The Vote is an Expression of the Community

Perhaps as a measure of the influence of western thought on our consciousness, we have come to look at the vote as an individual right. And this is all we see in spite of other contrary evidence staring us in the face. Our minds block off all other thought except those taught to us by western liberal propaganda. In this sense, we are as fanatical as the Taliban only we express ourselves as the “other” side of the coin. 

By batsman


Some of that “evidence” is actually built into the language we use. For example we use the concept of “bloc votes” or “class voting patterns” frequently in our analysis. I submit that votes need to be seen more as an expression of community demands rather than of individual right. 

I suppose that in order to succeed in persuading those non-registered voters to use their voting rights, it is necessary to understand their way of thinking and one of the most frequent excuses is that “nothing changes even if I vote, so what’s the use?” 

To me, this shows the individual WANTS to make a difference, but sees his contribution merely as one in a sea of millions. This further shows his isolation and his self-denigration. He thinks of his right to vote only as an individual action. He completely lacks community spirit. He fails completely to see his vote as part of the expression of his community. He fails to identify himself as a part of his community. He fails to see his vote as “what my community wants and not just what I want”. 

This individualist manner of thought is not only self-deprecating, it is harmful in other ways. It tears the community away from the soul. Many complain that UMNO does not treat them fairly, discriminates against them and tries to force them to emigrate. Yet, by their action of thinking in an individualist manner, they actually isolate themselves, feel more insecure than necessary become socially awkward and are thus unable to interact in a constructive manner within their own community not to mention other neighbouring communities. 

The fact of the matter is that the non-Malays form 30% of the population and control 60% of the economy. This is not an insubstantial power base, yet many non-Malays see themselves only as individuals and act accordingly with no community power at all. Whenever they try to interact with others, it is awkward with no social graces and tends to be selfish and self-absorbed. They are unable to give and take and to tolerate the idiosyncrasies of others. They prefer to run away and become part of a country where they delude themselves that there is no discrimination. 

This is my just observation of how my Chinese friends think and their value systems and you may disagree vehemently. I don’t claim to be an expert in these matters. I am more concerned with getting people to register and use their votes. 

To do this I believe activists have to try and instill community spirit back into these people and to persuade them that their vote is not just an individual right but the expression and demands of their community and not just the useless acts of an individual. 

Here, I would like to point out that events have developed to a stage where racial and religious issues must no longer be seen as things that divide the community because the community now is a community of decent people fighting for decent government. The community is not just Malays fighting for Malay rights and privileges or Chinese fighting for equal treatment or Indians fighting against genocide. The community is a community fighting for decency and survival as a nation. 

The community is a community that expresses its demands that says – UMNO get out! We are tired of being manipulated through the cynical use of race and religion. We are tired of being tricked to hate each other because of the quarrel over benefits and privileges. We are tired of corruption, incompetence and sin. We are tired of violence visited upon us. We are tired of the ISA. UMNO get out! 

We want proper checks and balances. We want a judiciary with integrity and professional ethics. We want a police force that protects the rakyat rather than one that victimizes the rakyat. We want a civil service that is professional and competent. We want a government that is not forever sabotaging the unity of the people through instigating quarrels over benefits and privileges or race and religion. We want an end to corruption. We want UMNO out!