Saturday, March 8, 2008

E-Day

So many young people I spoke to have not registered to vote. Of course, with the election called so suddenly, many just couldn't register in time. A disturbing estimated 80% of the 4.9 million people who haven't yet registered to vote are between the ages of 21 to 30. I just can't understand why people can't do their duty as a concerned citizen once every 4 years, especially when the country is in such a mess. It is no longer a question of better drains outside your house, or better roads. We are worried about injustice, corruption, nepotism, religious freedom and racial rights.

So imagine my joy when my bro who works in Singapore suddenly arrived home last night just to vote! He didn't come back for mom's birthday and CNY but he's back for the weekend to cast one vote. I was also impressed with my friend Y who, despite just arriving in Hong Kong the day before from New York, hopped on the next flight home just to vote also.

And so this morning we met at my mom's house, had a short discussion and agreed on our family's voting modus operandi and started out to our respective polling stations, me and mom to vote for the Api-api seat and my bros to vote for the Luyang seat, both of which are predominantly Chinese areas. At the polling station, I asked mom, "Now where do you put your vote?" "The eye." "Cross or tick?" "Cross." "Okay, let's do it!" Wow. I felt like I was performing national service.

If you have a copy of today's papers, there are pages of info on the candidates and the seats they are vying for. I noticed that nearly all the rural areas had only two candidates, one from the ruling party and one from the opposition. That is good in that opposition votes won't be split, bad in that there will be scumbags who jump to the other party after winning a seat. In more developed and urban areas, the contest is usually 3 or 4-cornered, which sucks because this means voters will be split among the opposition candidates. I read Malaysia Needs A Strong Opposition, by Michael Backman, an Aussie journalist for The Age (as informed by Ah Beng in his blog), and again it is very frustrating to accept the fraudulent practices in our elections. Based on Michael Backman's article, in the 2004 elections, 64% of votes were for BN and that garnered 198 seats/representatives in parliament. Opposition voters made up 36% but they only got 21 seats. Proportionately, the opposition should get about 79 seats, so why is this not the case? Well, back to the same dirty practice of having large urban areas allocated one seat and interior or undeveloped areas getting many more seats. Which means that one vote in the kampung/village equals upto 5 votes in the towns! In urban areas with large populations of over 40,000 only one state/parlimentary seat is given while areas as small as 8000 in the interior are also given one seat, so that urban people being more knowledgeable about what's going on will have less say while the rural people being simpler, less educated and thus easier to influence (gifts of milk powder and even water tanks were used in the previous elections) will actually have more voting power.

Compounding all that, there's the question of the neutrality of the Election Committee, the rumors of illegals being ferried by the busloads to polling stations...It is just so...dirty.

But, it is now 5 pm and the polling stations have closed. It is raining inccessantly. I noticed voters turn-out was very low in the few stations that I passed by. Whatever, I'm praying for the best. Some of my friends are coming over to my house tonight for 'election results watch'. I'm baking cheese and onion bread, an apple sponge and some other tidbits. If anyone wants to come, please do so. But if you aren't opposition, you are kindly requested to stay away.

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The biggest billboards belong to the ruling party. And guess who's paying?

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Even in the rural areas, the ruling party dominates.

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"Your iron chairs along Foh Sang were good, Dr Yee. The best thing you did for the people, those chairs, yeah."

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We can be horizontal...

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...or vertical. Either way, we'll have the biggest billboard and guess who's paying the costs again?

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Once in a while you get the opposition. I was so dumb, I told mom that this is "The Eye" but this morning when I read the papers and saw all the symbols, I was alarmed to see this is double crescents.Is this a religious or political party?

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The BN has the most decent-looking symbol although by now the balance is heavily loop-sided.

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Now I vote this affable guy as "The Happiest Candidate" with "The Best Grin". Is he a dentist btw? Independents (see the keys symbol) have in the past turned out to be the worst of the lot. They are potential frogs. If they win, they usually jump to the ruling party. No price for guessing why.

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Hmm. This is the other opposition party. While Double Crescents send shivers down non-Muslims' spines, DAP's phallic symbol--with a big 'O'-- should send shivers down BN's spine--blue being BN's color...

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RIP, until 2012.

12 comments:

jimctang said...

Absolutely they will be corrupted, as soon as the new government get used the power. What we can is to keep changing them. Even if the government is performing well, we need to change it also before it’s getting worse. Unfortunately it needs luck to make it happen as expected.

E-Day is not much different from D-Day. Everybody needs luck to keep away from bullet in the fight, hiding behind a bus stop pole may help too. Anyway good luck and go for it.

well, please delete it if comment not OK here. :-|

Greg Wee said...

I was just suggesting to NEe & CK that we should go to a kopitiam somewhere, crack nuts & eat kuaci while watching the results on TV! Would have loved to hang at your place!

Anonymous said...

E~ I hate ! I think most probably my vote has forfeited! why ?
When I about to "mark" my candidate, I dunno to put a tick or a cross!
and in fact I put a "TICK"! =p
PLS DONT blame me for being the 1st-time voter. Now I understand why the banner all over the road put a BIG X next to their names! *lols*

Dutch Baby-Pancake
(Sobs)

JOjo said...

Oops..Im one of the 80% u mentioned.
Not tat i din want to register or perform my citizen duty, but i missed the registration period (3mths b4 election) and by the time i register,im not eligible for tis yr's election!!!
I believe they have the data of their citizen what, why cant they register us automatically? Save us the hectic of gg to register ourselves and call us irresponsible. =(
Upset that i cant vote~
But hey, Malaysians had spoken, WE WANT A CHANGE! Cheers~ Wishing the best for the future of M'sia!

Eunice said...

phallic symbol!? HAHA.

well over here in PJ, DAP's captured Selangor!!! slightly euphoric, after that frenzy on saturday night hogging malaysiakini for results.

i'm not sure if I like PKR, not that i've attended any of their ceramahs but they seem quite dodgy as a party. Like i'm not sure where they'll swing, do you get my flow? Haha i may just be paranoid!

let's pray the opposition parties unite & dont stand divided to make themselves worthy of their responsbilities & live up to their merits.

Precious Pea said...

If I knew you are baking such a treats, I would have flew over to watch the results together with you.

So, are you satisfied with the results? We are very happy that Selangor now rules by Opposition! Hope will see some changes now.

Anonymous said...

Hey don't forget Dr Yee's shed at SJK (C) Chung Hwa Likas. His name is there too. Wow! How can he not win.

Raina

CK-II said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CK-II said...

I think at least 50% of the Malaysian citizens are happy with the election results. BN lost the 2/3 majority in the Parliament! Yeh!

Susu Kacang said...

I saw this term in zewt's blog called "gerrymandering" which means manipulating constituency boundaries for electoral advantage. Is this one of the reasons why the opposition can only win 1(?) seat?

I think we will probably see more young voters in future as more public awareness is created through the web media. The internet is powerful in delivering information, yet it cannot tell fact from fiction. (Beware.)

That KFC store in the picture reminds me of the chicken rice stall next door. Aiii, stomach growling already.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

jim: yes, after a while there's usually abuse of power n i agree tt we need to change the govt/office bearers now and then.

gregwee: yes, we had fun n it would've been even more fun if u guys were here.

Dutch Baby Pancake: aiya Denise, i used to wonder how people can spoil their votes. but i do think tt ppl shd be allowed to use either tick or cross. its a clear indication of their choice, why have to be so strict.

jojo: i hope u are encouraged by the election outcome n do register yrself quick.

eunice: wow, people power. yes, all malaysians r breathlessly waiting n hoping for the leaders to really work to make this country better than ever.

preciousp: r all selangorians happy about it? i rmber when PBS took over, it was euphoric, there was so much hope...didn't think this was possible did we :)


raina: looking at the results, i think he was just as popular as Christina, foul play or money politics aside. he's esp popular with old ladies, i don't know why.Christina shd've worked on the old men.

ck: yes, but what happened with Sarawak? is the white-haired guy tt good??

susu kacang: 'gerrymandering', thanks for telling me :) yes, the net n mobles played a part in this election. why,even the blogger Jeff Ooi is making it to parliament!unheard of.i hope young voters r encouraged by the recent elections.

wmw said...

Looking forward to a change, hope we won't be disappointed.

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