13 points for the upcoming 13th General Elections
by Mahen Bala
**This post contains colloquial phrases and words which are used locally in Malaysia**
1. The backbone of the country is the constitution. Take the time to read about it and understand it. Who better to explain it to you than the law people themselves.
2. First time voter? Educate yourself on the voting process by reading articles other people have so graciously typed out for you. Some even lukis diagram for you ok.
3. Not everyone from PR is a knight in shining armour nor is everyone from BN an incarnation of satan trying to steal your money (although most of them are, for now).
There are good candidates from both side and only when the right candidates are supported can they form policies together. The battle for parliament should never be a case of win-all or lose-all. A healthy democracy only works when candidates from both sides can debate on policies in the interest of the people they represent and not the maruah of the party or in most cases, the party leader.
4. GE13 is not about putting PR into power. It’s about reclaiming the right to choose your government and breaking away from the fear of uncertainty. In the words of the opposition leader himself, if PR walks into Putrajaya and starts the same shit as BN, be prepared to make your voice heard and “kasi terajang sama dia”. If you truly love BN then give them an opportunity to change by voting for PR.
6. Attend ceramahs and listen to the people you’re voting into power. If the situation is right, do not be afraid to question them. Question their intentions, their stand on issues and proposed solutions to the problems in your community. Gone are the days where people were afraid to attend ceramahs, especially opposition ceramahs out of fear of getting arrested or be seen colluding with anasir anasir jahat.
7. PR has come under the spotlight for internal squabbles and the inability to be consistent on certain issues. The biggest reason we see this as a negative point is how BN has raised us as leader-worshipping sheep. We were trained to obey the leader and any criticism is seen as dissent. The Mahathir era is dead and the new generation of awakened masses should be ready to piss on it’s grave. We are ushering into a new era of democracy where differing opinions are encouraged and debates the new classroom. Just look at what happened with BN when all member parties are ‘encouraged’ to obey the leader and any criticism is responded with a show-cause letter or even better, expulsion. Where has authoritarianism brought us? Until today, BN is still campaigning with the same arrogant and exclusive slogan of “we know what’s best for you so just fill up your plate and vote for us”.
8. Voting is on the 5th of May, a Sunday. That gives you Friday night or the whole of Saturday to be wherever you’re supposed to be to vote. Unless you’re stuck with work with no chance of escape or away from the country or scheduled for a brain surgery, don’t give excuses-lah please. Even those overseas are flying back just to cast their one vote and join the celebrations. It is, after all, a pilihan raya right?
9. “Aiyo my area’s candidate is a Chinese, gone la our Malay rights.” Enough with racial politics. We have lived under the same model for far too long and it’s time to move on. This land belongs to everyone in equal measure and one communities problem is everyone’s problem. There is only a Malaysian cause and no Malay or Chinese agenda. Stop thinking along the lines that the ruling government wants you to think. Divide and conquer was firstly the modus operandi of the British and today, the BN government. Cukup dah tu.
10. Reject violence and dirty politics. As predicted, isolated events of vandalism and arson has already begun, clearly a desperate attempt to spread the fear that a change in government MUST lead to violence and racial riots. I believe Malaysians are sick and tired of such nonsense. In such cases, please remain calm and refrain from creating an Internet-riot by posting offensive or provocative information.
12. Have fun! Laugh at the antics of MCA candidates on stage, cry listening to Ibrahim Ali and be amazed at how creative Malaysians can get with their homemade tanks, rockets and cannons. In case you haven’t noticed, we Malaysians have a very unique sense of humour and contrary to popular belief, I think we are masters at making fun of ourselves. In fact that might be the only brand of humour we actually understand, laughing at stereotypes, racial cliches and parodies of politicians.
13. Don’t be afraid to talk about politics and debate it. At the coffee shop, at home in bed or on the internet, talk about it in a civilised manner and enrich each other with your point of view. Agree to disagree and at the of the day, share a laugh over a cup of teh tarik. Or coffee. Or let’s just settle for cham.
+ If you did notice something missing from the list, then good for you. Notice all that is lacking in the promises both parties are making to voters so you don’t get shortchanged. The ruling government, just like this post, has promised so much and delivered much less, if anything at all.
– If you didn’t notice anything, then congratulations, you are exactly the sort of voter the corrupted government is relying on to remain in power and continue to steal billions.