COMMENT | The truth is often a bitter pill to swallow, and in this case, it comes in the form of a Merdeka Center survey and several articles that highlight voter fatigue among Malaysians. The results of the survey have sparked debates from all sides and created some level of nervousness within communities who believe that a change of federal government can happen this time around.
While there is a race from both sides of the political spectrum to capture their votes, the results do raise the question: are we even on the right path?
While many have acknowledged that those who have chosen to adamantly abstain from voting in the forthcoming general election represent a small percentage (roughly five to eight percent, according to Merdeka Center), political analysts have often pointed out that the only way to beat Barisan Nasional’s gerrymandering ways is to ensure a high voter turnout.
When BN lost five states in the 12th general election, the recorded voter turnout was 74.98 percent; BN won 50.27 percent while Pakatan Rakyat won 46.75 percent of the popular vote.
However, the results were not a complete surprise. In the months leading up to the 2008 general election, reports showed an increase of Malaysian Facebook users, from 800,000 to 13 million, or half of our country’s population, with a majority of that being pro-opposition.
The popularity of social media was definitely one of the driving factors that led to the opposition’s victory. The 13th general election saw BN losing the popular vote for the first time in history – only gaining 47.38 percent, while Pakatan garnered 50.87 percent with an estimated voter turnout of 80 percent.
No one thought a change at that magnitude was even possible but it happened – twice.
Democracy is a numbers game, where the majority rules. Every single vote matters, because even the difference of one ballot paper can decide which elected representatives we collectively choose to represent our voices.
In modern politics, there are truisms that the most vital demographics are either the disenfranchised working class or apathetic youth. What if our challenge is not to address them separately, but an amalgamation of both? How can we approach this matter in a way that can be beneficial for everyone, especially those within the 21-40 age group?...