Kelantan was governed by the
After the date of the election was announced, my boss decided that I should go to Kota Bharu and organise the special election coverage and broadcast although I felt that the Kota Bharu staff could have done the job themselves.
We needed a lot of phone lines from counting centers in selected constituencies like Meranti, Gua Musang and other districts. The lines were for voice reports from our correspondents as well as "hot lines" to our Operation Room at RTM Studio in Wakaf Che Yeh. I knew the Telecom officer who came to help us. He was Majid Ibrahim, a Besut boy and my senior in
You must remember that in 1978, mobile phones were not around yet. I was stunned and stumped. I thought of runners, carrier pigeons and walkie-talkies. All were not workable. Looked like I had to abort my mission.
Seeing my dejection and frustration, Noh, RTM Kota Bharu's Chief Clerk whisked me to dinner. In the 1997 picture on the left, taken under the porch of his new house, Noh is the one on my left. I just met Noh on this trip but we liked each other like we were old friends. Noh is a "never-say -die" kind of person and I was amazed at his "can do" attitude. He also seemed to know personally, every person in Kota Bharu and beyond. Over dinner, he asked me how to solve the problem. I offhandedly told him if only we could move the studio and the Ops Room to the town center where Majid told me lines are available, everything would be ok. Noh jumped at the idea. He said it can be done. He knew exactly where the studio and Ops Room should be. Noh was enthusiastic and a little bit of it rubbed off on me. I felt much better.
I made a call to the Engineer to check on technical requirements and then to my boss in Kuala Terengganu. My boss agreed to the idea.
We got cracking at once. Telecoms promised as many lines as we wanted. Noh used his contacts to get some workmen to turn the roof top of Hotel Irama into our special studio and Ops Room. We didn't pay for the use of the roof top. The hotel, at the time, belonged to Noh's brother-in-law.
(More tomorrow, InsyaAllah)