Take a leap of faith and become an ABU eagle

Posted on March 11, 2013

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“Haris and ABU gang, you should go abuing Bukit Antarabangsa. I suspect Dr. Rafick has gone matey with BN/UMNO based on his blog Rights to Write going private. He and his gang has said that their votes will go enblock to whichever party helped them get their abandoned projects revived and I think this is their reason for working towards helping an UMNO/BN candidate win in their constituency. And Dr. Rafick probably cannot tolerate criticism of their basis of voting and probably don’t want others to know their plans and steps to help UMNO/BN win. Please ABU Bukit Antarabangsa” – comment by ablogsmith to my “I am alive, well and kicking …” post yesterday.

ablogsmith, don’t know if you are home in Malaysia or abroad, but if you are here, why not join the “ABU gang” as you call it and we will help you to put together a team to ABU Bukit Antarabangsa?

What you call ABU gang, we call ABU eagles.

In an earlier post, I shared with all of you the training of new eagles that takes place every Saturday at the ABU secretariat if we have enough volunteers to make it worth our while holding the training session.

And I shared with you the walkabouts being planned in the towns and kampungs in the constituencies where ABU’s efforts are focused, where ABU eagles would go to ground to share with voters there as to the real state of the nation and why it is  now imperative that UMNO / BN be removed from Putrajaya.

We call this our Dari Rakyat Kepada Rakyat initiative.

Yesterday, 14 ABU eagles descended on Semenyih to carry out a Dari Rakyat Kepada Rakyat initiative there.

I’ll share details of yesterday’s effort once all photos are in.

For now, let me share with you the very first ABU eagles Dari Rakyat Kepada Rakyat initiative that kicked off in Sungai Siput on 24th February, including a sharing by some of the eagles.

If their experience motivates you to take a leap of faith into the ABU eagles nest, go HERE and register. Please understand that our vetting process will take a bit of time.

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ABU eagles joined PSM members to do the Dari Rakyat Kepada Rakyat initiative in Sungai Siput.

We formed 2 teams.

Team A would cover the pasar petang at Karai whilst Team B would go door to door in two housing areas, Taman Bahagia and Taman Sentosa.

Later, after dinner, the whole team would head out to the ceramah scheduled for later that night.

The sharing by eagles below are from those who were in Team A.

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I left KL all buzzed to bring the ABU message into areas unknown to me.

I’d been trained, I’d practiced, I’d role played, but hadn’t actually been “in the field”, so to speak.

My previous experience of handing out “Amaran” or warning brochures to foreigners didn’t really involve much verbal communication. This was going to be different. This was going to involve walking up to unknown strangers and starting up conversations, which is not really my forte.

The journey started out well enough; with lunch and then the long drive up North in one of the coolest vans ever.

Zunar Cartoon van

Zunar Cartoon van

 Along the way, the weather changed from bright and sunny to gloomy and rain.

But being ABU folk, we of course took the rain as a sign of showers of blessings from the Almighty.

We made a couple of stops in rest areas. We utilized these stops to stick the ABU message around for other Malaysians to see.  

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In the van, as we approached Sg Siput, I must admit that we almost let our fears overcome us.

We started discussing the worst case scenarios that we can encounter and how we should respond to it.

But in the true ABU spirit once again, we decided to just do it!

Once we reached Sg Siput and had our rendezvous with the local heroes, and the rest of the ABU folk, I was pumped up.

PSM members on hand to welcome the eagles

PSM members on hand to welcome the eagles

In typical Malaysian fashion, eat first, then ABU!

In typical Malaysian fashion, eat first, then ABU!

I wanted to go walkabout and kick some UMNO ass.

At the Karai market, I encountered wonderful people who were very receptive to the message we brought.

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Most were happy to listen to me speak and explain the Mengapa Harga Barang Naik? brochure.

I also encountered 2 extreme reactions; one who tore up the brochure in front of me, and another who wanted to tear up Najib and UMNO. The latter asked me if she could join ABU and even volunteered right on the spot.

I am now convinced that although it is impossible for ABU to meet all 13 million registered Malaysian voters individually, our effort to go to ground is the way to go, and the reward from it will be priceless on Election Day.

ABU!! ABU!! ABU!! – Jonathan

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I was initially hesitant to participate on the walkabout—preferring instead to ‘do my part’ behind the safety of my laptop—due to my having the social skills of a caged animal.

But what I found was that the people who we talked to in Sungai Siput were not only warm, friendly, and very much amenable to persuasion, but entirely clued up as well.

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It is a common misconception (or one that I often and quite stupidly find myself having at least) that the old and/or the disconnected are somehow less cognisant of the ways in which they are being oppressed.

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Which, of course, does not make any sense.

The rage we blessed ‘city folk’ feel is, in many cases, a theoretical abstraction–it’s hard to know the price of sugar when its consumption will interfere with the gains derived from one’s RM200-a-month Zumba and Pilates classes–but for the 60%, it is very, very real. – Jason

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Anticipation was on a high upon arriving to our walkabout site at the evening market that closes by 6 pm. While joking about it on the journey there how we are so used to the night markets (closes at 11pm) in the city, this is truly an experience to reach out to the working class outside of Kuala Lumpur.

The minute our vehicles pulled in to the area to look for a parking spot, local eyes were upon, curiously aware that they had guests from out of town.

Team ABU got into work straight away chatting up with the locals. To our surprise, we were not greeted with rejection but most wanted to know what we were all about.

Arthur4wArthur9wThe minute we shared out materials with them, we got their attention.

Works even better with the store owners as they were really furious with how prices have risen, severlely affecting their business.

Bear in mind most of the food items sold here are almost half the price of what you could find in Kuala Lumpur.

A store lady was telling us ‘how much do you think I could sell this pastry for?’, ‘I could not afford to increase the prices as my customer would not pay for them’. ‘Hence I will have to take a lost in profit’.

Tolerance is something they really could not afford much longer.

How our government are not doing a good job with our economy is something they figured out for themselves some time ago.

Our presence and materials merely helped confirm their concerns about the actual situation of our nation. Some were even showing us all the alternative news they were reading on their phones and tablets.

Overall, most of them do want  change, they just did not know if it was possible.

Hopefully ABU’s  presence that day has encouraged to believe that change can come if we stand together and fight for that change. – Kenny

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As there were already quite a number of us distributing the leaflets, I just observed with a camera in hand.

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The situation was calm.

Most of them just accepted the leaflets and those who were missed actually step forward to ask for one.

There was hardly any interaction as all of them would open the leaflets to read or glance through upon receiving them. I guess this is the nature of small town folks who have plenty of time on their hands.

Most of those I spoke to are not as naive as we thought they’d be. They are well informed of issues like the scorpene, Rosmah’s diamond ring and cowgate. However, conversations would quickly turn to small talk likewhere we came from, are we staying the night and so forth.

I did not encounter any kind of questions pertaining to the campaign. – Dave

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I will let the photos of the door to door campaign in Taman Bahagia and Taman Sentosa speak for themselves.

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