Every Malaysian’s favourite question the past few weeks has been “Are you voting?”. Naturally, due to the elevated levels of patriotism in everyone during this period, the only acceptable answer to this question has been: “Yes, I am”.
I am one of those heretics who brazenly decides to answer “No, I am not.” Cue the disgusted looks, the Ugh But Why reactions and the long tirade about how our country is going/has gone/will be going to hell in a handbasket, if it isn’t already.
The editor found out about my abstinence and passive-aggressively implored for me to share my reasons. Here are 9 reasons why I AM NOT voting this GE14:
Reason 1: “But The System is Corrupt / But Why Aren’t You Voting?”
I’ve heard plenty of people (loudly, openly) protesting that the election is going to be unfair. They decry that the gahmen controls all the cards, from gerrymandering, media, Election Commission, Police and such and there is no way we can get a fair election. Yet at the same time, they insist Malaysians should vote.
Are they saying that we should still participate in a crooked system where it is impossible to have a favourable outcome? See the irony?
Reason 2: My State/Constituent Doesn’t Need My Vote
I’m an urban white collar office corporate slave who lives in an urban state. The state isn’t going to be leaning towards the incumbent anytime soon, let’s be honest. In 2013, the country remained in Barisan National’s rule wasn’t because it lacked the support of the urban centers of the country but because 8 states went BN’s way. Let me put it in different context: it’s like you donating cans of jellied eels to a well-funded orphanage when they have instead asked for people to volunteer time to read to the kids. The intention is good, but it means fuck-all based on the issue at hand.
So either I register to vote in a different state where my vote could have a bigger impact, or I’ll just end up pilling onto the popular vote which clearly has no meaning whatsoever.
Reason 3: Pakatan Harapan Is Lacking in Hope
With all due respect, I have respect for what all our leaders have contributed to our nation. (Especially Mr. Badawi who seems to have done the least amount of damage.) Pakatan Harapan, the newly formed coalition between DAP, AMANAH, PKR and PPBM is being led by Dr Mahathir, one of our former Prime Ministers.
As much as he has contributed to the nation, we seem to have quickly forgotten the darker stunts he pulled off during his reign ranging from the 1981 tin collapse (google EPF, 1981, tin collapse), Perwaja Steel (RM10billion and counting), MAS shares and are we not talking about the RM4.6 billion PKFZ?
Not forgetting this was also the UMNO strongman back in the day where he favoured entrepreneurs of a certain race by awarding them a plenitude of government contracts. Nepotism we call it, paired together with a rich dose of corruption and a healthy serving of wealth-gap widening. (Hint: Google is your friend)
Reason 3.1: Pakatan Harapan Is Still Lacking in Hope
In 2013, Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (aka PAS aka Panadol-Flag) was part of Pakatan Rakyat (the Opposition coalition then) where they walked away with 1.6mil votes & 21 seats. A whopping 23.5% of seats won by PR came under the PAS banner and they still lost the nation.
This GE14, PAS is no longer part of the Opposition coalition. What does that say about PR’s chances?
Reason 4: Barisan National Is All About Money
In case you think I’m only bashing the Opposition…
The Societies Act (1960) requires parties participating in the elections to submit their audited financial statements to the Registrar of Societies BUT do not have to reveal the source of their donations.
Yes, transparency and accountability is an afterthought.
To observe the difference in monetary push, one can take a look at all numerous Barisan National ads (the one with Prime Minister Najib’s smug mug) that take up billboards along highways + streets, posters, banners, digital ads, YouTube ads to mobile ads. That is easily tens of millions of ringgit worth of ad space. Where is this money coming from?
Reason 5: Party Loyalty Is A Myth
Imagine your favourite NBA team gets the 1st pick in the draft. They picked LeBron James. And right before the season starts, LeBron says screw this and joins your biggest rival instead. You’ve now wasted your 1st pick AND you’re one player short. Does this sound fair to you?
That is how Malaysian politics work. You vote for a candidate/party and they can ‘defect’ and join another party AFTER they have won the seat due to various (‘ahem’) reasons. No thank you, I’d rather keep my vote thank you very much.
Reason 6: Have You Seen BN and PH’s Manifesto?
No, seriously. Have any of you readers taken a look at either party’s manifesto for this election? Or are you guys voting based on “change is good”, “whatever flag that has more modern designs”?
Take few minutes and check out their respective manifesto (both state and country). I’ll be here when you’re done.
Both manifestos read like some fevered wet dream of a socialist who has read a few too many Ayn Rand fan fictions. Big promises with no action plans and (potentially) many excuses down the road about why it cannot be done. If a friend approaches you and tells you that he/she/it has this amazing business concept that will make you plenty of money if you just blindly invest without questioning the method, you’d be skeptical. Why do political parties get a pass then?
Reason 7: I Don’t Trust Organised Politics
Politics in Malaysia (or, well, globally) has devolved into this sham where you’re picking based on a flag and knowing next to nothing about the candidate. It has devolved into an argument about who is more/less corrupt, whom is trying to implement an Islamic state, slinging red herrings and cherry-picked facts at each other and flaring up the good ol’ racist card. Do you think it’s more important to pick a candidate for Pengkalan Kundur (Dr Ismail Salleh vs Dr Ahmad Fakhruddin btw) that can serve the constituent better or because he/she represents a party who you hope to win the nation?
“It’s like picking a can of mystery meat judged purely based on the brand instead of actually asking what is in the can.”
I trust politicians who actually care about their constituents. Those that are visible; they show up in their offices and actually deal with everyday folk even if it’s for mundane nonsense. They are vocal and you can actually see the stuff they fight for becoming a reality, I support these politicians and their efforts; I support not the banners they represent.
Reason 8: Voter Registration Fiasco
Folks who have registered in 2018 to vote in the upcoming GE14, you’re shit out of luck. The Election Comission has stated that only folks registered as of Q4 2017 will qualify as they need sufficient time to carry out the ‘public display process & objections’.
Which begs the question, why aren’t all Malaysians automatically enrolled to vote (aka Denmark)? Apart from artificially creating jobs, why do we require Malaysians to ‘register’ and wait for months in order to be eligible to vote especially it’s “our right as a citizen to do so”? Or make registration mandatory (aka Australia)?
Reason 9: Being In Prison Prevents You From Voting
Article is written by One-Eye-Meets-Brown-Eye who believes that asking people “Are you voting?” is the same as asking “Do you do anal?”. Cover image courtesy of Pixabay.
If you’re asking in earnest because you have questions about how to go about it, read the Election 101 guide on Anythinglah.my
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