Sunday, 24 February 2008

election fracas

Where do I begin?

I must admit that I’ve fallen out of Malaysian news. Honestly, I haven’t really been following the news. So blog reading helps, a bit. If only people dare voice their opinion on the happenings in Malaysia.

Perhaps I will leave that for another post.

Out of the blue (for a blur case like me), I heard that Malaysia will be holding it’s 12th General Election, a year earlier than it is supposed to be held.

Generally, Malaysia has a General Election every five years.

However, the Prime Minister decided to announce dissolution of the parliament a year ahead. Must be really desperate to do so. Hmmm.

Some say it is because if the GE is held next year, Anwar Ibrahim has a chance to run for election, which is a big no-no, so I heard. Poor guy didn’t stand a chance to fulfil his dream.

So pre-election, you can see and hear all these pre-election promises and provident that some have been asking for ages and never seemed to get any answer for. But come election time, all your queries and requests answered and fulfilled.

Even if it doesn’t materialise, you will be promised so many things, of which I’m very sceptical of. I once asked what if the minister or government doesn’t fulfil what they had promised? The answer I got was ‘then people won’t vote for them again’. So we have to wait for five years? Okie, perhaps dissolving the parliament a year earlier had given the people less one year of unhappiness(?).

However, I must comment on SNP (Scottish Nationalist Party) for fulfilling their promise of no more tolls in Scotland. Well done!

But can’t deny that a lot of the candidates'/ ministers’/ government’s other promises seems to be hitting a brick wall or have been highlighted, to be reminded of their promises, but have not response to it properly yet. We shall see in due time.

Anyways, side tracked there...

So yeah, election... I’ve never had much interest in politics. I only believe that if people are good enough to be elected they should be responsible enough to do the best that they can in the interest of the nation.

Yes, who puts them up there? I believe people who know them, put them up there.

Call it naïvety. I know. And I don’t care.

Perhaps it is the under exposure to politics. Perhaps it is apathy. Perhaps I don’t see any difference. Perhaps it is always the same.

Perhaps I have given up.

And as out of touch as I am, the 12th GE has been heavily emphasised but the day when the GE is held has not been. After much difficulty, I finally found out it is on Saturday, 8th March.

In Malaysia, to be able to vote, a person must be 21 years old and above, a Malaysian citizen and registered as a voter with the Election Commission (EC).

However, that is not enough. The EC maintains a register of voters that is revised and certified regularly and only those on the electoral roll are allowed to vote.

Looking at the EC website, in their FAQ it has been repeatedly commented that any mistake they blame on error in data entering.

At least they admit that they are human enough to err.

Interestingly, there is no facility for overseas Malaysians to vote. Postal votes are only available for armed forces and those eligible. Many thought that overseas Malaysians can register to vote by post or go to the nearest Malaysian High Commission and cast their vote there. However, you can’t. If you are overseas, you sort of ‘given up’ your right to vote, unless you are back in Malaysia, registered to vote and on the electoral roll.

Anyways, besides the obvious I’m very intrigued on why a Malaysian donating £8m to St. Andrew’s University. I first caught the news on Friday on the front of The Scotsman. This news has also been covered by Malaysia’s National Paper, The Star. £8m is about 50m Malaysian Ringgit.

I’ll leave the questions to you.

Back to election... I’ve always been fascinated with the posters, banners and buntings that are hung all over the place during an election.

Fascinated because it is interesting that people come out with all sorts of paraphernalia they can think of for their campaigning.

Fascinated as well by how many trees they have to sacrifice for a week or so.

Fascinated that the display of posters, banners and buntings are allowed to make Malaysia a more ‘vibrant’ place.

Fascinated at the end of the day, how much rubbish has been created.

Whichever way it will be, 8th March will an interesting day. At the end of Saturday, a change may happen, who knows.

We'll just have to wait and see.

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