June 28, 2022

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One Vote, Two & A Half Government

Photo by Deva Darshan from Pexels

The past one week especially has been a whirlwind of emotions for Malaysians. It started over the weekend where it became an open secret of Muhyiddin stepping down from his position as the Prime Minister of Malaysia to a confirmation of his resignation on Monday.

A political battle and race then transpired for the highest-ranking position available. On Thursday it was confirmed that Ismail Sabri obtained a majority of 114 MPs to be appointed as Malaysia's 9th Prime Minister and this was further confirmed on Friday.

Without going into the details or opinion of who should have been elected as Prime Minster, what each party should have done, whether the parties will stay strong and true to their words, one thing is certain, normal Malaysian citizens are the ones that suffer from political turmoil.

We are on a never-ending roller-coaster ride unwillingly. A lot of finger pointing has been done over the past week. Some found the opponent bloc's decision to straight-out reject Muhyiddin's offer as a disrespect or opportunity thrown away, some fear the alleged corrupt politicians coming back into power, and many cringe at other factors that were at play. Whichever side of the story you are clinging onto, there is no denying one fact, that Malaysia is where it is today as a result of the events in February 2020's "Sheraton Move".

We could go on and on about what could have been done better, but I believe the next question by normal citizens should be, what can/should we do next? It is times like these, I always revisit my favourite movie quote from one of my favourite movie Batman Begins;


"People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can't do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man I'm flesh and blood, I can be ignored, I can be destroyed. But as a symbol, I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting."

Now I am not saying Malaysia needs a vigilante or a man in a mask going on a crusade, no. I interpret is as, as individual citizens of our beloved country, we may not be able to make a difference. But as a group of individuals we hold more power than just one vote in our hands.

Contrary to popular believe that our lives are at the mercy of those we elect, it is not. Examples of this are the rallies of the past such as Bersih & Lawan, while hashtags such as #kitajagakita are essence of the power normal folks hold and practice to protect one another. These are continued cry for structural reforms and changes, championed by the ordinary folks, giving voices to those without the privilege of similar.

Our power and responsibility should go beyond just the one vote we have over the course of every 5 years, but rather constantly voicing out our frustration and demand for the betterment of our future.

By the count of votes and rallies prior to GE14, between GE14 and the year 2020's event, many rejoiced in the change in government but they let their guards down. Yes, a new era was ushered in for better or for worse, but the voices of those who championed the underprivileged became softer as well. We should be reminded that structural reform and changes can only take effect over a long period of time and the demand for them to be implemented at haste and pace must be relentless.

The term "Rome was not built in a day" rings true to this day. Instead of reliving past success, we should count on the success we are still striving to achieve, otherwise the latter part of the quote "but it burned in one" will always come to light.


J.Y. is passionate about mental health and social exploitation issues. He is willing to speak his mind for the welfare of society. This is an opinion piece. The views expressed are the writer's own.

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