Deepavali 2017 in Desa Mentari
I attended a Deepavali function in Desa Mentari last night organised by Uthayam, a local urban poor NGO. This NGO is a bit unique because all its members are regular folks that live in the Desa Mentari flats. There is no external influence, no VIPs and completely apolitical. It was set up with a very specific purpose, which is to provide welfare help to their poorest neighbours. Last night’s Deepavali event had some 200 attendees.
The Chairman, Mr. Sugumaran is a frozen truck driver and devotes a big chunk of his spare time to this NGO. He and his deputy Mr. Paneer, are regular visitors to my office, dropping by almost once a month with a variety of constituency problems. My office finds the Uthayam people to be reliable and earnest.
The event last night was nearly hijacked by local PAS leaders who promised Uthayam to foot the entire bill of the function, provided that Nik Nazmi (the PKR ADUN) and I am, are not invited to the event. Poor as they are, they turned the offer down. It appears that the election campaign on the ground has started in Seri Setia.