The Chairman of the Election Commission (EC), Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof was initially reluctant to the idea of overseas voting.
Tsn Sri said it is operationally difficult to put together the electoral roll. He maybe thinking that this anarchist Bersih will use it as an excuse to point finger at EC for possible electoral discrepencies arising.
After repeated Bersih demos and now concert, which not that many attended anyway, he seemed to have changed his mind. However, he still said it require time before it can be implemented. The civil servant in him is always cautious and careful.
While it is enshrined in the constitution that every citizen have a right to vote, questions with regard to the operational issue need to be addressed.
How will the overseas voting system be implemented? Since they do not live here, it means they do not have a local address. Then, who can they claim to represent them?
Our political system is based on a parliamentary representatives.
Meaning, a representative is voted in to represent a certain area for parliament or state assembly. Political party or coalition of political parties that have the majority will lead the federal or state administration.
Experience in Singapore, United States, Australia and other countries practising overseas voting found that these foreign votes hardly have any impact in the voting outcome. They have minimal significance and the domestic results pretty much determine the election outcome. Despite it's insignificance, it involves high cost and a complex and extensive bureaucrasy to implement.
But other than the issue of right, do we need them to determine the leadership of this country?
Malaysian living abroad have minimal understanding of what's happening. Basically, they do not live here and do not understand the problems of administration, what is aspirations of the people, and the challenges facing the nation.
Sure, they read the internet and foreign news but it still do not give them sufficient information on the candidacy and localised issues of the area the candidate is running in. Voting desicion cannot be entirely based on national level issues, right?
Not to mention, there is a bias leaning and credibility of opposition news portal dominating the blogosphere and search engine results. Off course, they will be those claiming that official source and mainstream media sources of information are bias too.
Ini semua mesti dipersalahkan kepada Rais, Ahmad Maslann dan lain-lain yang terlibat dengan media, komunikasi dan penerangan, baik peringkat parti-parti pemerintah atau kerajaan.
They may end up voting not with the interest of Malaysia and it's citizen in mind, but based on some ideological dreams. Worse still, they might vote based on their own aspiration of turning Malaysia into an image based on their country of residence they are so impressed with.
We are too familiar with this inferiority complex of Malaysian which are usually expressed as their superiority complex upon other local based Malaysians.
When we said of these foreign based Malaysian, we are not excluding those only work across the causeway. They brag about this and that about the country they work or live in. And, they complain complain complain ...like any typical kiasus.
By right, there should be a cooling off period of 4 years for those Malaysian returning from abroad before they are allowed to vote. :)
For all practical purpose, Malaysians living abroad have migrated and could be either awaiting for foreign citizenship or are permanent residents who will most unlikely return. So the question to ask is: Are they still Malaysians at heart?
Nothing racial, just a plain question. These days it is not just Chinese migrating but also Malays, Indians and various races.
Now this brings us to a letter to the editor sent to The Star dated October 22, 2006 by one Pat Goh. It was posted in this blogger's yahoogroups and discussed extensively recently.
The writer Pat Goh reminded us of a friend, who last told by common friends upteen years ago, had left her General Manager post and migrated to Australia with her Engineer husband. Later on, a friend told us that she did not due to marital issue.
God knows what the issue was and if it was her. But it is an interesting read:
You left, we stayed
by Pat Goh
I REECIVED the e-mail last week – Thursday, was it? – and I'm still hopping mad. I thought I'd feel better with a little sea air over the weekend. But no, I was wrong. I'm still mad.
Why is it that people who leave this country – choose to go away – always feel that they need to send us stuff about things that are happening here? It's like they feel we don't know. Duh. We live here.
Like my cousin sending me stuff about our last prime minister. Duh – again. We know already. We have newspapers. We have the Internet. Heck, we even have our own satellite in space-lah.
Remember your double storey semi-dee that was air-conditioned? And your Volvo and your chauffeur and the good life you left behind? The good life that allowed you to save so much money and start again somewhere else?
But I digress.
So, from this great and privileged place where they are, they send us stuff of how bad things are in this land where WE choose to live.
My question is this:
Are you saying that your Howard is so great? Is he clean and just and honest? Is he intelligent and farsighted and doing everything right for Australia? Or perhaps your ideal is George W. Bush or Tony Blair? Words fail me when I try to go there!
So what exactly are these ex-Malaysians saying when they send us stuff that is so anti-Malaysia? That we are suckers for still living here? That we should be packing our bags too and high-tailing it to Australia or the United States or England or Canada?
Or are they saying, “See, we were right to leave. It is so bad in your country. We are so smart, not like you, so bodoh, and still sticking it out there where it is so gawd-awful!”
Ok, want to know why I love it here?
Because I belong here. I am Malaysian. My roots are half Indian and half Sri Lankan. My husband's are Chinese. I feel normal here. I walk around and I see people just like me. And I feel comfortable.
I own a house in town and another by the sea – and we are NOT rich Malaysians by any standard.
And as I sit and write this, I am tuned in to Astro and am listening to the most fascinating jazz in Spanish. Later, my daughter will come home and tune in to MTV and I'll leave the room because if I hear one more word in the Laguna Beach accent I will have to hurt someone!
When I feel like it, I will go to the gym down the road, about 20 minutes away. Otherwise, I'll go online and surf and find out why idiots are killing each other in Israel and Lebanon.
Or I'll move on to more interesting things like Nigella's to-die-for chocolate pudding recipe.
That's because the last time I checked, “they” have not censored the Internet in Malaysia yet!
Hello, relatives and friends in Australia and other places in the world, it is really quite nice here. We are really happy.
No, the papers don't lie and feed us with hogwash, any more than they do in your country of choice. And even we know how to read between the lines. Yes, they actually taught us that in school.
Speaking of school: as you have bemoaned, most of the classes are in Malay.
But hey, this IS Malaysia, and we should at least know how to read, speak and write in our national language. After all, they speak French in France, don't they? And German in Germany, no?
Why they all so mundur and don't teach in English in their schools, ah?
I respect the choices people make. I respect their need to leave this land and go find their fortunes elsewhere. It's in our genes anyway – we're the offspring of people who left China and India and came here.
I'll understand when my children say they want to work in Canada and Europe and the United States. I understand the need to go seek new things and learn how the rest of the world lives.
But I also understand that paradise is where you make it.
Running to another land is not where it's going to be. It is here: with the man you love, your daughter, your son, your dogs; with your mum and your wonderful sisters; with your lovely home and garden and with your friends.One last shot.
If you know who you are and what you want, then you will be happy. There's no need to fly away.
Listen with your heart and you will find it's been here all along, and you never knew. I've always known. Always. And life is good.
These Malayans, most of them were ariostocrats and rich merchant families, sat together and discussed on the new post WW Malaya. In fact, they contributed to the gagasan Malayan Union which was legitimately making the Malay states a colony.
Before the idea of Malayan Union, the Malay states were not "officially" colonised but merely accepting British residents or Advisers.
Since these orang putih were imbued with power and the uneducated royals and bangsawan class were easily bought for pittance and duped by their ignorance, the Malay states were practically colonised for it's wealth to be reaped by foreigners.
Our blood boils to know the existence of such countrymen who were ran away and left the rakyat jelata to die and suffer the war, while they leisurely discussed the future of the country in some British gentlemen's club.
Can we trust that these Malaysian living abroad are not having colonised minds like those Malayans that fled to India during World War II?
The Malays have a peribahasa saying:
Hujan emas perak di negeri orang; hujan keris lembing di negeri kita; baik juga di negeri kita.O Malaysian! Go and live wherever you wish in this expansive God's world. But leave us back home in peace and harmony.
We are just as happy in our homeland that rains krises and spears.