Five ways to participate responsibly in GE14

14-Apr-2018 Intellasia | The Malay Mail Online | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Being involved in the electoral process is just one of many ways to keep democracy alive in the country.

Election season is always abuzz with excitement, but don’t let it get the better of you.

Here’s how you can take part responsibly.

Encourage friends and family to vote

Politics may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it affects us all. Know a friend or family member who won’t be voting this year? Encourage them to take part. Convince them by telling them Malaysia is a democracy, so voting is crucial in the process of electing a government. As the popular saying goes, if you don’t vote, don’t complain. Your vote matters it is your right and you should exercise it.

Familiarise yourself each party’s policies

Be an informed voter by comparing the policies outlined by each political party in its manifesto. A manifesto is a key document where political parties set the agenda for the country should they assume office in other words, it is their promise to the public. Key areas to look out for are the economy, education, foreign affairs and healthcare. If you don’t know who to vote for, this is a good place to start.

Don’t blindly vote

Good questions to ask when going through manifestos include: are the proposed ideas and reforms feasible in the stipulated time frame? Are they realistic? Who benefits and why? This is not the time to be laissez-faire and vote for party X simply because a) your parents always have, b) my vote won’t make a difference or c) my best friend is voting for them.

Don’t pressure friends and colleagues to reveal their votes

You can usually tell which political camp someone subscribes to, but generally, asking someone who they voted for is a no-no. Bear in mind that all votes are confidential. However, some are fine with engaging in a political conversation about who they are going to vote for. Use your judgement if the topic arises then go with the flow but if someone is not comfortable revealing their vote, stop pestering them.

Plan your day in advance

If you are travelling out of state to vote, give yourself ample time to get there and settle down, especially if you’re driving. Take into consideration how long the commute is from your accommodation to the polling centre so you can sort out transportation arrangements. Carpool with friends and family members who are voting at the same polling centre or find out the nearest MRT station. No one to carpool with? Use the hashtag #CarpoolGE14 on Twitter to find a GE14 road trip buddy.


Category: Malaysia

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