As far as I can remember, I have always stayed out of politics. I have never been interested in politics. For me, politics is dirty. Nobody in politics is not corrupted. All these years living in my home country, although feeling very unsatisfied for not having equal rights as a Malaysian, I gradually learned to accept it. Like many, I learned not to depend on the government, knowing that if I want something, I have to work for it.
When I was younger, living abroad opened up my mind. Nobody could understand how a democratic country like Malaysia doesn’t even have equal rights! I have foreigner friends who strongly commented that Malaysians should stand up for what we want. Peaceful demonstration is common abroad but in Malaysia, it isn’t so. Malaysians are not allowed to voice out what we think. Before the Internal Security Act was repealed, it allows for detention without trial or criminal charges under limited, legally defined circumstances. Due to this, I would never participate in any demonstrations. I even thought it is not effective and a waste of time. Although demonstrations can sometimes be a hindrance to the public, it is enough to just draw the citizens’ attention to it! Most news updates on TV, radio and newspapers have been edited as how the government wants people to perceive them. Through demonstration, it is another way to get a different message across to the public.
I always thought, one day, I will migrate. I realised many Malaysians choose to migrate too, if the opportunity arises. I have lived in Switzerland and everyone is proud to be a Swiss. I can understand that my ancestors originated in China but I was born in Malaysia. Legally, I am right down to the core a Malaysian! Why should we be divided by race? It is because of all the inequality in Malaysia that many don’t see ourselves as Malaysians but by races, eg. Malays, Chinese, Indians, etc. If everyone was equal and had the same right, would anyone complain that the government is only helping certain race? I love that Malaysia is indeed truly Asia as we live in a diverse country. Nobody should be outcast because of race. We are all Malaysians regardless of the origin of our ancestors.
Although corruption and bribery are nothing new in Malaysia, it has become worse. Malaysia Boleh (Malaysia Can) is supposed to be a motivating slogan. However, if it is interpreted differently, it can also mean anything is possible in Malaysia, especially with corruption and bribery. I can’t remember since when cash for votes became a norm. How much can a few hundreds Ringgit help us Malaysians in the long run? Is giving out money blindly the solution to curb poverty? This is what happen when the government started to ‘buy’ the citizens with money. Money should never be the motivation but once began, it could not stop. This billions of ringgit could have instead be used towards projects with long-term benefits to all Malaysians, such as implementing regular rubbish collection from islands to mainland.
Majority of us Malaysians want a change (UBAH) for a better future. Although most political parties are associated to a certain race or religion, we have to keep in mind that in the end, we are all Malaysians! No matter what race or religion we are, we all want the same thing. 55 years under the same government, Malaysia has developed in all aspects including corruption and bribery. Does it really matter that much where our ancestors came from? We were born and raised in Malaysia, doesn’t that count as much as being the citizens of Malaysia? If this is not our home, where else is? I realised how important a government is. They can either make or break the country! As a Malaysian, I just want to live in a fair and clean country in true harmony where I can call home!
Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country. – Franklin D. Roosevelt –