Don’t vote if they don’t change 

Hafidz Baharom

A FEW days back, there was an editorial here which said there was an insidious campaign telling people not to vote. In fact, there have been constant op-eds published dating back three months on The Malaysian Insight trying to appeal to people to vote.

I love that they used the Brexit referendum, because it goes to show that when both sides of the political divide – this being Labour and Conservative in the UK – did not campaign for the Stay campaign prominently enough, it was somehow the voters fault.

Meanwhile, the Leave campaign was organised and spread propaganda nationwide to secure their votes, while the younger voters who wanted to “Remain” decided it was not worthy of their attention.

In fact, even now the UK politicians waffle about Brexit and whether or not they supported Brexit or otherwise.

And this is the same problem with politics in Malaysia now – all sides are too chickenshit to actually stand for something contrary to public opinion, and would rather coast along for fear of losing their vote base, while trying to convince the conservatives to vote for them.

So I will be frank, I am actually one of those anti voting campaigners – I am the one going around telling people not to vote until the leadership of Pakatan Harapan either resigns or dies out figuratively or literally, whichever first.

Because PH as an alternative has shown themselves to be nothing of the sort. If anything, PH is now seen more as a twin of Barisan Nasional and nothing more. As such, this is what I’ve suggested continuously.

The leadership of PH – all of them - need to give way to younger leaders who can actually offer hope of a better future without having to reminisce of a bygone era of dinosaurs tainted with corruption and hypocrisy.

It was really taking the cake to have Dr Mahathir Mohamed speaking at an anti-kleptocracy rally while keeping a straight face, I tell you. 

And the truth is, the regular Malaysian voter, being unaffiliated with any party, won’t be able to change the internal leadership of political parties being outside these organisations and not being allowed to vote for their leaderships.

As such, Malaysians, your only voice to get political parties to take you seriously is by not voting for their candidates, not voting for their party, abandon all events and gatherings they host, until they lose morale and figure out change needs to happen internally to win you back.

Unfortunately, politicians being politicians, being thick-headed and not letting go of power is a common trait for all of them. They will go on blaming the government, the gerrymandering of the election, they will look at everything other than blaming themselves for failing to cater to your wants and needs.

That is why I have mentioned that this might take an election or two, as the editorial of The Malaysian Insight was keen to point out.

To paraphrase Lewis Black, we are now stuck between two parties – the party with no ideas, and the party of bad ideas. The way it works is that someone stands up and says “I have a really bad idea”, and the other side goes “And I know how to make it worse”. This is exactly the conundrum we face in our politics today.

So, I am appealing to the Malaysian youth, those aged 30 and below, to boycott the next general election. To remove ourselves from the voting population, for the next five years. Register to be voters, but do not go out to the ballot box. Stay home. Enjoy a weekend away with the family, hang out with friends, switch off from politics.

And if PH refuses to change after the next general election in 2018, fine. Let them waddle through another five years of a barren political landscape. Because the one thing the young Malaysians have aplenty when compared to these political dinosaurs is time. – December 22, 2017.

* Hafidz loves to ruffle feathers and believes in the EA Games tag line of challenging everything. Most times, he represents the Devil’s Advocate on multiple issues.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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  • You can't make politicians change by threats of 'not-voting'. It is an inane mischievous 'defeatist' idea. You only allow BN to foment and perpetuate the power imbalance with little incentive to change the status quo simply because you have a weaker opposition.

    However, you may allow/nurture change to happen when there is a balance of power that puts in place strong opposing forces that will filter out the undesirables qualities naturally.

    Allow the opposition a term to rule and you will see them sweat it out to remain in power. You can be certain both sides will be extra vigilant to keep each other in check to win back support. You will find this process will benefit the people when the two antagonistic forces wear each other out to a point they must allow fresh talent in to remain relevant to the electorate.

    Posted 6 years ago by Arun Paul · Reply

  • I totally agree with this writer. Other than the names and faces, there is very little that is different about the PH when compared to Pakatan. It is going to be the ideas, same policies , same views, same thinking , same everything. Even the names and faces are not that new - many of the names and faces for the opposition now actually came from BN. Other than because one belongs to a personality cult that venerates this or that person , I don’t see a reason to vote either .

    Posted 6 years ago by Nehru Sathiamoorthy · Reply

  • The writer and his like is VERY SELFISH in thinking that everyone is like him/them. While you sit hete throwing tantrums, BN/UMNO is nicely sucking our country dry. "Perfect" doesn't exist in the real world. All we'll ever get is "Good enough". You don't like Dr M ? Me too!!! I don't like DSAI & his wife too! Heck, i voted for PAS in the last GE ! But do i go around telling ppl not to vote ? No! Infact I've even pursuaded my sister to register to vote, apolitical as she was. Why ? Because life is not perfect. If you don't like Dr M then campaign to exclude his party from next GE victory. Jangan dibakar kelambu hanya kerana marah & benci dgn si nyamuk!.

    Posted 6 years ago by Chris Quek · Reply