These three pictures were taken by Police Lieutenant Tom Turnbull during the transportation of ballot boxes to Kampong Gajah and Pasir Salak for the first Federal election.
Picture 1 shows the official boat carrying the ballot boxes and stuck on a sandbank in the Sungai Perak. Because the ballot boxes were on board it was important for the party to keep going and so boatmen and police had to simply get out and push. This happened three or four times before reaching Kampong Gajah. Picture 2 shows the back-up emergency boat which carried spare fuel, but was too small to carry the ballot boxes. The Police Lieutenant in charge here took Picture 3 and wryly remarked, “Perhaps the authorities should have employed a fleet of smaller boats similar to this. It seems to be carrying a fair pay-load without hitting any snags.” And the result of the election? The UMNO-MCA-MIC Alliance, headed by Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR), won an overwhelming victory (51 out of the 52 seats available), and he was appointed the first Chief Minister of the Federation of Malaya.
If anyone out there has MORE memories about past elections to share with us, we’d love to hear from you. 🙂