And so yesterday I went to Han Chiang to attend the hotly discussed BN CNY open house. Originally I had planned to the bus, but since I was having breakfast with wifey, she dropped me off at the state mosque at 930am.
|Traffic was already quite bad by then|
|Some Ani-Lynas Penangites, I presumed|
|Some stalls selling PSY, BN merchandise were set up along the small lane to Han Chiang|
|I'm quite sure they are not official merchandise|
When I reached the entrance of Han Chiang, I was surprised to see that the place was so crowded. The last time I saw such a huge crowd was back in April 2012's Bersih 3.0 in KL.
I was waiting for Willie, Terry & Wann King to join me, so I stood and waited at the school building, away from the heat and the huge stage which was set up at the end of the field. On stage, there were some drums and dance performances but the crowd around me were not paying attention the to TV screens set up around the place.
|A die-hard BN supporter waiting the shit to start|
The guys reached Han Chiang around 10.15am and we tried to move closer to the stage so that we can see Psy closer. In between some singers from some Astro competitions were performing but we didn't really pay much attention. Nothing impressive - some were a bit pitchy here and there.
The MCs were not that great as well. The female MC who spoke in Bahasa Melayu was super annoying. It sounded as if she was shouting into the microphone all the time and she kept shouting "Satu!!!" for the crowd to respond with "Malaysia" and "We Love!" for "BN!". She was more successful with "Satu Malaysia" then "I Love BN" but either response was really nothing to shout(no pun instead) about, considering there were thousands of people there.
Things got more exciting when Shila Amzah's turn came to entertain the crowd. She sang 4 song; 1st song was the famous "Zheng Fu", 2nd was Adele's "Fire to the Rain", 3rd was a Malay song and she ended with another mandarin number. She was really good.
|Willie, Wann King & Terry, adhering to the CM's advice on dress code|
Food wise, I was expecting a buffet style lunch, but I was sort of disappointed to find that people were lining up for food on a paper plate or put in a paper box. Looking around the stations, I think the main dishes were fried rice, fried mee & fried bee hoon.
|Crowd watching the side shows from afar|
|I got a bee hoon box|
|I woke up early for this shit|
|One of the stations serving boxed food|
|the child in the pic is holding the paper box for food|
The BN leaders came around 11 plus with the PM and his wife in front of course. Couldn't really see them walking to their VVIP table but the MCs mentioned that former PM Tun Abdullah and some component parties leaders were there with the PM. Throughout the walk-in, the annoying MC was still shouting "Satu Malaysia" "We Love BN!" until they sat down. She asked us to welcome the leaders but the claps from the crowd, at best, was just half hearted, The claps went up a little bit when the MC incorrectly mentioned that the CM & his wife were in the group.(Turns out, the CM couldn't make it because he had to go to the airport to receive the real First Lady of Malaysia.)
Before the real Psy came on stage, some sais had to make some speeches. First it was the Pg State BN head Teng Chang Yeow, who came up and mentioned something about how BN will continue to bring the best to Penang, and will give the best to Penang, etc. Not buying the crap.
Then the PM came up with his son and made one of the funniest moments at the open house. His son said something in Mandarin which doesn't have anything to do with CNY. He then wished us happy CNY and passed the rostrum to his father. Najib reiterated Teng's claim that BN will bring the best to Penang. He promised that he would solve Penang's 2 main issues: housing & transportation. I could hear some murmuring among the crowd around me when he mentioned "monorail". Willie mentioned, "Why now? Monorail was promised before the 12th election and nothing happened after that"
The PM also said that he was considering Han Chiang's application to become a university college. Unfortunately, he got Han Chiang's name wrong and numerous time referred to it as "Han Yang". Then Teng, who was still on stage behind him, walked to his side and whispered the right name into his ear. Embarrassing that you don't even know the name of the venue host.
Towards the end of his speech, he said that he was sure everyone was excited about what is about to happen next. So he made the BIG mistake of asking the now-famous questions. I shall not elaborate. Please see the video below:
I couldn't believe that he asked it thrice, and the response of "NO!" got louder each time. The people beside me were quick to response to his questions. After his speech was over, the MC announced that before Psy was to perform, the PMs wife was going to sing us CNY songs. Again the crowd went "NO!!!!!"
Unfortunately, we had to bear with bad singing:
After 2 songs, I thought it was time for Psy but instead it was the lou sang session which turned out into the most confusing moment for the people and embarrassing moment for BN. The annoying MC announced that Psy would be tossing with the BN leaders and of course the crowd went nuts(in a good way). After numerous annoucement, Psy didn't appear and the BN leaders toss the food themselves and the crowd went nuts(in a bad way). Then the leaders waited on stage for a while, hoping for Psy to come out I suppose. Eventually, sheepishly one by one left the stage when it was obvious he wasn't coming out.
Not sure what happened, but there are 2 possibilities:
A) Psy was not told of the lou sang and was not ready to join the leaders.
B) Psy wanted to stay apolitical and not to be seen with the political leaders.
After waiting for another 5-10 minutes, finally Psy appeared with his dancers and did his famous song. Of course everyone cheered and the noise level was definitely higher than the cheers for any of the performers or politicians. After one song, he left the stage and the crowd was asking for more. After numerous "Encore" cheers, he came back and repeated "Oppa Gangnam Style" to everyone's delight.
Once Psy finished his performance, almost 90% of the crowd headed for the exit, even though there were still some other performances.
|Just one small exit for 50k ppl|
|suddenly so many empty seats.|
Overall, I think in terms of numbers, BN successfully got the number they wanted. People from all walks of life came for the open house. However, I seriously doubt that they would be pleased with the reaction after Psy's performance. The MCs didn't say that the event was over but people just left like that. And with the videos of people saying "NO" to Najib's questions, BN would need re-examine their chances to win back Penang.