Thursday, March 06, 2008

Bored And Alienated After 50 Years Of Coalition Rule, Malaysians To Shun Polls

Millions of Malaysians are expected to not bother voting in Saturday's elections, in a wave of apathy that observers credit to boredom and a feeling of alienation from the ruling coalition.

After a half-century in power, no one is under any illusion that their vote could dislodge the mighty Barisan Nasional coalition, despite voter gripes over rising inflation, ethnic tensions and high crime rates.

"We should have a right to make a choice. I'm not voting because to me, there seems to be no choice," said Akmal Hakim, 29, a waiter at a fast food outlet and one of the young Muslim Malays who are the majority of non-voters.

Former deputy premier Musa Hitam estimated that some five million people would not exercise their right to vote, in a trend he said threatened "the very fabric of the democratic process".

"Some are not happy with the government, yet don't feel they should come out and vote against the government. Some say they are simply fed up with politics. They are saying, 'We'll get nothing out of it'," he said in a newspaper interview.

"And some are saying, 'Well, whether we vote or not, they (the coalition) are going to win for sure'."

Newspapers are awash with flattering stories on the government, and television and radio broadcasts are continuously interrupted with expensively produced commercials.

"There is only one choice, vote for BN," declare the posters and bunting which festoon the cities and villages of multicultural Malaysia, which is home to majority Malays as well as minority ethnic Chinese and Indians. (TOI)

***** Massive voter apathy should be advantageous for the BN, don't you think?
Image - Source

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who are fed up with the BN & don't vote should be "shot"!
Of course the BN will be happy if those who don't vote are actually pro Opposition.
If you don't vote, then for the next 5 years you can't open your mouth to protest whatever happens.
However, I think this report is untrue. It's probably a BN ploy to get the pro Opposition Voters to stay home!

4:02 PM GMT+8  
Blogger walski69 said...

Truth be told, I went through the same stage of thought process... and in fact am going to vote on Saturday for the very first time.

That said, it is true that if one were to base their assessment on the mainstream press alone, the coming election is to re-vote BN back in, since there is "Only ONE Choice". So why bother...

In any case, an absentee voter or spoilt vote, is going to be a vote for BN...

Incidentally, I've started a straw poll to get a feel for how people think the outcome of Saturday's elections will be.

6:14 PM GMT+8  
OpenID jedyoong said...

IMHO, if the BN wins with a voter turnout of less than 50 per cent, it will severely affect their mandate.

6:24 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous SM said...

Walski69,

Looks like the majority of your Blog Readers feel the BN will lose their 2/3rds majority. I hope so!

Jedyoong,

If the BN wins with less than a 50% Voter turnout (I doubt this will happen as Voter turnout in Malaysia is usually around the 70% mark), they won't care. As long as they keep the 2/3rds majority, they will have some kind of excuse.
In the 1999 GE, if I am not mistaken, 45% of the Voters voted for the Opposition but the BN still got a 2/3rds majority & they did not even bother! Business (read: corruption) as usual!

7:43 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today ... should we less out BN's Parliamentary votes for Sabah (22) and Sarawak (29), West Malaysia is only 86. And, Opposition is 80. This would be quite a fair analysis taking into consideration about funds and various accessibility for Opposition in Sabah and Sarawak. Hence, technically the people and Opposition did a good job in West Malaysia...

11:32 AM GMT+8  

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