Infernal Ramblings
A Malaysian Perspective on Politics, Society and Economics

Why Won't You Vote, Damn It?

Written by johnleemk on 2:35:08 pm Jul 6, 2007.
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One of the most popular articles on this site is the controversially-titled The Death of Malaysia. There are so many things going wrong with our country that I probably don't need to ennumerate them.

Of course, the assertion that things will go really wrong to the point that the country may collapse, or reach a point of near-collapse, is a more disputable one.

This article is not meant for those who don't think the country is in deep shit — if you're skeptical, please read The Death of Malaysia and other related articles like this one.

The question for those who think Malaysia is in serious trouble is, what are you going to do about it? Like it or not, Malaysia remains your home — if you migrate, that's one thing, but as long as you reside in Malaysia, this country is by definition your home.

The purpose of The Death of Malaysia was to rouse people to action — to make them realise that our home is in danger, and that we need to act to save it, to save ourselves.

(Of course, my writing skills may not be so good, since I ended up writing a second article about Misreading the Death of Malaysia.)

The problem is that it seems while a number of people realise that Malaysia is in trouble, hardly any are willing to do something about it.

I really wonder how many people who stay home on election day would vote if they had no choice but to vote. I'm willing to bet that the government would not have nearly as strong a grip on power as it does now if not for the apathy of the Malaysian public.

What's particularly depressing is that Malaysians in the urban areas know so much about what is going wrong, and yet do so little to set it right.

Voting is not an impossible demand to make of Malaysians who know that the country is endangered by our vicious politics and policies. It is an obligation for anyone who knows things are wrong, and has the power to set them right, to try and fix them.

Looking at my generation, at least in the city, I cannot imagine more than a tiny portion in the voting booths come polling day in five, ten, even twenty years.

We all just don't care. Why? Why can't we care enough when it is not just the future of others, but the future of ourselves and our families at stake?

Is it because the government will always be returned to power in the end? What nonsensical thinking is that? The government will only be returned to power if you — and everyone who believes the government should go — refrain from voting.

If you believe something is truly wrong with the country, I cannot see any other reason why you would not want to at least vote — if you don't want to participate in change by other means, that's fine. But the power to elect our leaders is a strong one — and if you think our leaders need to be changed, there's no reason not to exercise it.


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Infernal Ramblings is a Malaysian website focusing on current events and sociopolitical issues. Its articles run the gamut from economics to society to education.

Infernal Ramblings is run by John Lee. For more, see the About section. If you have any questions or comments, do drop him a line.


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