Food, life, and fun in my "kampung,"(village), KL (Kuala Lumpur). Did I mention "food?"

The Trouble With Malaysia?

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Our 12th general elections loom.

I wrote about my experience as a child of the 60s last year, in August. In that same entry, I urged people to vote.

Starting a substantive conversation about our own country is like peeling back the festering scab of a pus filled wound. You either get invective, annoyance, or outright anger and frustration. Or you get an opportunity to switch on a memo recorder to playback oft repeated phrases to console oneself. Amongst the many comments I hear repeatedly; "the trouble with this country is..." or "aiyah, at least we don't have violence here. Can make some money and we have a good quality of life here. Still ok lah..."

Both have a kernel of truth.

But what is it that YOU would choose? Take a moment. Sit down. Close your eyes. What is it that you want for yourself and your loved ones?

  1. Do you think money is going to solve everything for you? If so, don't bother reading on.
  2. Do you want your kids and loved ones living in a place that supports the rule of law, justice, that's pursued as a matter of course? Rather than what is perceived now as a selective privilege.
  3. Do you want to feel invested in the future of this country?
  4. Is corruption an issue for you?
  5. Would you like to be able to be more vocal - in a positive way - about the issues?
  6. Would you like to be able to read the papers and realise that they give a balanced viewpoint, more or less? So that you can make an informed decision?
I've deliberately couched these questions in the positive rather than the negative because I believe that truth is a 2 headed coin. Let me rephrase them.
  1. Do you want to get rid of this government because you don't think they support the rule of law or justice?
  2. Do you blame the government for not making you feel like a citizen?
  3. Is the government at fault for not dealing with corruption?
And so on.

I would like you to realise that you can do something. That it all starts with YOU! The choice you make is whether or not to stand up and say YES. In my own small antlike way, I will do something about this; to control my own life. Ants are so tiny. But working in concert, they are truly greater than the sum of the whole.

Rather than blaming the government for everything. In other words, we get the government we deserve. WE voted for them. WE condone what they do by keeping quiet. Yes, that's exactly it. It's OUR fault for letting things get to this point. No one elses.

Now I'm NOT saying that if you go and vote for these next elections that change will be immediate. But let's say you choose not to. Haven't you just made a choice to despair? Haven't you then said "lets just lie back and have them DO IT TO ME AGAIN!" In a way, you've basically chosen a road that allows them to do the same things over and over. The trick is to realise what it is that you were put here to do. To know that your job is to do this one small thing and allow God to take His course. We're always so results oriented that before we even make a choice to do something positive we've already thought about the outcome and decided that it's not worth the effort. Who knows what the future holds? A million and one possible outcomes are available but we choose the one which is the most negative and with a Godlike certainty we choose not to act. These are probabilities. NOT certainties. No matter how small the chance, there is a chance.

A wise man once said to me, "if you keep on the same road knowing what's at the end of the road, wouldn't the destination be the same a year or two or ten from now?" Change for us means enough of us getting off our arses and doing something different. For most of us that doesn't mean turning into a militant activist. For most of us, it just means that we should stop being apathetic and do something different. Like VOTE!


I'll be voting that's for sure! That's the least I can do.

The crucial point to remember about democracy is that: You get the Government you deserve.

I made sure I was registered as a voter many many months back. This will be my first voting year! Yes at last!

fantastic guys. Glad you're taking up your duty as a citizen of this country. ;-)

Second round voting, sir, and proud of it! My vote made a difference the last time, I think it'd make a bigger one this time.

Every vote counts, folks! :D

will be stuck here in europe.... i am going to miss it... but i would have voted if i am back home...

yeah... so true... it all begins with us!

by the way, attended a few musicals here in london... i am sure such thing can be reproduced in malaysia? you and allan should work something with your connection...

zewt; omigod. The musicals that they have in the UK are multi million pound productions. "Wicked", "Hairspray" etc all are amazingly expensive. The one that could play here would not in the present climate. "Avenue Q." Go see if you haven't already. That's ok re voting bro. Make sure you say a prayer for the electorate. To have the courage of their convictions and not vote for the "devil they know." ;-)

ohhh... multi million pounds eh? ok... maybe not then hahaha... yeah, i went for lion king just yesterday and they way the portray the death of mufasa and all the costumes and everything was just... so so so so incredible.

i registered quite a few months ago. after which, i promptly declared to hubby: it's like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea...=P

but at least now, i'm making the effort to actually choose.

Like Kenny. 2nd time voting ;) It really does start with YOU!

zewt; yeah Lion King was amazing. The costumes were the stars of the show. Not entirely fond of that musical. Wicked's better in my estimation from music to storyline. Yeah huge budgets dude.

sooyin; vote your conscience. ;-) I know what you mean. But its heartening to note so many of us are taking the trouble to go and vote.

khengleong; well done! one knew you wouldn't lie back and just take it! ;-)

yoh, i lost count oridi how many times i've voted....argh, age age..

hahaha FBB, I've only voted 3 times...was hardly ever in town. So 1999 was first, then 2004, now third time lah

I registered almost on the day I was eligible to vote. And I've been voting since.

But I still hate the queues. Damn. I'll bring books and snacks to while away the time.

Doc; hahaha :-) Well done!

I believe voting in Malaysia should be compulsory, just like in Australia. (We get slapped with a big fat fine if we don't)

implosion; thanks for your comment. While I believe voting in a democracy is an inalienable right and a responsibility and duty to be taken very seriously, I also believe that it should be left to the moral conscience of the person involved. Making things compulsory is almost like something a "nanny state" like Singapore would do. In times of political awakenings like this, in general, people do tend to do the right thing.

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