The 13th general election in malaysia is said to be the toughest and the most interesting thing to happen in Malaysia”s history of modern politics. Since the past year, speculation has been rifed on when a election is to be called, and people got impatient. Interestingly on 3rd april 2013, the parliament was finally dissolved and paved way for election.
When I was young, I didn’t care much about politics nor I was interested to know. After all , I was just a boy. But as I finished school, I began to take conscious on happenings in my country and take pride in the updating issues of my hometown. I remember during my first flight to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, I was taken by surprise of the vast development of these new places i have stepped onto. I felt like I knew nothing. ( ticket flights were expensive during those time and being able to sit on an airplane was a luxury.) Compared to the photos that my parents have taken in singapore during the 1970s, I knew it was no longer the same.
Then in 2000, i took my first distant flight to Australia and my exposure led me to believe that things can always change for the better. Malaysia is a place where I really call home, and no doubt, Malaysia has improved a lot since independence, but it is my duty to take conscious awareness on the future development of my country to ensure that malaysia will continue to develop, particularly in my homegrown town -the state of Sarawak, Kuching city.
I realized that i play a part in understanding my country better.I am equally responsible for my country.
The thing is, to really take responsibility on my part as a normal citizen, one of the rightfully thing to do at best is to exercise my voting right. And a vote counts. I am no bias to any political parties. As I don’t vote based on certain parties. I could have voted for any parties but before I decide, I realized that many people I have known seem to be reluctant to vote, or rather I would say, they are indecisive on who to vote for. We, malaysians have the privilege to practice democracy rights and decide who runs our country, and it is something I believe we shouldn’t take granted for.
Agree or not, some people have the perception that it didnt matter whether to vote or not . After all, life has always been as it is. I often hear” I don’t need anyone nor the government to support me. I have a job and a family.I m taking care of myself well regardless who is in charge of the country. As long as they don’t bother my life, i am neutral”.
Some still think that whoever is the government, it won’t change a thing. A friend of mine asserted that while he does read newspapers and online portals to update the current issues, he
Is still skeptical on the political scene in Malaysia. can they deliver what they promise?
Followings are the common reasons why people may not want to vote:
Dont care attitude
Could not decide the party to vote for
Don’t really know the candidate
Skeptical on the political promises
Politics are dirty
TO VOTE OR NOT TO VOTE THEN
A good friend of mine echoing that every time election draws near, many goodies are promised and some seem too good to be true, but exactly he feels that a politician should have a mindset to really commit to fight for the people, it’s rhetoric. Unless he thinks like mother Theresa or Nelson Mandela, only then a politician deserves to be elected to serve the people.
A vote count does make a difference. A person who changes his mindset would influence the next person on his responsibility to exercise his voting power. And followed by the next person. This time around, a total of of 2.35 Million have reportedly registered themselves as first time voters. and it does make a big difference now.
I realized it would be unfair also to keep reminding people to exercise their votes without knowing what to consider before heading to the polls.
In my personal opinion, I think few things should be carefully considered before deciding who to vote for. If am given a choice, I would definitely choose to vote based on individuality rather than political parties. But since in Malaysia, votes are by large based on party politics with individual candidates representing a party and to an extent independent candidate. The party who gets the most seats run the country. Many people do not get to know enough the candidates and his or her personality, hence many people rely on the parties agenda to decide. The decision is decided upon by political parties agendas who share the best development plan for the country and interests of the people as well as the best of benefits they could enjoy if they form the next government. So the parties manifesto become the in thing to look out for in an election.
Down to the individual candidates, an elected member of parliament should be the one who has intergrity, and definite plans on what to do once he is elected. What is his immediate steps and plan? Elected MP should be the one who is really able to understand what and know how to address what the people want. His vision is crucial here. What is his plan for the next 5 year to develop his area? His possession of excellent communication skills marks the point, as i may not want someone who goes into the battle room and not knowing how to present at his best to convince the board his right. Being assertive is what determines an effective politician and has no fear to voice out for what he or she thinks is best for the people. Can he be the people’s ears or simply just a yes-man.
The candidate should also be free of corruption record, and being in politics is to bring greater improvements and not the “advantages ” of getting benefits and the allowance he is about to rake once elected. It isn’t easy. Who says it’s going to be easy anyway.
The truth is, it is difficult to know either whether or not all those qualities comply. So i did one thing. And i’m sharing it. One of the things we can do is to think back on a time when during the last election , say if the candidate is currently the elected MP in your area, what has he or she accomplished during the time. Has the promises being kept? Has he or she ever take the big steps to solve problems in your area? Information can also be traced through the Internet.
Also campaign is usually held before the election day, take a time out to attend the candidate’s campaign and listen to his talk. By observing the way he talks, it may give us an idea on the credibility of that person. Hear what is in his mind and what plan he has for your area. Grap his point. While it may not completely confirm his true self, it does indeed give a clearer picture on his personality.
Its up to us now. In 15 days, we decide or not whether to cast the ballot and make a difference or to simply just sit back watching and do the coffee-talks.