Unlike some of my friends who religiously visited the State of Terengganu’s resorts every year, I’ve only been to Kuala Terengganu (KT) once. That was in 2000 when I took a dear foreign friend to Pulau Redang. We departed from Malacca and arrived at a very old bus station in KT to find our tour guide was overslept. In the pre-cell phone overloaded year, I had to call him five to six times to wake him up to fetch us from the bus station. But I doubt that many of my friends actually stop and actually “take-in” KT.
Thanks to the current by-election and so-called alternative media on the internet, my regular reading of news feeds from Malaysia actually introduced KT once again to me. From those pictures, I know that in KT there are “Uncle Chua Kopitiam” and sushi at Hotel Ming Star. I also know that KT can host big dinner to accommodate political ceramah!
I have also seen the part of underdeveloped KT and the town area where there is not much different from any mid-town Malaysia. The mid-town KT can look like Temerloh, Seremban or even Ipoh!
The by-election has brought new experiences to KT and the attention KT received has also brought the city to people who have never actually care much about KT. It is like a cuti-cuti Malaysia campaign, which aims are to create tourist interests.
I totally bought it. The next time, I will visit Uncle Chua Kopitiam and I will tell the boss I’ve learnt about the shop via the internet. I will eat at those diners that serve dinner during the ceramah. I will ask them what were the most popular dishes during the Jan 2009 by-election. What did the politicians actually eat! Were fish dishes more popular than beef and chicken dishes?