THE picture of our first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman on the joget floor brings us fond memories of our rich cultural traditions ("Heartbeat of a nation" -- NST, Sept 1).
I remember that in the 1940s and 1950s, joget was the main attraction in amusement parks where young attractive "joget girls" lined up on the stage. Male joget enthusiasts could dance with any girl. Joget, however, continued to be a common feature at official functions and social gatherings.
As was the tradition, at the close of a budget session of Parliament in the mid-1960s, Tunku would host a dinner at his official residence for all members of parliament. Once, to his dismay, the Tunku found that only one opposition MP attended the reception. That was none other than the Socialist Front mamber of parliament for Nibong Tebal, the late P. Veerappan. He must have been in high spirits as he even took part in the joget that followed the dinner.
The next day, a picture of Veerappan in graceful joget mode appeared in the Straits Times with the caption "Sociable Socialist".
Veerappan had demonstrated that while each political party has its own ideology and agenda, goodwill and respect for one another are important in nation-building.