Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Raining krises and spears

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 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.

Beautiful Malaysia

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.

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.
One last shot.

Re-reading historian Combe's recently, he wrote of Malayans fleeing to India during World War II and Malaya was occupied by Japanese army.

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.


Anonymous said...

Interesting subject to discuss, a voice.

How would you tellthe Kelantanis living outside the state?

Air mineral di KL, tak sama air keruh di Kelate. Kami nak air paip yang kotor?

Believe local Kelantanis are sick with Nik Azis and PAS. They want change, but the returning voters want their kinfolk to live in deplorable condition.

The outsider Kelantanis believed PAS's lies that things are getting better and ther is progress.

Yet to the kampung folks they talk of religion, reward of heaven and importance of the after life.

In the meanwhile, the likes of Husam, Takiyuddin, Nik Amar, Ariffahmi, and tok lebais continue to reap in.

Irwan Faizal said...

I have to say, living outside malaysian environment (meaning never attuned with whats happening with country except for once a month phone call to families)for too long should preclude themselves from having their vote counted.

yes i know it sound ridiculous but then again, if he/she is not in touch with the country he originate but fanatically emulate his/her host country culture, sets of belief and so on, whould he or she is able to be classified as malaysian? what about if he/she already hold a green card status or permenant residentship with their host country, would their opinion is still relavant with the country aspiration or needs?

Anonymous said...

Why the double standard of Malaysians allowed to vote for those working overseas?

Why only Govt servants and govt sponsored students allowed to vote but not for non-govt persons?

Stop twisting facts on some other gibberish stories.

Anonymous said...

A Voice

You do have valid points, particularly the one about the insignificance of overseas postal votes vis-a-vis cost and complexity of running postal votes.

Under the existing laws, Malaysians abroad allowed to vote as postal voters are only full time students(both government and private), their spouses and government servants and their spouses.

Other M'sians are only allowed to vote as postal voters after the amendments laid on the table at this parliamentary session.

The condition is they must register as voters and return to Malaysia at least once in less than 5 yrs before parliament is dissolved.

As at today, there are only 2,400 Malaysian abroad (comprising students and government servants) are registered as postal voters.

The respond from our students n civil servants has thus far been disappointing.

Not sure how will the response when extended to other Malaysians abroad for the next GE 13.

Malaysian abroad are required by law and stipulated in their passport to register with the Malaysian Embassy or High Commission.

Most do not do that. So what is the chance they will register for postal votes?

Anonymous said...

ABITW wrote - Before the idea of Malayan Union, the Malay states were not "officially" colonised but merely accepting British residents or Advisers -

So, did Malaysia achieved Merdeka in 1957? Or it was just all British Imperialist/UMNO play-acting...

You talk and pass opinion on Overseas Malaysians, which are now being valued because of their foreign experiences and capital to return home to help Malaysia progress!

Yet while welcoming their talent and money, they in your eyes are not fit to vote?

~ Kahang boy

Anonymous said...

Simple answer.. those ppl u said are coming back home i.e. to fullfil their contract after end os studies or to spend the rest of their life here... those migrating, because they want to find better living elsewhere....

imagine if chinese worldwide ask for voting right.. hu jintau would not be able to catch a wink tonight..

Irwan Faizal said...

Fine, preclude goverment sponsored students in overseas from voting, thats sounds mighty fine with me. But govt servants abroad...? They are agent/organs of goverment branch, positioned outside geographically by decree of goverment to carry out govt action in the name of the people!! Since their location georaphically bound by job demand, their employer (government) by far should provide them means for them to travel back to cast their vote but since it would be very costly to do so (knowing some quack in the parliment would question the feasibility of the cost later), we allowed postal vote to these people. Psotal vote is not supposed to be a right enjoyed by everybody, it is suppose to be a privilege by goverment servants serving abroad and lets not forget an obligation by goverment as an employer to these people!!

A Voice said...

Kahang Boy

Don't mix your argument between politics and employment. Konon that way of arguing will show m as inconsistent.

Who cares of inconsistency, it is a personal opinion piece. It s about what one like and dislike. And about we feel should and shouldn't.

Very cina kui style of arguing an issue. So easy for you to terasa and insecure. Many Malay also lives abroad and think like all Malaysians abroad.

Why don't you state your stand and what you think should or shouldn't.

Apart from the reason of being away too long, there is a long list of people I see as unfit to vote.

For instance those anti constitution and working against the interest of the nation ie betrayers should be unfit.

In fact, if I were to apply the basic criteria for Muslim to pray for voting - Islam , baligh dan berakal, the whole of Kelantan state could be unfit to vote :)

Irwan Faizal said...

Wow, what did EC/government did to them? Bar their plane from landing becoz of wanting to vote? Burn these overseas Malaysian passports, disowning them for entering country? Thereaten them with bodily harm like burning them at the stake???

Irwan Faizal said...

Kahang boy, im not gonna be as harsh as A Voice here, coz what i think is that it is good if malaysian oversea wasnt been given the privilege of casting postal vote coz atleast now these guys have an excuse to balik kampong, see old relatives, visits old favourite joint (lai ci kang stall??) and exchanging views with the locals. :)

Anonymous said...

The law of averages also applies to Malaysians living abroad.

Some make it and some do not. Some are above average but in general, they are by the standard abroad average too.

The thing I cannot tahan of these returning Malaysians is their endlss talk of their days abroad and how things are better abroad.

If so, why return?

Some of these Malaysian are no better really.

We over rate them. Some are really good but some are over rated.

Government do not really need to establish Talent Corp to get them to return. Let it be a private venture by any entrepreneur cum consultant.

This whole thing of trying to get Malaysians to return and work back home is just a hype for someone to con the government for easy money.

Usually the prospective employee will pay for the services but this time, it is government that is paying.

Can you see that????

Irwan Faizal said...

They (we??) want to return back becoz:

1. Shops close at 6, including malls and shopping centre
2. No mamak to grab a late (2 in morning punya late) night supper
3. McD dont do deliveries!!
4. Here/there in overseas, they were also treated with distrust (exception to those second generation immigrants or really hardcore anglophile, hehe)
4. Last but not least, no durian (except for siamese breeding, yuck)!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A Voice said...

Kahang Boy

I can joke around with my Chinese friends calling him Cina Kui and me Melayu malas.

I didnt call you Cina Kui but Cina Kui style of argument.

Enough ... if you wanna come and comment and put forward your views, do so even if we differ.

It seems you are more interested to quarrel and argue.


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