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April 2013

Where were YOU back in July 1955 – part 2

By |2013-04-26T16:41:43+08:00April 26th, 2013|Categories: elections, history, Identify Photographs, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , |



picture 1


 picture 2 1955_2c

picture 3

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. 🙂


Where were YOU back in July 1955?

By |2013-04-24T10:42:41+08:00April 24th, 2013|Categories: elections, history, Identify Photographs, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , , , |

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.


The first picture – polling


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! 🙂


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