Mar 8 – It was the 12th Malaysian General Election Day when we made our way up to Cameron Highlands for a retreat at the Hilltop Bungalow. This escapade was the second visit to this old Cameron Highlands establishment for May and I but it was the first time for VM, YP, ML & JS.
We agreed to allow the morning for voting obligation and to proceed for a rendezvous in Bidor at the well known Pun Chun Restaurant for brunch. From Bidor, we proceeded to Lata Iskandar where we took a short break to absorb some negative ions from the falls. We then stopped at the Bharath Tea Plantation for a pit stop and a photo break.
We finally arrived at Tanah Rata at 3 pm and proceeded to the bungalow where we had to navigate through a narrow and steep climb up a private hill. The sight of the bungalow as you emerged at the top of the hill, never failed to bring out a whispered “wow” from my heart.
The Hilltop Bungalow was not majestic in comparison to some of the old colonial bungalows but it portrayed a picture of real serenity for me. It was a quaint little bungalow on top of its own knoll without any neighbouring structures in sight. The curved driveway and the green lawn provided a picturesque welcome.
Mrs. Chong’s famous scones with English tea were waiting for us and we had the honour to be the last weekend guests for Mrs. Chong as she was due to retire on Mar 15.
After tea, we took the opportunity play badminton in the drizzle with the kids in the beautiful green lawn. When the drizzle turned to rain, we seek shelter. It was then time for beer and chilling out in the living room while absorbing the cool mountain air.
Mrs. Chong then announced that dinner was ready and we were treated to a sumptuous steamboat; the real stuff over hot coal fire. There is no better place to enjoy a steamboat dinner than in the cold of Cameron Highlands.
We also took the opportunity to celebrate EW’s birthday. Due to non communication, we ended up with two jelly cakes, both little doggies jelly cakes.
After a splendid dinner and having our tummies stuffed to the brim with jelly, we adjourned to the living room to watch the Election Results.
ML introduced a puzzle where you have get 10 nails and a piece of wood. The objective of the game was to balance nine nails on one nail. I was distracted with the incoming election results. May and Renee managed to solve the puzzle after about 30 minutes. It was quite remarkable.
We drank beer and kept vigil as the 12th Election Results kept coming in. By 10.30 p.m., text messages came in the Selangor has gone to the opposition. But there was nothing on TV. Only at about 11.00 p.m., RTM announced that PAS has taken Kelantan. At midnight, Kedah was officially an opposition state and at 1.00 a.m. Penang joined suit. By 3.00 a.m., there were still no announcement for Selangor despite SMSes confirming the results as early as 10.30 p.m. We then decided to call it a night.
That was how we spent 8th March 2008, a truly historic day in Malaysian politics.