If you’re a fence-sitter, however, and don’t know why you should be bothered, allow a career sceptic who has intentionally skipped elections in the past tell you why we – meaning you and I – should be voting tomorrow.
1. Because you’re registered in 1 of 6 states
Only six states are holding elections tomorrow: Selangor, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu. So, if you’re not a registered voter in these states, you can’t vote anyway, nor should you try; and if you are registered in these states, you get to vote – yay. Since the implementation of Undi-18, every Malaysian citizen became a registered voter automatically, so check your voter registration at the MySPRsemak website here.
2. Because it’s easy
If you have never voted before and have anxiety about what it entails, don’t worry about it, voting in Malaysia is one of the easiest government related things you will do. You’re already on the voter roll, you just need to check on where you’ll be voting and what stream you will be in; they even suggest a time for you to cast your vote to avoid crowds. The volunteers working at polling stations are helpful, and the entire process can usually be done in 20-30 minutes. Also, it’s a Saturday, you don’t even have to worry about work.
3. Because you can
People will tell you voting is your duty, it’s patriotic… blah blah blah – but the simplest reason for why you should be voting is because you can. It’s not true that voting is a right, it is very much a privilege that remains a right because people fight to keep it that way. People fought to give us the ability to vote, and our fight to keep that right just involves exercising it once every few years. There are many places in the world where people wish they could vote, and in Malaysia, you just can. I know sometimes the candidates don’t look great, the politics is tiring, and apathy is easy – but imagine if one day, the right to vote was taken away from you, you may just regret never having used it.
4. Because it’s fashionable
Who doesn’t love the purple finger? The discounts you can get tomorrow! The sense of comradery you will feel with random people on the street because you all know you are good citizens! So, go on, get out there and vote tomorrow for whoever you want, because you should, because it’s right, and it will make you feel better (I hope).
Good luck and happy voting Malaysia. And just in case, here’s the link to the MySPRsemak again.