Earlier this year I registered myself an eligible voter for the country’s highly anticipated 13th General Election. I was very excited to able to exercise my right as an electorate. Through out my life my family, especially my mom’s side of the family is a strong supporter to the ruling party, Barisan Nasional. My siblings and I are less involved in expressing our political view by becoming a member of any political party. You could say we are on the fence but the truth is we don’t see any party good enough to make the necessary changes and improvements to the country.
I am a Muslim and with significant knowledge in my religion, Islam takes democracy in a different way. The religion itself of course supports democracy. Thus, I believe democracy is good. The only problem is, I don’t believe in Malaysia’s democracy. Or as matter of fact, I don’t believe the democracy that is being practiced in the world currently. Do I have the answer to the true democracy? My answer is NO, because I am 22 years old and waiting for my impending graduation. I don’t have the knowledge or the exact answer. What I have is ideas of what the true democracy is.
On May 5, I exercised my right as an electorate and voted for a candidate that I believed is good for my constituency. Sadly, that vote did not reflect my actual view on which party is better or should rule the nation. I had conflicting views. I believe the man i voted for I better than his opponent but I don’t think the party he represented for, deserves to win. So, I chose an individual instead of a party because at the end, what’s a party without individuals.
There were many problems that I see need fixings in the electoral process. The fact that I had to wait in line for more than 90 minutes to cast my vote is unacceptable to me. Despite that I believe this country is not ready for electronic ballot. There is a high level of untrustworthiness towards the Electoral Commission. The flaws in the electoral process such as the usage of ink to mark the voters and the inefficient way to deliver official results of the election. Should I trust the media who kept posting unofficial results and confusing the constituents?
Unfortunately for all Malaysians, the democratic process stops here. Once a party is announced as a winner, the authoritarian regime begins. I think democracy should be allowed to the highest level. United States is the easiest example to high level democracy.
- The appointment of the chairmen for the EC, SC, and other commissions as well as the Chief Justice, the Attorney General, the Inspector General should be made by the Parliament.
- In United States, the President has the power to nominate a person to be named the Chief Justice or the chairman of a commission. However, this candidate has first to be questioned and investigated by a Congressional Committee.
- Malaysia should form a Parliamentary Committee to question and investigate a candidate for a chairmanship post in any commission. The Prime Minister still holds certain amount of power as he is the only person who can nominate a person. The Parliamentary Committee sole purpose is to make sure that the candidate is free from any criminal or bad political records and especially, has the knowledge and credentials to be a chairman of a commission.
- This is the next level of democracy that Malaysia must practice. It can avoid the amount of allegations that the EC is biased towards the ruling party because right now, the EC is biased towards the ruling party. Its chairman was appointed by the PM and the entire commission is put under the Home Ministry which is controlled by the ruling party. No wonder the opposition thinks the election is unfair.
2. Prime Minister has to be elected by the people through direct voting.
- Where is the democracy when the people can’t even choose its own Prime Minister. Right now Prime Minister is decided by the party itself. Although the Prime Minister has to be a Parliament member by winning his constituency, nonetheless the entire 13.3 million voters are shunned from electing their own leader.
- This is the same conflict that I had explained earlier. Although I believe I chose a good leader for my constituency, but I am unable to choose my own leader for the nation. That decision is being made for me.
- Thus, the Prime Ministerial election should also be held to elect a true democratic leader. I see the problem if a winning PM is elected from the losing party. The government can still be formed through bipartisanship.
3. Another issue that I’m not clear of is the process of which a certain policy is being enforced.
- Like the Federal Budget, isn’t the budget must be approved by the Parliament before it can be implemented. But why all the budgets drafted by the government always get passed without amendments.
- I aware of the debates in the parliament on multiple matters and legislative agendas. But I and many other Malaysians always assumed that when a party wins the election, whether or not it has a two-third majority, the ruling party has all the power it needs to implement any policy or spend government money at its own discretion. (If I’m wrong, it’s because I was not well-informed by the government!)
- What is the point of having a parliament if the hall can’t surpass the government when it needs to?
There are many other ideas and views that I’d like to share. But for now this is what I think the most important issues that need to be addressed by the MPs that we Malaysians voted for!