May 4, 2013

some thoughts on the elections for a first time voter.

WOOOO SO NERVOUS. gonna wake up in 6 hours time to stand in line. and cast my very first vote!

i feel like writing some really long blog post again so since there aren't that many readers here i shall write anything i want.

since young, mom loves reading the chinese newspapers.

while i read my English storybooks and The Star. and Kuntum. lol.

once in awhile she would put down her newspaper and squint at me over her glasses.

"yan shi you should read the newspapers. know what is going on with our country."

i would always nod and "ah!".

but never did i pick up those sin chew jit pohs and nan yang jit pohs.

there would be more threatening versions of "you know when you go hin hua there will be a subject called sociology your gor gor and che che got take it what would happen to you when you take that subject you know nothing about our country and politics all you do is read those english storybooks i'm not saying its not good i'm saying you need to know more!"

and i would "anla anla"

until one day she flipped to a page, stuffed the newspaper under my face and went "READ THIS"

it's the last page of sin chew's metro. a full two page spread of various columnists and contributors giving their two cents on everything local or international. and it's pretty impressive writing.

once i waded over my dislike of cramped chinese words, i got the gist of their writing. and MAN my eyes are opened. i never knew there's so much injustice going on. and such intelligent view points. and how our government should act. and why is it wrong that this minister insulted the female kaum in the parliament.


so that was my first introduction to the world of politics. 

granted, mom and dad would launch into their discussions every single time there's a family gathering and we kids would be forced to sit and listen. but reading it on my own gave me more understanding.

i knew that page was good, but it didn't become a daily habit.

until the time came when i was 16 and we had to take sociology. hin hua's pretty much the only high school in Malaysia that made it a compulsory subject. 

i loved that class.

Mr So, the Head of Discipline department is kinda good looking and smart, so we enjoyed his class. he's the first person to introduce the system of check and balance to us.

yeah we all know the country is twisted, all political parties suck, everything sucks.

that doesn't mean the rakyat gives up!

that just means the rakyat has to smarten up and vote for someone better. simple as that.

sitting at my desk and looking up at him, its the revelation of the century. WOW. such a simple concept. why did i take 16 years to get it? because there's no such thing going on in Malaysia.

nevertheless, i'm glad that the 16-year-old-English-storybook-reading-me got the chance to hear about check and balance.

every year, we chinese school students have to go out and ask the Malaysian chinese community for donations. hin hua is luckier because we have some rich chinese datuks sponsoring us so we only need to ask for donations once in six years. we walk around explaining to people what we're doing, we need some money for a new school building, thank you very much.

sometimes people scold us.

sometimes they don't.

it's hot sun, it's hard work, but we do need money for a new building.

so the malaysian chinese community is pretty much squeezed dry. we pay taxes, we pay expensive school fees to learn our mother tongue, we donate money for the chinese schools... ... all hope of local universities go out of the window so unless you're extremely brilliant and gets a scholarship to go overseas, you have to be extremely rich to go overseas. the rest of us pays horrible fees to private unis or give up tertiary education.

ok less about that.

in all the politicking going on facebook, there's one sentence that crops up rather frequently in comments.

"Kalau tak suka, boleh keluar dari Malaysia la, balik cina(or india) la, apasal sibuk kat sini?’"

and that's the nicest version already.

dear fellow malaysian, i don't blame you. but if you'd been provided a better quality sejarah education, you would have realized that we have as much a right to be here as you do.

i have no home in China. i don't know any friends in China. Dang, my chinese isn't even very good.

no matter how the outcome turns out tomorrow, i'm thankful for the elections bringing reasonable malaysians together. tears are threatening to creep out when i see friends coming back from Australia, Taiwan, UK, Singapore (because its just so near!) to vote.


the elections also made me ponder long and hard about the education system that creates extremists, and all i  can muster is pity.

God, bless Malaysia.

do read this if you haven't! HAHAHA. 


I've decided to write about the actual elections here. Too tired to start a whole new post, and the title also describes the content quite nicely. So here goes.
0655: Eunice comes into room and yells at me to get up. "it's raining! we have to go there earlier!"
what kind of logic is that.

0720: Mom wakes up and comes downstairs. "oh you guys are up already? give me a sec"

0735: Three of us leaves home happily. Grace waves goodbye from the upstairs window. We walk across the park, praying hard as we go.

on our way to the end of the queue, waves to various friends and church mates and neighbours. man this is too much like a community meeting. also long lost schoolmates and stuff.

0745: Can't believe the length of the queue. Everyone came out in full force!
0745: QUEUED PATIENTLY. listened to some aunties and uncles behind us talking about a letter from BN to their house. correct address, bangla name. hahah. they're all: "i've heard about this on facebook, but when this happens in life, i really speechless liao lah". They've even brought the incriminating BN letter along!

-also camwhored, read twitter updates and generally being very generation x. Eyes to the phone, people. also finished my biscuit rations. Eunice says i will definitely eat up everything if a siege happens. So she wouldn't want to team up with me when that time comes-
rather upbeat crowd, patient waiting and some discussions going on. 

0812 "i thought its 8 already??"

0822 THE QUEUE MOVES! we begin the shuffling march towards the school gate. grace comes to find us. she's on the morning jog. she also updates us that the queue has reached the junction of our housing area. should be... at least 1.5 km.

0824 we approach the gate. spirits remain high.

0828: Lady in a Blue Jersey comes out! she voted already! wuiyoh! tells us that she's a left hander, and the people in charge won't ink the right finger. "be careful loh, the ink won't drip one, just shake it dry!"

-overhears some snatches of conversation-

"ubah lah kali ini hehehe"

somehow i'm really touched that even Malays have been enlightened that BN doesn't equal Malaysia and corruption has become an issue for all. (in all my growing up years i've always felt that its a Chinese related issue and only Chinese felt the oppression of the ruling party) INI KARILAH.

 0851: the BRO (who's queuing way before us) has voted! grinning in his faded blue shirt. can't wait for our turn already.

0855: the sun is warming up. spot our rainbow umbrella! Eunice under it heh
 0900: phew. into the cool shade at last. got fans and stuff. queued for awhile more then the (EC people?) were very smiley and polite and registered me right away. also saw fat kid running about waiting for his mom to finish voting. his upper body leaned forward as he ran, like a little fat torpedo.

0914: three more. three more to my turn.

primary schools everywhere are the same. garish walls and encouraging phrases overhead. the queue at my saluran is practically nonexistent, so no wait at all. the lady who inked me is very meticulous. a bit like a manicure haha. after casting our votes, more camwhore sessions.
I regret the gwiyomi looking thing. Eunice says we should pose with "5" since its the 5th of May. Met some other aunties and long lost friends that mom knew. UBAH LAH UBAHHH.

0933: walked back home.

Eunice went to shower and immediately reported her indelible ink being delible HAHAHA why am i not surprised. I decided to keep it nice and blue. see can last for how many days. too bad i had to do the dishes quite a few times that day.
0245: too tired from all that excitement. read Goliath by Scott Westerfeld for awhile then dozed off. 


0730: house full of friends and family. table full of food and more food. excitement is in the air. television on full blast. twitter on full blast. 

i remembered that we had roast duck and rendang. everyone's like "eat up eat up so we can go back to the news" 


basically we just frowned as Malaysiakini updated the results of both parties while the on the news, BN  is updated as fast as possible while PKR seems to be dying.

apart from being amazed at the elections bringing all of us together, and the kids ooh-ed and aah-ed along with the adults, and everyone egged on the results, making it a more exciting event than badminton finals,

i try not to remember the crushing anger at the announcement of Wong Tack's defeat. and the fatigue at 11pm and most of the results aren't even out yet. how long does it take to count??

grossly unfair, a blatant SO WHAT in-your-face, horribly despairing, and my fb just turned all black.

so everyone left for their homes and their rooms, while me and dad just sat there in the living room. still watching the useless news where the journalists try their very best to drag the time and exhaust their vocabulary.

we wilted.

it's already very discouraging that PKR lost with such questionable tactics and the Malaysian mainstream media has reached an all-time low.

then the parting shot from najib as i was about to go to sleep.

"CHINESE TSUNAMI is the reason for UMNO's bleeding"

whaaaatever lah. chinese : 23% population. don't give us that bullshit to hide the fact that you are grossly incompetent. lalala.. racist... fascist... and doesn't have an ounce of logic or common sense.

when i was wondering whether anyone left in the ruling party has some common sense, i'm glad there's this guy. Lots and lots of interesting articles and viewpoints out there. go google em'. Malaysiakini for the win lah.

before the results of the election came out, i weighed my options and decided that if PKR lost, i would start plotting my departure from Malaysia.

now that the results are out. the ugly truth of their dirty tactics broke my heart to such tiny pieces.

the change has to start from us. each and every one of us.

it's no use being on facebook everyday but not reaching out to those who are still under their corrupted spell. it's no use criticizing them on family gatherings but refusing to dip a toe in the dishwater.
no one will start unless someone takes the first step.

ambiga took the first step with Bersih.

 limkitsiang & karpal singh & co started the war a long time ago.

go get em'!

p.s: by the way, my area won with 10k majority! GO KOTA RAJA GO! that's what we need. an overwhelming majority. so that the magicians can't do anything about it.

p.p.s: also. down with gerrymandering!


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