Dear All.. gosh seems a long time ago since I was here. I sure miss this neglected blog and have taken a little of my time just to jot down something lest this blog forget me.. hehehe..
As usual, my busiest months would be April and May and this is due to preparation for our Pesta Kaamatan or Harvest Festival held every 30th and 31st May organised by the KadazanDusun Cultural Association (KDCA). Coupled with that, this year, it is election time and everyone seems to be busy concentrating more on the upcoming GE13.
As usual, we the Organising Committee would arrange a photoshoot for the reigning Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan (Harvest Festival Queen a month before the celebration. These photos would be used as publicity for the upcoming celebrations in the form of streamers which would be lined up along the roads or at billboards by the sponsors, this year Digi, a telco company.
Come May 1st, photos of Melinda Louis, the reigning Unduk Ngadau would be found all over Kota Kinabalu and even out of town. However, as it is election time, the spaces along the roads are at the moment filled with candidates' flags and posters.. a war of flags and posters. So looks like, Mell's photos might have to wait until after election that's on May 5th.
So, we not satisfied to be just those behind the scene people, we too took the opportunity to experience that 5 minutes of fame. Being made up and hair done by none other than the reknown make-up artist, Mr Mart who is also a member of the Committee is every girls' wish. We too had our own photoshoot ..NO, not to be displayed anywhere of course, but just for our own collections and some to be used for our magazine.
Mart is a well-sought individual, especially come every May when girls line up to vie for the Unduk Ngadau title fight to use his services to make them beautiful. He is usually already booked like a year in advance by unduk ngadau aspiring participants. He also has bookings like 2 years in advance by prospective brides! The only weekends he is free is during the month of Lent, where Church weddings for Roman Catholic is prohibited. And that is, if one can afford his fees! So to be made-up by him complimentary is like a dream come true!!
We had that session yesterday, this being the 3rd year. We ladies marvel at how our plain looks suddenly looking so much different and each of us shrieking in laughter at each other's transformation. In the midst of our fun, I couldn't help missing our former Chairperson. I felt her absence and could feel myself tearing up every time I look at our old photographs.
A few days before, we were shocked to receive news that she had resigned from all her posts in KDCA including leading the Unduk Ngadau Organising team. A former Assistant Minister and Matunggong assemblywoman, she decided to stand for election in her constituency after being left our from the fray in the 2008 election when the president of her party decided to field someone else at the eleventh hour. She agreed to stand aside and gave her full support to the chosen candidate.
Apparently, the same thing happened this time round. We were made to understand that the President had agreed to put up her name and had been endorsed by the BN President. In her FB wall it said "Thanks to Datuk Seri Najib Razak for endorsing Jornah Mozihim as the WINNABLE CANDIDATE. Sadly, Dr Maximus Ongkili pressured Tan Sri Pairin to change to Sarapin Magana."
With these latest, I guess it was like a de javu, a repeat of what had been done to her in 2008. Hurt, disappointed and feeling betrayed, she decided to quit from the party and all her posts and membership in Party Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and KDCA, saying she has totally lost confidence in the party's top leadership.
She was the party's elected supreme council member, while in KDCA, she was the nominated vice-president, Koperasi Koisaan Berhad secretary and an appointed KDCA Wanita Bureau Chief and Unduk Ngadau Committee Chairperson (since 2007). Yours Truly, is a Secretary in the KDCA Wanita Bureau and Unduk Ngadau Committee since 2007.
I learnt about her resignation earlier that day on April 19th, through one of our group's
Watsapp chats. I was like.. what?? I tried calling her on her hand phone for clarifications but could not get through. I guess so many people were trying to reach her trying to console her or giving advise and such. I tried calling her house number, and miraculously it rang and her assistant answered. She told me that Jornah was on the phone.
My team and I had wanted to pay her a visit to get a better picture of what made her take that stand and perhaps to talk her out from quitting. So I called first to just check if she was home. Calling her the 2nd time, I managed to speak to her, her voice a sounded a little strained and cold. I asked her if it was alright if we drop by her house and she answered with a curt no and asking why would we want to visit her... I was taken aback. I was like, hey you left just like that without informing us? Don't we deserve to know what's going on.
We wanted to persuade her to consider and to be rational in the whole situation. It is after all politics and she should know better. She said that we could not visit her as in less than an hour, she was going to hold a press conference to announce her resignation! I burst into tears, "YB (yes I still call her YB eventhough she had ceased to be one since 2008), please do not make hasty decision and especially in anger. Please, please don't resign from KDCA. KDCA is a cultural association, not a political one. "If you must, you can resign from the Party, but not KDCA." I pleaded to her. Incidentally, the association is headed by YB Tan Sri Joseph Pairin, the President of the PBS Party. "Then what do I get?" she retorted. I then knew it was really over and no point talking to her. She must have heard the choked sound in my voice and she toned down.
She apologised but said she could not go on as she felt betrayed. Then she said gently, "ok you may come. At least we can say goodbye properly" she laughed softly. I said no thank you, wished her well and put down the phone. I felt like I had lost a friend. I thought about all the plans that we made, all the work we did, and I sobbed uncontrollably.
I hope she is happy with her decision. I read from the papers that she has switched camps and is now busy campaigning for the opposition. Ohhh...I hate politics! I am sure that those without any political inclination sleeps better at night. Oh well, I wish her well...
Joanna Kitingan, the Deputy is now our new head and she is well supported.