LETTER | It seems that the brickbats have come out for the proponents of spoiling their vote, connected only in the use of a Twitter hashtag.
Ramon Navaratnam wrote today:
“That is why the #UndiRosak campaign is so destructive and disruptive to the whole election exercise. Those who indulge in supporting, and worse still participating in #UndiRosak or spoiling votes, will do us all patriotic Malaysian voters a great disservice.”
First off, my personal belief is that all Malaysians who have registered to vote are patriotic Malaysians, regardless of who they vote for, if they spoil their vote, or even if they take the ballot paper home with them and post it on their fridge.
Because, they will be taking part in a democratic act that keeps this nation honest – and that honesty should allow every Malaysian to also voice their dissatisfaction with all sides of political parties who the voters believe no longer represent their interests.
And this is what Navaratnam fails to consider. There are voters now who believe they are stuck with a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea, without knowing they can just stand on dry land and not follow the lemmings.
Voters should be informed that between two evils, you have a choice to choose neither if you want to.
What about those who believe in having no choice but support bad candidates because they believe they have no choice?
Meaning to say, they love the party, but they really wished for a better candidate.
Should they continue to let their preferred party off the hook for continually placing a bad candidate? Or should they be able to voice their say in protest by spoiling their votes?
Maybe they like their candidate, but hate the vague campaign of no substance on promoting what will change, but just saying they’re better than the other, which isn’t exactly a high bar?
In the end, #UndiRosak is merely informing voters that they do have a say at the ballot box, have a say in policy, and should have a say in who their candidates should be, or they will spoil their votes.
Thus, what our campaign is doing is to encourage political parties to come out with candidates people will support, not their own crony candidates. To come out with solutions instead of lambasting people about the failures of one another across the political aisle.
And of course, a warning shot to political parties that what you do will have consequences on the voters who now, have an option to not vote either side.
Voters, keep this in mind from now till the ballot box.
Your decisions are yours, but don’t vote for your preferred sides just because they are the lesser evil, or even they are less corrupt, or because they have a good leader who is genial.
Vote for them because you believe they can actually save the country with a proper plan, if they ever tell us what that plan is.
Vote for them because their candidate does his or her job well, not because their party says it, but because you saw it.
Vote for them because they campaign on solutions of our supposed woes, and not just highlighting them and not telling us what they will be doing with that mandate.
Vote for them because their manifestos are in tandem with what you believe in, not because you believe you have no choice.
You will always, always have a choice, Malaysian voters.
If all sides of political Malaysia have failed to meet your standards of deliverables, then it is your duty to go to the ballot box, but not your duty to let them win.
So, spoil your votes then.
Of course, all this is premature, in actuality. Because we haven’t even seen parliament be dissolved and the electoral campaign starting.
What #UndiRosak advocates is that if you believe either side is worthy by then, vote for them. If not, then you do have your choice to exercise spoiling your vote.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.