Ops ABUkan Labuan kicks off

Posted on November 2, 2012


Moderator’s note : Apologies if this post is cluttered with so many photos. The teams worked hard to document their work and I did not want to disappoint any of them by keeping the photos to a minimum.


Landed in Labuan in the morning last Friday.

Had Raya Haji lunch at Tan Sri Ibrahim Menudin’s open house.

Good discussion on how to go about ABUing Labuan.

Then off to the akad nikah of the daughter of one of the local PKR leaders.

Lunch again!

Now you know why I am putting on weight!

Later that night, the fun started.

Over the last few months, I had made contact with several Labuan youth.

All of them had, previous to this, never involved themselves in any form of activism whatsoever, but all have been increasingly inspired by the work of Mat ABU.

That night, we discussed the possibility of carrying out an Ops Raya Haji in Labuan over the weekend.

Blitzing the town and rural areas with ABU stickers.

Stencil-spraying ABU graffiti.

Distributing the Mengapa Harga Barang Naik ? pamphlets.

Yes, this pamphlet.

3 teams were set up, and since each wanted me to lead them, it was agreed that they would not strike simultaneously, but one after the other, so  that I could lead each team out.

The gameplan?

Sticker pasting and stencil-spraying, as far as possible, unseen.

Pamphlet distribution to be done openly, but no photographs to be taken, so as not to spook recipients.

If caught, at all times, exercise the right to remain silent and the right to be legally represented before making any statement.

Each team was reminded to take photographs of their work to share with the rest of the world.

Saturday afternoon, Team A struck out to blitz the town with ABU stickers.

The street light poles along the entire length of Jalan Tun Mustapha got ABU’d.

Rubbish dump site along Jln Tun Mustapha

Along Jln Tun Mustapha

Power sub-station along Jln Tun Mustapha

Jln Kemajuan turns off from Jln Tun Mustapha. This was next, followed by…

Team A was done.

Team B was next.

Their targets?

The ferry terminal and jetty, both high pedestrian traffic areas, to sticker-blast and distribute pamphlets.

Front entrance to the terminal

Stone slab in front of the terminal

TDM signage in front of the terminal

Every pillar in the ferry terminal got ABU’d

Maybank ATM got ABU’d

Customs signage in the departure lounge

Payphone at the terminal ABU’d

Shop in the departure lounge

Signage outside the jetty

Team B’s mission accomplished.

About 100 Mengapa Harga Barang Naik ? pamphlets distributed.

I couldn’t help noticing that, unlike recipients at the ABU black ops at transport terminals in KL last Thursday, here, recipients tucked the pamphlets away in pockets or bags, hopefully for reading later.

Team C was next.

Again, high pedestrian traffic areas.

The pork market, the wet market and the fruit market, all somewhat clustered together.

The team elected to only do sticker-pasting.

Hey, there’s no compulsion in ABU volunteering, ok.

Sticker-pasting it was.

The pork market

The front entrance to the pork market

Perimeter fence outside the pork market

The wet market

Inside the wet market

Every pillar in the wet market got ABU’d

The payphone in the wet market got ABU’d

Rubbish dump outside the wet market

The fruit market

Again, all the pillars got ABU’d

Team C done.

We were done for the day.

We were to hit the areas outside town that night to stencil-spray, but it rained, so that had to be aborted to Sunday night.

The plan also was that Sunday morning, we would do a walkabout at the Pasar Tani to distribute more of the Mengapa Harga Barang Naik ? pamphlets but we found that morning that it had been cancelled, presumably because of the Raya Haji holiday.

A quick phone call and, with the bride’s father’s green light, I took one member each from Teams A, B and C to the bersanding to do a little discreet Mengapa Harga Barang Naik ? pamphlet distribution.

Another 100 got passed on.

It was the work that night that the guys were excited about.

Stencil-spraying, they reckoned, was really what Mat ABUing was all about.

Again, it was each team taking its turn.

The consensus was to hit the power sub-stations starting from Rancha-Rancha leading into town and any viable spots in the town area and then to hit the road leading to Kampung Sungai Buton.

The odd bus stop that got ABU’d along the way

Bridge heading to Kg Sungai Buton

The other side of the same bridge

Rubbish dump site in town

We were done by a little after 10pm and adjourned for some food and teh tarik.

The team members insisted on paying.

I relented.

They wanted to know when I would be back in Labuan so that we could do another Ops.

I told them that they did not need me there to do another Ops and that the Ops ABU in Labuan had to be ongoing, and that the next time I was there, I would join one of the teams to be led by one of them.

Before we parted that evening, I exacted a promise from each of them : that each person would try to bring in another person into their respective Ops team.

Monday morning, at Labuan airport, I could not resist it.

Police officers manning the security screening checkpoints were each feted to the ABU 2-in-1.

The Mengapa Harga Barang Naik ? pamphlet wrapped up in the Pesanan Tulus Ikhlas Kepada Anggota Keselamatan flyer