Remember this guy? Yes, the one who got very popular (or rather, infamous) after his keris waving act was caught on a live broadcast and was circulated all over the internet? Well, what do you remember of him before that when he was heading the Ministry of Education? Or after that, and his involvement in transforming KDN’s services into the high standards that it has become right now?
This blogpost is to share with you not of my opinions about him (because some of you may not care and may even think this is a *gasp* bias post) but about my experience meeting him for the first time after following him on Twitter since he joined the social network as @HishammuddinH2O . Among the number of ministers on Twitter, he is definitely one I recommend to follow as he’s not your average stereotypical image of a Malaysian politican 😉
It all started with a Tweet Up invitation that he started, called #H20TwtUp. This being the second one, in his attempt to invite a few guests to have a heart to heart
session in a nice, comfortable sharing session. The truth is, we found out later, is that he’s pretty much always alone in that office of his, a stark contrast to when he was still the Minister of Education where he gets to meet people regularly, and is eager to hear what we have to say, or complain about 😛
I was invited, and hence found myself in this very nice small-city like structure that pretty much holds together the KDN, or Kementerian Dalam Negeri, structure.
As I walked past this sign board, can’t help but imagine what goes on inside this foreign structure. In fact, to a lay person like me, the Home Ministry sounded like an alien one, with little understanding about what it does. It wasn’t until I got lost around the place that I realize it was THIS ministry that runs pretty much everything in this country, things that affect you and I, citizens of Malaysia.
I begin to wonder then, what did the last Home Minister do to give me a warped view of the Ministry, like it was something untouchable, an unquestionable being.
Entering the building, going up to the highest floor and being greeted by really friendly people and yummy food eased my caution, and I realized that a lot of my perception about this place was wrong. And to be honest, having someone like Ida, who greeted us, in the Ministry was a good start to have. She greeted us like the humans we are, not a bunch of insects that one might feel at other governmental buildings. Before we met Hishamuddin (chewah calling him by his first name!), we were taken for a tour and the picture above is sort of like a control room of sorts where they monitor people…
I wonder how many times I, or the rest of the people on Twitterjaya, has appeared there before 😛
The place was re-done, as I was told, ever since he took over the ministry. I loved the whole feel of it. Makes people proud working in here, and there were both elements of humour, sometimes seriousness, throughout the corridors. Didn’t feel as dark as I thought it would be, with the kind of impression we had from back then, with all the mess… Here’s a photo of him and I, in case I didn’t get to have one with him haha..
Luckily I wasn’t the only one new to this place. @Sinatra_Z aka Zaidel and @anakcelup aka Suri of SIS was also there, and that comforted me because I didn’t want to be stuck with a bunch of pro-gov maniacs who have nothing better to do but to lick boots. I was so wrong, I found out later, as I got to know the rest of the Twitteratis who were there as well.
Soon enough, it happened. And the first thing DS did was to have us meet his generals, the top men in the country overlooking our safety and workforces. Some of them looked like they could kill (they probably can :P) though he comforted us by cracking a joke about this guy (sorry I forgot who!) who has a nickname called “comel” or something, and well, there’s absolutely nothing very “comel” about him. LOL.
There. Some of them are really atas. Like, the ones who heads the military. Or the police forces. We even had the woman whose signature is on all our myKad in that room! How amazing is that! Now all I need to do is to meet Tan Sri Zeti, who signs the ringgits we have, to complete my to-do list before I do 😛
Finally, we were brought to DS Hishammuddin’s office, and I thought it would be nice to take a picture of the signpiece. Sometimes, it’s truly a wonder how just by being on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, you could be experiencing things that you normally wouldn’t get. Hehe.
So we sat down, as if we were important guests of DS Hishammuddin. Truth is, we may very well be. The kind of information shared among the room was amazing, and we were lucky to have heard it right from his mouth. A few of us got to share what we are individually doing, and I got to talk about my @eyeproject initiative, among all the other work I’ve done with amazing leaders I’ve met. The fact is, some of us want him to know that we are also very interested in contributing back to our country, and not necessarily for any political motivations. All we ask is for some power and permission to do so effectively. I hope, out of this discussion, that @HishammuddinH2O does realize the important role he has to play in order for us to help us, help him, and together we will create the Malaysia we all want to see.
Heck, we even got some bonus information out of this twtup (see what you’ve been missing already? :P) and I now know the real story behind the keris-waving act. Whether you believe me or not, all I can say is, DS is a very, very intelligent man and should not be associated with less intelligent ministers that we may know haha. What I’m trying to say is, he ain’t stupid to have done such a mistake, intentional or not. Sorry guys, just being frank!
Of course, how could I NOT get a picture with the all-famous Keris! Called the “Panca Warisan”, this keris will be a symbol of many things, whether we like it or not. However, this is what I have to say about it: do not judge a man by his keris. Rather, I implore you to see the work he has done in his capacity as the Minister of Home Affairs. Think about your myKad system, the renewals, the features it has ie Touch&Go. Think about the deployment of police forces in areas we never saw enough polices before. In fact, it’s all documented in the Government Transformation Programme website or follow @gtp_roadmap, so whether you are anti or pro government, just check it out for the sake of getting some facts first lah. If he’s still doing something wrong, then tweet him at @HishammuddinH2O. I trust that he will reply.
Alternatively, you can just tell me what you think can be fixed, or improved. I am, after all, sitting on the very same chair he works at haha. Like a boss somemore! I’ve to admit, he’s too cool to allow us to do this. I can’t think of any other people of this power that will allow this to happen! And do you know why he can do this? I tell you why – he’s a family man through and through. Knowing a few people around him, and some others, I’ve come to know that he places priority of his family above all others. As long as you hold on to this principle, trust me, you’ll come out quite decently 🙂
Ah… what an epic photo. I’m so going to print this out big big and paste on my wall LOL.
And beside the fact that some of the guests celebrated their birthday right there (bet it was Ida’s idea to get the cake!) making their birthday the most memorable one ever, as well as a surprise visit by Wong Choong Hann, our national badminton player, as he is a friend of DS’s, the twtup I would say went pretty well! If not for his next meeting, which was to go watch @IdrisJala_ and kids perform at @TapisRougeMY, he’d probably go on and on answering all our questions for him, which by the way, are no simple questions, ranging from the keris waving story to his views on certain policies affecting the nation.
Very glad that something like this took place, and that it didn’t end up like an ass-kissing session. Very glad that we got to know the real Hishammuddin, so unlike how he is painted in many quarters. So, I wonder, when will the real @HishammuddinH2O stand up and allow others to see him like the way we did, on a chilled out Friday evening?