Today millions of Malaysians will go out and cast their vote on ballot papers. Today, as one newspaper put it, “Malaysia decides”. But that is today. I’m more concerned about the past week or two in this post rather than what will happen today.
Some friends of mine here in Kota Damansara, whom I share the same school doing the same pre-university course, have talked about politics. Some have openly professed their support for certain parties. Some have openly criticise and lash out certain figures and political parties. Some got heated up in politics-oriented conversation, and others watch and be entertained by a slew of videos with political motives put up on the internet. And me? I take myself away from any of these and remain indifferent.
It is not that I don’t care about what’s happening. It is not because that I am not aware of what’s happening. It is not because I have no interest at all. It’s because of these reasons I’m gonna list out here that I choose to abstain myself from any of these politically-motivated talks and videos and campaigning and support.
ONE: We’re 19. No matter how hard we believe in any party, we are not eligible yet to vote. So I might as well save my energy and time doing something else like doing my EE or writing my Maths IA or reading up on Special Theory of Relativity that would actually benefits me as a 19-year-old instead of indulging in politics that I cannot do anything about.
TWO: We don’t know much about politics. Honestly, how many of us have actually dig up the history of the major parties, read up books and comments and opinions of previous leaders, both from the ruling party and the opposition? How many have actually do some research about Malaysia’s political background, how it started and what influences it? How many actually know about politics not from hearsay but from reliable primary sources? Politics is not just today. It’s a continuation of what has been happening in the past. A lot of things are interconnected. And if you are interested about politics only when election is this weekend, who in their right frame of mind would even dare to think they know a lot about politics? And when you don’t know a lot about something, what authority you have to talk anything about it? Really, it is very easy to appear foolish and stupid when you talk about something that you don’t know much about.
THREE: When we base our judgements solely on biased sources, it is only right that our judgements are biased too. When we support one view, we tend to look for everything that goes in support of it. If we support PAS for example, we read Harakah and accept all while dismissing all in the national newspaper. And similarly, it works the other way around too. Even for those who already have deep knowledge and experience about these parties, to accept only one view and dismiss the other without even a hint of consideration on our part, without any reasoning, is to accept blindly. This is what happens mostly with youths being too eager about politics when they couldn’t even handle their own academics, which is more important to them than caring about politics.
So that’s why I choose not to be involved when any of my friends started to talk about politics. If I am going to have a talk about politics, I want it to be an educated, knowledgeable talk about politics. If it is just about lashing out and criticising people, talking as if we know everything there is to know about politics, then to this I say sorry, I don’t want to waste my time.
It is common that when people are in support of one party, they’ll dig up everything good about that party and everything bad about the other party. The result? A wonderfully perfect party that everything is right and excellent while the other party have all the evil in the world. Maybe this is not common among adults, but it surely is common among my friends of around the same age.
And so I choose not to talk about politics. There’s just no use to it.
Unless you are genuinely interested in politics, know quite a lot about it, follow up the histories and understand the roots and events in the parties concerned, read books by prominent characters, know at least something about how politic works, read and put to reason both sides of the story, then come and talk to me. I’ll listen and we’ll have a chat.
But if all you intend to do is criticise and curse people, proclaim only the good sides of the party you support while listing out every single negative remarks you can find about the other party, read only what’s there in secondary sources like internet and hearsay, accuse without reason, criticise without suggesting solution, only talk about politics when election is just a few weeks ahead, then you can just excuse me. I won’t be interested. Just don’t talk about politics with me.
And to those who suggest not voting for any party at all, well don’t have any complain at all if certain parties do anything in the future. After all, you don’t even care, do you? You are neglecting your responsibility to the nation, so don’t expect yourself to have any rights to say anything about how things turn out. There may not be a perfect choice, but there is surely a better choice. Which is better is your decision. If you couldn’t make even that, really, don’t ever complain how things turn out in the future. You just don’t have the right to.