I’m a Malaysian, currently working in Singapore. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I didn’t chose Singapore but it was Singapore who chosen me when I decided to leave my home country and work overseas. I don’t bother about the difference in currency exchange rate, I don’t bother about staying in Johor while traveling daily to work in Singapore. I work and live here in Singapore, just like every Singaporean do. Do I aspire to convert myself to Singaporean? At this point of time, I would say no, I do not have that intention.
I left Malaysia and work overseas 5 years ago after casting my first ever vote during the General Election #13. It was such a bad experience, terrible, horrible, I can’t think of a better word to describe just how crap it turned out. Everyone knows what happened in front the scene and behind the scene, there’s no need to elaborate further on that. And sadly, that was part of the reason why I decided to leave my beloved country and work oversea.
Then came General Election #14, but I’ve chose to give up my vote for this year’s election. I did not return to Malaysia to vote. Why? Because I can’t cast my vote to any of the political parties, be it the opposition party or the ruling party. I just can’t. I love my country, but I can’t comprehend in sending my beloved country into the hands of either of the political parties. I don’t trust any of them. I know it’s my ethical responsibility to vote, but I would like to stress that it’s not mandatory either. I know there are those who believed in opposition party and voted for them. I know there are those who just want to dethrone the ruling party, hence they will vote for anyone other than the ruling party. And of course there are those who still believe in the ruling party and voted for them. But for me, I just can’t do any of these.
I’m not trying to justify that I’m right for not casting my vote, just like I’m not interest to question your choice of voting on either side. I don’t view people who voted ruling party any differently than those who voted the opposition party. I don’t see voting opposition is equivalent to saving the country, or voting the ruling party is equivalent to bringing the country down. There were things that done right or wrong by both sides. This is my view, and I’m not asking you to follow my view or accept my view. You can continue to believe in what you are believing, you can continue to hate people like me, it’s your freedom to do so. I just hope that you don’t bring your personal preference and generalized it as a fact that everyone else must follow.
In any case, I felt sad throughout the whole election process. Fake news floating everywhere, people start to label those who support the ruling party as the bad guys, people sharing “news” and “information” without even bother to verify their authenticity, so much hatred, so much anger. At the end of the day, everyone can choose to vote for anyone they wished for. It’s their freedom, it’s their choice, please respect that. Accept the diversity in terms of views and opinions.
In the end, the opposition won the election. Honestly, I was surprised by the result. I thought it would be much closer for both sides, so it’s probably a good sign that people do realize a change is needed. But is the opposition the answer to it? Honestly, I still have my doubt on their capabilities. The problem with Malaysia is not something that’s easy to fix in a year or two. It’s cultural and behavioural, it will take a long time to infuse change on these areas.
As of now, I’m glad that the nation has moved to a new milestone, able to unite together for once, able to be brave and voice out their opinion. But I still can’t celebrate. We are still far away from the end goal, to have a country that’s corruption free and operating efficiently, and I’m still uncertain whether my beloved country is now in good hand. For some, this milestone is already huge enough for a celebration. But for me, if 5 years down the road and things did improved and become promising, that is probably when the celebration starts. That is probably when I can confidently walk out and cast my vote on someone who I can really rely on. I really do hope that day will come, I really do. But will I celebrate at that point of time? Probably not. I chose to be a viewer during this change, and I will not complaint nor asking for more. But when that day comes, I will surely feel happy for my beloved country.