By Haissazc Shuqkin Hisham
We always believe that in order to stop the scandals and corruption that exist in our government, casting a vote is the constitutional right with which we can bring change in our country. This is to ensure that we have a government that works for the rakyat. As citizens of a democratic state, we have the civic duty to participate in the upcoming general election by casting our vote for candidates whom we think can promote our goals. We have always believed that if you want change, voting is the only way to elect a new government that will really work for the people.
However, with the never-ending scandals of our current government and the continued instability in the opposition, and with both the current government and the opposition seeming not to be really focused on the rakyat, do you think our votes matter?
It has been reported that 3.8 million eligible voters have still not registered and, honestly, it’s quite terrifying as we cannot deny that participation from the public is important. But, by looking at the current situation, it doesn’t matter how many people have registered, as the votes from the rakyat will not change anything.
How can you expect change to happen if we can’t decide which party to vote for – with the government and the opposition facing instability, endless scandals, and corruption? We have our constitutional right to vote, but we don’t want to vote for a government that is known for its devastating scandals and alleged corruption or an opposition that is still arguing over who the next prime minister should be rather than focusing on what they should really do in the upcoming GE14. If they still can’t solve this matter, do you think change will happen? Do our votes matter to the nation?
Imagine a situation where we have to choose between someone like US President Donald Trump or Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and we decide to choose Trump because we think he’s better than Duterte even if he is abrasive and has zero political knowledge. Would that not be simply choosing the lesser of two evils?
That’s what Malaysians, especially young voters, are facing right now as we are unsure of who to vote for.
The problem with our society is that we don’t really understand how politics works. You cannot say that “I’m voting for this candidate just because of his personality despite his party being totally rubbish”. This is not a football team where it can be a one-man show. The government cannot be run by one person only. If there’s one person who has a clean record, it doesn’t mean his team or his party are also free from corruption or scandal.
It’s true that our votes can make a change; but in this situation, if parties are unstable or riddled with corruption, our votes mean nothing. We would just be voting for a failing system that does not work for the people.
We need a government that not only declares itself as the party that’s going to “Save Malaysia,” but a government that will really work for the people; a government that focuses on people’s needs, works on unemployment issues as well as economic problems. We need an open and limited government that is bound by the rule of law, and is transparent.
But is there a party that can fulfil those requirements and which makes our votes worth it? If not, then do you think our votes matter?
Haissazc Shuqkin Hisham is an FMT reader.
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