The first Federal elections in Malaya were held in July 1955 to determine the new rulers of the Federation of Malaya after Merdeka (Independence). This was a milestone in the history of the country which led to the people becoming independent from the British on 31 August 1957. Of course the responsibility for the safety of the ballot boxes was given to the Malayan Police Force – a difficult task at the time as with many isolated villages with limited access and not forgetting that apart from natural hazards, the Communist Terrorists were still active, particularly in the Northern States.

The Police escort party from Batu Gajah first travelled to Kampong Gajah where they were divided into three sections: a section in each of two boats and one in a Land Rover. The first picture is of the Police Escort assigned to deliver and collect the ballot boxes to Pasir Salak and Kampong Gajah, by boat, along the Sungai (River) Perak.

While there were difficulties for those who traveled by boat, the road was not the best either and the Land Rover crews were lucky to get the vehicles through. The second picture shows one incident – the damage the Police Land Rover left behind it at Kampong Gajah. The vehicle was lucky to cross the bridge with its ballot boxes intact and would not have done so without a mighty effort from the villagers.

Since the 13th GE is just around the corner, we’d like to give you Readers a little ‘blast from the past’ – the pictures shown here (courtesy of Tom Turnbull) were taken way back in 1955, at Kampong Gajah, Perak.

1955a

The first picture – polling

1955b

While transporting the ballot boxes, the Land Rover had to drive across this wooden bridge! (yes, almost like a scene from Indiana Jones, isn’t it?)

Keep watching this space….we’ll have MORE of such pictures to share with you in conjunction with the up-coming polls! 🙂