinates and practically the whole state to serve. Now, if only we have a memory foam mattress in the recreation room…