By Shirlene Carol Fernz

Your votes will decide the country you want

Democracy matters. Malaysia matters. The rakyat matters.

Let's vote!

Malaysia needs a change in government. Voting is key towards a better future for our beloved nation.

Without casting your vote, you can't change the government of the day.

When parties have been in power for too long, governance becomes routine and predictable.

It is the rakyat's demand that the current government's leadership be replaced with a born leader who has the ability to take Malaysia to greater heights.

Someone who truly personifies Malaysia, regardless of race, religion and party allegiance.

I cannot bear to imagine racism, biasness and favouritism carrying on for the next 57 years or so.

I want impartiality for all Malaysians, regardless of what background, skin colour, race, religion and status they come from.

I want the Malaysia which I grew up knowing and loving. My country, my people, my government. I want to be proud to say, my government.

The best way to do that is to be the change I want to see.

It is my duty to vote to ensure that I participate in what is to be the faith of our nation and the future of my future children and my future grandchildren.

Malaysia is a multi-racial country. That belongs to all Malaysians.

We share the same history, we embrace the unique heritage of our fellow Malaysians from different races, cultures and beliefs.

The world knows us by our slogan, 'Malaysia Truly Asia'.

Let's live up to that! It has been quite the race leading up to Parliament being dissolved.

As a nation, we have had enough of parties debating on what changes they are going to bring about, enough empty promises, enough about tarnishing each other's reputation and enough pushing the blame and enough of cover ups.

The new government better be prepared to be on their toes, because the rakyat has awaken to make our claims known.

Let us look around at other Asian countries.

Let us appreciate that our brother and sister countries face poor economic conditions, they have far less in terms of educational opportunities and their lack of public facility is apparent.

The corruption in some of these neighbouring countries is almost always much worse off than what we are accustomed to here in Malaysia.

It is prerogative that we realise this, it is important that we count our blessings and be grateful for how far we have come.

Let us together join hands to elect a new government who is ready, able and willing to lead the country taking into mind that impartiality and open opportunity should be available to all the three major races in Malaysia, the Indians, the Chinese and the Malays; simply because we make up the majority of the rakyat.

Malaysians need to appreciate that as a country, we are blessed compared to other developing nations.

Just look at the amount of foreigners from Cambodia, Bangladesh, Burma, Laos, China, India, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand who flock by the thousands to our country for a job opportunity.

We should be thankful as we are not that desperate to leave our lives, our homes and our families to seek for a better life elsewhere.

Those who live elsewhere have most likely studied abroad and have been blessed with opportunities in other nations.

We are proud to have some of the most famous celebrities of the world hailing from Malaysia.

If only, if only Malaysia was governed rightly, they would have become famous in Malaysia itself.

But now, they form part of another nation and they contribute to that economy.

I am one of those people who built my career elsewhere for personal reasons where opportunities and faith have brought me.

Nevertheless, I contribute to my nation's economy by living in Malaysia.

We cannot avoid corruption in any institution in this world. As we know, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

It is not easy to select a new government which totally hasn't had the experience of managing a country.

But it is a leap of faith we will have to take together as a nation.

We will need to practice patience and give chances to the new government to grow into the role.

The next two years will be trying, but if we trust with our hearts and stick together as a nation, we may just succeed in our conquest.

Voting can bring rewards to individuals in the shape of a government that keeps its favorable election promises.

But the benefits of voting must be weighed against the chances of influencing the result.

And the probability that a single vote is pivotal to deciding an election is, in practical terms, zero.

Nevertheless, we must go forth, we must cast our votes we must so we shan't complain later.

We should be the change we want to see.

We should use our hearts and minds and vote wisely for the generations to come...for Malaysia.

The change in our government will not only enhance Malaysia as a developing nation and put us on the map again; it will also open new economic opportunities in the Asian region and on a global platform.

Asia is the place to be, the place where multiple MNCs and organisations are moving to and investing in.

Malaysia is strategically located and if we better our governance, we will be able to tap into the Asian economic boom which is currently taking place.

I would also like to point out, while we who are not in power, can err, our mistakes usually affect only those we know or a small circle of people.

Politicians who make the wrong decisions can affect the lives of millions.

So it is up to this select group of people to behave humanely and choose a righteous course.

Sadly, this is almost never the case.

At the end of the day this election is a battle between the government of the day and the opposition parties.

We are kept informed about what is going on, the money involved, bribery, corruption, and tactical games of gaining voters for the upcoming election through global use of social network sites and news websites.

To me, I do not really care which party wins as long as the election process is clean and the playing field is level, then may the best man win.

May 5 2013 will be the day when we Malaysians will head out to the polls to save our beloved Malaysia.

Let us hope and let us pray that our nation will be blessed with a better more constructive and inspiring government.

The saying goes, "Great leaders don't tell you what to do - they show you how it is done."

That is the kind of government I want leading Malaysia.

Let's vote for whom we consider could be a great leader for you, for me, for them, for us, for our Malaysia!