Niki Cheong is blogging


Over to you, Malaysia

The photobombing uncle behind me aside, I have finally cast my vote for the 13th Malaysian General Election.

I hope you’ll all head out to vote to.

I have, over the past year, been accused by various quarters of being either pro-Government or pro-opposition especially when I tweet about politics, or engage with politicians on Twitter. In fact, over the past couple of months, my Twitter count has increased tremendously but suspicious eggs following a small number of people. I have my suspicions who they are, but I tend to ignore them. I have no time for trolls as well.

At the end of the day, the only thing I am “pro” is pro-Malaysia. Many have asked if I flew home just to vote and were quick to congratulate me. I didn’t. I was already home. But I would have found one way or other to vote even if I was not.

Ever since I became politically aware in my late teens, I have always looked forward to the opportunity to vote. And I haven’t yet missed a single one in three elections.

I never tell people who I vote for. If people press me, I always say, “The independent candidate”.

The truth is, it really doesn’t matter who I voted for. I have my reasons, as do you for whomever you choose. I know people who are politically partisan and many who are not. I know some who may be more politically aware than others and have, based on issues, chose to vote differently for state and federal.

At the end of the day, what matters most is that you vote.

Today, we all talk about Malaysia being on the cusp of history. I think history has already been made. Never in my life have I seen such an amazing turnout at the polling centres.

Lots will happen today – people are already talking about phantom voters being identified, ink running out at polling centres and more. My wish is that we all go through the day (and tomorrow, whatever the results may be) realising that we need to be civil with one another – even if that person is a foreigner.

Because at the end of the day, we are all Malaysians and I think we all have our country’s best interest at heart. And that is what matters the most.

Many are of the opinion that democracy is not well in Malaysia. I too have my doubts. But after seeing the events of the past couple of weeks, no one can truly say that democracy is not truly alive in our country.

Selamat mengundi, my fellow Malaysians.

11.13am Malaysian time (+8 GMT)

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