Saturday, May 04, 2013

A Different Voting Experience

The last 2 weeks has been a feverish attempt to keep up with my Facebook news feeds on the GE13. Every other minute new stories would blink on my iPad screen, some are old links but many come from other sharers. I would comment or share what are useful and appropriate in this season of voting for a new government over the next 5 years. I admit I am pro-Opposition and most of my sharing and commentaries are politically biased. I won't apologize because I believe the government has failed in the last 5 years. Asking for a fresh mandate now especially with the Opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, making deep inroads into traditional BN fortresses is too little too late. Signs of a Malaysian Spring is in the air but not like the Arab Spring. It is an awakening of political awareness that the country belongs to its citizens who are now holding the government accountable. Change is urgent as we approach the precipice of financial bankruptcy under the present corrupt and spendthrift government. The urban and more developed states along the west coast of peninsula Malaysia are most likely to fall to PR, from north to the south, with the except of two or three states. There may be surprises in store from the eastern states and East Malaysia states. Consensus is either a narrow victory for either coalition or a comfortable victory for PR. I'd go with the latter and predict at least 12 seat majority win for PR in parliament and capturing no less than 6 states with a strong possibility of 8 states.

News of longer queues due to the use of indelible ink, marked ballot papers, and presence of foreign workers casting votes using fake identity cards for cash rewards have made voting this time an uneasy outing. I recall in 2008 my wife and I had a leisurely breakfast nearby the polling station before joining the queue to vote. Then we didn't have indelible ink (it was withdrawn at the last minute for unknown reasons) and certainly unaware of phantom voters being flown in by jet planes. This time voters are given a lesson on how to vote and what to look for and how to exercise their rights to ask for new ballot papers in the event they discover defects on them. Earlier this evening I'd packed 2 small bags containing our voting paper, an umbrella, a small bottle of drinking water, some tissue papers to wipe our stained finger, our cellphone and in my case a camera. We will sleep earlier tonight and wake up before 7am to be in the queue by 7.30am. We do believe that there will be long queues but so long as they consist of fellow citizens it is OK. However if we see foreigners in our midst we have been advised what to do to discourage them from interfering in our electoral process. Foreigners have no business in voting our lawmakers.

Goodnight Malaysia. I pray for good weather tomorrow and a peaceful voting process throughout the country. And if there is a change in government the incumbent will surrender the instrument peacefully to the incoming new government. May we see and feel a new Malaysia on Monday. Spring is here.

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