Attending your first ceramah? Here’s what to expect

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KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysians should exercise their right to vote, holding true to the saying “every vote counts”.

If you are fairly new to the political scene and are unsure of who to vote for, then attend a ceramah or two in your neighbourhood for a better insight.

For those unsure of what a ceramah is — it’s basically a talk as boring as your lecturer’s at university — it is where a candidate who is running for a seat lays out his agenda and vision for the constituency he hopes to represent.

Besides the speech, here are seven other things to expect from your first ceramah:


Although your neighbourhood might seem like a quiet township, these ceramahs usually bring out everybody … basically neighbours whom you have not met for the past five years. You’re in for a treat!

Everybody’s a “businessman” or “businesswoman”

Ever walked down your street and passed a house which smells like the best rendang ever? Interested in tasting it? Patience; during ceramahs, your neighbourhood makciks will whip up a good rendang, nasi goreng, or burger for a modest price. The pakciks usually end up selling drinks. Hey! It’s a great business opportunity.

Very long talks

If you are probably off a long day at college, university or work, then be sure to thank us for the heads up. These politically motivated speeches usually fly by — but we promise it’s better than the ones your university lecturer has to offer. If you are lucky, it could end by10.30pm, otherwise, be prepared for past midnight sessions.

The ‘mat rempits’

Like it or not, these boys are part of our culture and as always, they will be out on the streets accompanying the arrival of a politician into your neighbourhood. If you think they’re a nuisance, remember you were probably the same too when you were a kid, going around on your bicycles and performing stunts to attract attention.


Usually halfway through a ceramah, a performance — be it a dance or a karaoke session — is a must. If you share the same neighbourhood as Altimet or Bunkface for instance — chances are you might get a glimpse of them at this time.

Grand entrances … and at times, not

If you thought arriving in a BMW or Mercedes was a great way to make a statement — you got it wrong! Expect some of them to arrive in helicopters or at times a bicycle, so as to be seen as being one of the people.

Being inspired to be a politician

Yes. After lending your pair of ears to these ceramahs, you may fall in love with the whole idea of how a politician can bring a positive change to your neighbourhood. Trust us, it only lasts for about 72 hours, before you feel normal again.