Believe in the power of voting — Lim Mun Fah
APRIL 13 — Malaysian politics is buzzing as everyone is eagerly waiting for the arrival of the 13th general election. Some seem a little impatient and some even seem anxious. However, the date of the election remains unknown.
Regardless of when the election will be held, the most important thing is who the voters would be voting for. Would Barisan Nasional be able to defend its rule, or would this be taken over by the Pakatan Rakyat? We will have to wait for the polling day to get the answer.
According to the data released earlier by the Election Commission (EC), as of December 31 last year, a total of 12,595,268 Malaysians have registered as voters — 1,673,122 more than the number of voters in the 2008 general election. If new voters, about 500,000 people, registered in the first quarter of this year are added to the number, this will rise to 2.17 million people.
If the Parliament is dissolved in June, the 500,000 new voters registered in the first quarter of this year would have a chance to vote in the 13th general election. Otherwise, they would have to wait until the 14th general election or by-elections.
New voters’ voting tendency could undoubtedly determine the winner and the loser. That is why efforts in assisting the registration of new voters have also become a skirmish between the ruling and opposition coalitions before the final battle.
The EC revealed that after the 2008 general election, the gap between the numbers of voters that BN and Pakatan Rakyat assisted to register was only 3,000 to 4,000. Umno has assisted to register the most voters while the DAP has assisted to registered most voters among the Pakatan Rakyat component parties.
Interestingly, a voter registered through party A does not mean that he or she will vote for party A, just like a voter who boards a car of party A to a polling station does not necessarily mean that he will vote for the party.
It is noteworthy that as of March 2012, four million citizens who have reached the age of 21 have not yet registered. Of these, 70per cent are below the age of 40, with 1.6 million Malays, 1.1 million Chinese and 360,000 Indians.
The figures have revealed two phenomena that concern the Chinese community, namely, that one in every four Chinese aged 21 or more has not yet registered as voter. The Chinese also account for 36 per cent of the young Malaysians who have not registered as voters, which is far more than the Chinese population ratio.
After thousands of people marched on streets to fight for a fair election and 98 scholars living abroad requested the EC to allow Malaysians living abroad to be registered automatically as voters, I am surprised to find that the above mentioned four million people, particularly young Chinese, have actually been so indifferent in registering themselves as voters. It is so much different from the excitement we can see in coffee shops and on the Internet.
Regardless of what reasons or excuses they give, regardless of whether they support BN or Pakatan Rakyat, what I want to say is, please register yourself as a voter, please believe in the power of voting, please believe in the role you can play and please, believe that you can keep a good government or expel a bad government with your vote!
Don’t hesitate to register, just do it today! — mysinchew.com
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified