Infernal Ramblings
A Malaysian Perspective on Politics, Society and Economics

Incontrovertible Proof: Vote-buying in Ijok

Written by johnleemk on 1:51:01 pm Apr 29, 2007.

I can't say I'm surprised. Everyone knows our elections are, to some extent, dirty. One only hopes this abhorrent display cannot be repeated in the general election because of the impracticality of vote-buying in so many constituencies:

Does this mean our electoral system is so fraudulent, so screwed up, that it's not worth contesting elections? That it's not worth casting our vote? Should we all go home and boycott the elections?

The answer has to be a firm no. Boycotts are pointless as long as the elections still (in some twisted way) reflect the will of the people. The opposition regularly takes home about 40% of the popular vote, and it certainly does seem to accurately reflect how the rakyat feel (though I am surprised that only 60% of the rakyat are swayed by BN propaganda).

The opposition must first convince a majority to support it, and oppose BN, before it can credibly claim that our electoral system is so warped as to render it undemocratic and unreflective of popular sentiment. Otherwise, individual instances of vote-buying and phantom voting aside, an election boycott just will not work.

We must continue to work to reform our institutions, not overthrow them. A boycott is as good as saying that things are so hopeless, we might as well start anew and throw out our old institutions.

I don't think things are that bad yet. The potential for change within our current warped institutions remains. It's up to us to make it happen. Don't sell your vote. Make your vote count, and vote for the right candidate.

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