Today’s post will be a quick and short one, mostly because (1) I haven’t written anything in ages and (2) though it’s a cliche post to make, I would still make it because I need to jot this down in history for future reference.
Two days ago, on May 9th, 2018, for the first time in my life, I get to participate in the Malaysia’s General Election (#GE14 / #PRU14). As I was under-21 for the previous election in 2013, this year was a meaningful year for me as I get to exercise my rights as a Malaysian and play a role in shaping Malaysia’s future. I am now even more grateful for the fact that I decided to take a gap year after graduation last year, because I am able to witness the election and participate in it in person. Had I gone to continue my Master’s last August, I would’ve either been in the UK or in the US at this moment, which would’ve made it much more difficult for me (as what has happened to some of my friends currently working/studying abroad).
By this time, I’m sure everyone has already know the outcome, where Malaysia’s opposition has, for the first time since independence, won an election against the government and governing party, Barisan Nasional. Malaysia has created history in the past two days, with (1) Tun Mahathir being the prime minister again for the second time, (2) oldest PM at the age of 93, (3) youngest MP at 22yo, (4) first time the opposition won an election, and (5) first female DPM, among many other successes.
This election period shows how much power and unity exist among the Malaysian people, what with the #PulangMengundi, where random people and strangers offered to pay/contribute for other people’s bus and/or flight tickets to their hometowns, #CarpoolGE, where you can hitch a ride back to your hometown with other Malaysians who are heading the same way, and postal voters and runners, where Malaysians overseas help each other to ensure that their postal votes are delivered to their respective ROs on time. I’m truly impressed with the spirit of Malaysians in exercising their rights to vote, and I couldn’t be more proud to call myself a Malaysian.
It feels surreal when you think about what’s going to happen in the next five years under the Pakatan Harapan government, but one thing for sure is that things will be different. The government knows that the people have the power to choose, and this creates a real democracy where the people are allowed to elect the people who are truly capable of running the country. Hopefully, this will also leads to more freedom of speech, where people will be allowed to have different opinions, to choose to fight for different things and not be reprimanded for it.
And hopefully, this means that we can finally find the answers to all the scandals that have been happening in Malaysia for the past few years, and hopefully will ensure that the leaders will hold themselves accountable in the future, knowing that if anything happens, the people of Malaysia will fight to have justice delivered to them.
To Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Pakatan Harapan, I wish you guys the best in the next five years of governing the country. Do your best in upholding your promises to the people, and ensure that justice is delivered where it is required.
To the people of Malaysia, please give them your full support, and understand that while they may try their best to deliver as much of their promises as possible, undo-ing the past mistakes will take some time, and there are lots of legal processes and bureaucracy to go through, so please be patience.
Please also remember that Malaysia can never truly change if the people of Malaysia are not willing to change – so please do take it upon yourself to change for the betterment of our beloved country. Do your part in making a difference, however small it may be. Stop littering, be courteous while driving, stop cyberbullying people, focus on the long-term goals (individually and as a country), and be respectful of other people’s different opinions and beliefs.
Here’s to a better Malaysia, for you and me and every single Malaysian, no matter where you are.
Stay awesome Malaysia, and sejahtera selamanya.