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Your Constitutional Right – Register, and Vote

April 15, 2007

During my conversations with many at various times of my walk on this earth, I will somehow end our conversations with this question: “Have you registered to vote?”

The answers I get are expected. They don’t surprise me anymore. Big, fat NOs win, by a landslide majority.

Why is this the case?

The followings are some of the usual stock answers, or variations of them, I have received. “I am not interested in politics.” “My vote won’t make a difference so why bother.” “Malas, lah.” “The people I vote will end up screwing me anyway. I’m not stupid.” “I don’t want to appear to be anti-government.” “There is no real alternative, why vote?” “You cannot beat the system even if you tried. It’s all a joke.”

This one beats them all. “I just want to live my life. Work hard and enjoy life. Whoever is in power makes no difference to me.”

I can sympathise with, relate to, and even understand where-one-is-coming-from from all of the above – but that does not mean I agree.

Whether you like it or not, politics is LIFE. YOUR LIFE!

It dictates, impacts and controls every moment of your life on this planet. In this country, even in death, some have suffered the added misfortune of a disrupted rest-in-peace journey because politics was in doubt of your faith at time of death.

You cannot escape from politics. You don’t agree?

Why do you have a birth certificate? Why did your parents send you to school when you are about 7? Why do you have a MyKad? Why do you need a licence to ride or drive? Why do you pay a high price for your car? Why do you pay road tax? Why do you need a passport? Why can’t you travel to Israel? Why do you not get your place in the local U when you qualify? Why do you not get your scholarship when you deserve it? Why do you not get your share of the NEP?

Why do you have an EPF account when you start working for a living? Why do you register your marriage? Why do you pay income tax? Why do you pay Cukai Pintu and Cukai Tanah? Why do you ask your local council for permission before you make a renovation to your house? Why do playgrounds and jungles in your vicinity disappear and concrete jungles spring up in their place? Why do you pay so much for medicine and medical bills?

Why do you give up your land for a highway to appear in front of your house? Why do you pay tolls? Why do you pay for parking? Why do the price of cooking gas, electricity, water and petrol shoots up unreasonably? Why can’t you protest against the exorbitant toll hike. Why can’t you see the agreement signed between the government and the concessionaire? Why do you not get real news in your newspaper, radio and tv?

Why do you have a Constitution? Why do you have laws? Why do you have a government that governs the way it does? Why do you have a parliament that behaves the way it does? Why do you have a police force that acts the way it does? Why do you have a judiciary that adjudicates the way it does? Why is there corruption and why nothing is done about it? Why can you only vote when you are 21?

You can add to the list above and I hope you see the “bigger” picture now. Politics is life. Your life. It dictates, impacts and controls you. You might as well have a say in the decision-making process. You might as well make use of the only vehicle you have to effect change. You might as well exercise your constitutional right.

It’s often said that “We deserve the government we get.” Do we really?

My take is this. We deserve the government we get only because we are too dumb, or too clever, to do the only smart thing opened to us. Which is: Register to Vote – and Vote. If you are guilty on this score, you have no right to complain what’s happening around you that’s affecting your life and your loved ones, too.

It’s easier to give up when the odds are against you. It’s harder to stay the course for what is right because the journey is usually long and oh so-much-hassle.

So, what is it going to be? What are you going to do now?

2 Comments
  1. Elviza Michele permalink

    Dearest ewoon, Oh welcome back my friend after a long silence… I was really looking forward for your new posting. In answer to your question, YES YES YES… I have registered myself to be a voter in the next general election! Provided no snap election within this 3 months. Good week ahead of you my friend

  2. ~penarik beca permalink

    Dear bloggers

    (Listed in SOPO Sentral of Malaysia)

    This kutu is trying to develop a new hobby – listing your latest posting in my blog, Malaysiakita

    This kutu really hopes you can update me on your latest posting in
    Malaysiakita comment section or by email. You can reach me at sangkutu@gmail.com

    To surf from blog to blog really consumes a lot of time. Mintak tolong la sangat-sangat! Harap sangat ni!

    I’m seeking your kind help! Tolong! Tolong!

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