Don’t Tell Uncle Who Mummy & Daddy Voting For

Oooh … the Malaysian election fever remains high with unwavering hopes. Perhaps, this depicts what every first-world country experienced during their development years. Fighting relentlessly for citizen rights. Beaming voices of inequality. Stretching far to reach over the wall of corruption and hypocrisy. Seems like time has caught up quite a bit after decades of gruelling history.

I cannot step foot in my homeland to feel the grounds shaking from the citizens’ stampede, but it is a good thing that I can feel it through the news media. Personally, I don’t even know what is going on back in Malaysia. Not to detailed, of course. Having read numerous posts on petalingstreet.org regarding voting opinions … I started to recall my younger days when daddy used to teach me how to check the poll results on TV …

There were a few images sketched in one part of my memory. Barisan Nasional (BN) flags flying proudly on any possible place you could hang them. The posters were pasted until the whole lamp post was devoid of naked metal skin. Lots of people on the streets attending campaigns and listening to speeches. At that time, I felt the excitement even though I was only 9 years old. It never occured to me why it was so important to vote for the right political party. However, as a kid, I knew it was a big thing because it was an event occuring throughout Malaysia … in every town, district, and city. Anyway, I did remember having much fun watching the news and highlighting the poll results in the newspaper checksheet (Gee, I really did thought it was a fun assignment, eh? *slaps self*).

This one day, before the polls … daddy told me that some uncle and auntie were coming by to visit. He then told me not to say a word about who he was voting for. Prior to that, I asked him about it, and so I knew his voting decision. Eventually, he came to note that I should not simply go round telling others who my parents were voting for. Now that I look back, it seemed so weird … why did they wanted to keep it low-key? After all, look at the current spell … others are broadcasting their voting decisions out in the open!

This got me thinking, are these few people just trying to help campaign for the support of their desired political party? In light of the whole “BN is Evil” and “Vote for A Stronger Opposition”, is it just an important change citizens of Malaysia are trying to make? On the contrary, are there people who just don’t want to be too involved? I am not saying discussions are not permitted … although that was the impression I got when I was 9 years old. Then again, it could just be the fact that I was a kid who had a big mouth and the tendency to spit unnecessarily. After all, parents know their children best, right?

Just wanted to share that funny thought I had amidst the elections. As I am still confused whether it is okay for me to publish my voting decision out in the open … I will just say “All The Best!” to you folks!

I know, I still have to check in with daddy to find out what was the deal 14 years ago 😛

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5 Comments

  1. That’s an easy question. Last time, amongst the older folk and the last generation, it was believed that if you said something wrong in public, you could be detained by the police or the ISA.

    This stemmed from the hard days during the Japanese Occupation around 1940’s, where spies and informers were abound. Even friends and neighbours reported you to the Japanese if you said something against the government. Then you would be imprisoned or killed. Then, later there was Operasi Lalang, where Opposition parties and others were detained without trial. Even Lim Kit Siang, the current leader of DAP, was put in jail. You can google this. Poor Mrs. Lim.

    So everyone was afraid of speaking out against the government. Who knows what could happen to you. You could be blacklisted, or denied approvals when you applied for something.

    Nowadays, these fears have been proven to be unfounded. They cannot possibly go after everyone. With the Internet, everyone is also braver. The whole world is also watching, thus if UMNO goes overboard, there will be repercussions. Even now, various foreign agencies like BBC, Al-Jazeera and New York Times have reported on the heavy-handedness of the police during peaceful demonstrations. Without the Internet, they could always suppress the truth and no one would know the better. Now, people are tech-savvy. They take photos, videos and post information online so they can only lie through the newspapers, radio and TV they control, but not the Internet.

    Reply

  2. i beg to differ in some cases about the above with full respect of course. look at the dafur case and we all know that even media limelights cant cover or unveil the truth. Fox network is right wing like many of our national country media which portrays bias news.

    mebe your parents wanted it to be a secret and nothing else. Or mebe ure uncle and dad might have a long argument if one knew the other ones voting favours.

    Reply

  3. Daniel: You have a good point. It’s hard to imagine developing full speed in this era, yet we are still behind to a certain extent in transparency and press freedom. Even the Philippines are better off than us Malaysians.

    And, yes … now we have the internet … a place without boundaries.

    randomness: Hmm … that’s possible 😛 Or like I said, could just be the lack of trust my parents had in me at that time tee-hee

    Reply

  4. Ya I remember last time when I was young we cannot even talk about politics in coffee shop ah!! The minute I catch what my parents were saying in cryptic lingo and say Mahathir’s or some politician’s name they go SSSHHHHH. Those were hush-hush conversations left for cars and homes…

    And Daniel is right. My parents specifically told me after that that you never know who might be listening and who might be after your skin… Luckily instead of being freaked out in to thinking that the world has spies around every corner I just thought my parents were paranoid. 😄

    Reply

  5. haha , my parents also told me not to talk about politics due to ISA. my mum and my dad support different sides. kinda funny when they start debating. 😛 but now, i think it’s quite obvious which side they are on, just like most people.

    Reply

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