Malaysia Dateline

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Don’t feel like voting? Read this before you commit to that decision

If you feel frustrated, fed-up, and sickened by the political scene — guess what? You’re not alone. In fact, you have every right to feel this way considering everything that’s gone down in our country for decades, especially within the last two years.

The whole thing is rather crazy, isn’t it? We stand in line for hours to vote and what do we get at the end of the day? Broken promises, lies, corruption, and the continuous trampling of your rights.

Clearly anyone in their right mind would give up hope.

At times, it even feels like the entire political system is designed to make you lose interest, disengage, and most importantly for you to stop paying attention. And here’s where the problem starts when you don’t participate in the political process.

The only people who benefit from us not paying attention are corrupt politicians who want to fill their coffers to their heart’s content.

If your votes didn’t matter, there wouldn’t be vote tempering, bribery, voter restriction, gerrymandering and a host of other things that governments do around the world during election season.

Your vote matters, and it scares them.

It’s likely that the reason you don’t feel like voting isn’t because you don’t care, but that you cared too much at one point. You got your hopes up and it didn’t end well for you.

But perhaps the answer isn’t to completely disengage from politics but to instead view it in a new light — with more discernment and more scepticism.

Stop falling for election promises and propaganda, stop falling for lame slogans like “Keluarga Malaysia”, and definitely stop falling for racial and identity politics.

Start asking yourself important questions – did this government do anything to make my life better or at the very least not make my life worst? If you can’t answer yes to those questions then it simply means that they don’t deserve your vote. Show them the door.

By you staying home, you’re sending out a loud message that you don’t care anymore. Well I can guarantee you that you will care when the government willy-nilly imposes another strict lockdown and you lose your job from it.

There are very real ramifications for you and your loved ones when unsympathetic politicians act without consequence.

It’s clear that we need political reform because many politicians have forgotten who they actually work for. They work for us, we don’t work for them. In a nutshell, they need to listen to us because we pay their salaries.

In what other industry or field would this kind of behavior be accepted? Where the bosses (rakyat) take orders from the employees (elected civil servants) instead of the other way around?

For the past two years, the PN-BN government outwardly displayed favoritism towards their own ministers and other affluential individuals while treating the public with thinly-veiled contempt, ridiculously high fines, and insufficient financial help.

Do you really want these same politicians leading your beautiful state of Melaka for the next five years? Contrary to popular belief, the Melaka state government does not need to dissolve when the general elections roll around.

If you think the Melaka elections are of little consequence, think twice. I am not here to tell you that your life will become miraculously better just by voting, or that the next person you vote for isn’t going to let you down.

But I am telling you that it’s time to put the pressure on. It’s time to make your voice heard and it’s time to penetrate the bubble of self-delusion that too many politicians operate under.

At the end of the day we need to start treating politicians like employees, nothing more and nothing less.

What do we do when employees don’t perform, when they steal from us, and when they lie? Well, we let them go and we hire new people.

That’s all voting really is.