Thursday, April 11, 2013

13th General Elections 5th May 2013

Yesterday, the Election Committee (EC) has announced that the polling date for this year's 13th GE will be on 5th May 2013, with the nomination date on 20th April 2013.

Immediately after the announcement, I went online to various airlines to see the fares and to quickly snap it up for cheaper rates. There were extremely cheap flights on AirAsia, from only RM59, but due to technical errors from Maybank2u and CIMBClicks, my payments can never get through. In the end, the message "the last seat has been snapped up in the time that you have taken to finalise your details" or something like that appeared for EVERY SINGLE TRANSACTION I wanted to do -.-"

I was in a really bad mood yesterday cos of this. I mean, banking institutions, you know EC will announce the polling date, you know a lot of people will be going back to vote, and you know that your online banking sites will have A LOT of traffic. How would you know this? Because only approximately 30% of the entire Malaysian population has credit cards, and if people were to buy flight tickets, it would be highly likely that it will be through online banking! So logically you would have to beef up your system (if only for that one day), and cater to the higher influx of traffic!! You don't need an economist to tell you that -.-"

But moving on from that.

It was a struggle for me because from an economic standpoint, I couldn't justify to myself to spend RM300++ to go back to my hometown for just one Sunday (flying in on Sunday morning and flying back out on Sunday night), so I had to decide if I wanted to get the tickets or not...but I knew that no matter what, I had to go back to vote. It is my right, and I want to feel secure in the knowledge that I have done my civic duty.

One whole day of internal struggle leh :( Money doesn't come by easy you know...but luckily this morning, the flights for the times I wanted to go back home were cheaper, so I got it! And to make my money worth, I am staying another few days, if only just to spend time with my parents :) so, win win situation!

So anyway, if you just registered over the past five years and is a first time voter, here are some things you need to know. Not like I so pro la I only voted once bah during the Sarawak State Elections last April :p But this is what I know :p

*Disclaimer* Bear in mind that I am sharing this with you because I feel that this is something every voter should know and they have this really useful inforgraphics so it's easier to understand, not because I am campaigning for them :p

Who can vote? If you are a Malaysian citizen 21 years and above, and you have registered as a voter at the post office, via the EC voter registration roadshows, or at the seminars of any one of the parties (any other way that I missed out?), you can vote.

Bear in mind that there are two seats when you vote at a General (not state) Election. the Federal Seat (National Level), and State Seat (State Level). However, in this case, Sarawak is only gonna undergo the National Level as they have already had their State Level elections last year.

Now, before you vote, please check your status and voting details online or via sms whether you are already a registered voter and that your name is in the electoral roll. For this 13th GE, the EC will only be taking the electoral roll for the end of last year as their list of voters. Meaning, if you registered from 1st January 2013 onwards, your name will not be in the electoral roll yet, and as such, will not be eligible to vote *sad* So you will have to sit this one out, and only exercise your rights to vote in another five years :(

This is where it gets interesting :p On the voting day itself, please make sure that you have all your relevant documents with you when you go to your designated polling station (make sure you don't go to the wrong polling station ah) and present your IC to them to verify you as a voter. After you get your ballot papers, you head over to the voting booth (which is enclosed) and cast your vote.

Now, who are those polling agents? They are the eyes and ears of their respective party candidates to ensure that the polling is done in a strictly fair manner.

Last but not least, please ensure that when you mark your paper, you do so correctly. The last thing you want is that when you exercise your right to vote, you wasted it by marking the wrong corners. Please cross out the box beside the party that you want to vote for, and not around the edges. This is not a colouring book, and one cross is enough. It's also not a checkbook, so no ticks please :p

It is very important (and I cannot stress this enough) to vote for the people who you want to represent you. Please do not go in blindsided and vote for the party only, but for your representative. It could be that the representative from Party A is really who the rakyat needs, but because Party B is the more favoured party, then you vote for Party B.

Because ultimately in the end, whether or not BN or PKR wins, you will feel secure in the knowledge that you have voted for the representative of YOUR choice, and have done your part in making Malaysia a better place to live in :)

So good luck guys, see you all at the polling stations!!!

vote, vote, vote!!!!