In Malaysia, we have State Elections to elect assemblymen and Federal Elections (nationwide) to elect Members of Parliament.
The EC has announced the nomination of the state of Sarawak's State Elections on Apr 6th and the polling day on Apr 16th, 2011.
This is hardly a reflection, more like a personal note on Sarawak 2011 State Election from someone who is a nobody like me.
Anyway, let me give you a brief introduction on my voting experience from 2001 when I was 21 up till today.
When I was 21 (the minimum age of registered voters), and I could vote, the state election was held too near to my birthday in October and I could not make it in time to be in the voters list due to something that is out of my control - the creation of Sue by my parents, hence I missed 2001 state election.
- quote on 2001 State Election from wikipedia - The Eighth Sarawak state election was held on 27 September 2001 with nomination date on 18 September 2001. The state assembly was supposed to be expired on 18 November 2001 but it was dissolved by the governor of Sarawak 2 months earlier on 3 September 2001. - so it's so unfair they had to dissolve it earlier by two months and I would have missed it anyway, as at the tortoise rate they update the list, two months is still too little time for them to include my name in the voters' list, so never mind then, I still would have missed the 2001 election.
Then in 2004, I was already a registered voter (the patriot in me made sure I registered as soon as I turned 21), and just as fate would have it, I had to fly to Kuala Lumpur to take up a new reporting job and had to be uprooted and 'stationed' on polling day as it was the Federal Election (nationwide), with candidates contesting for Parliamentary seats. I couldn't abandon my reporting job in Kuala Lumpur back then to fly back to Kuching, cos I was attached to a beat of another constituency in Kuala Lumpur, so there goes my second chance to vote. So much for patriotism, huh? But the candidate I was rooting for in my constituency won. No prizes for guessing who (for those of you who knows I'm a patriot as much of a hopeless romantic).
Then in the last State Election that was in 2006, my mum and I flew back just to vote, and I felt I kinda 'jinx'ed it cos the candidate I voted for lost, no prizes for who I voted for. I vomited immediately after I voted, outside the compound of the school which is my polling station, I remember vividly like it was yesterday, I was down with food poisoning -- and call it coincidence if you like, out came all the Kuching laksa and kolo mee I had upon touch-down the day before and that morning -- and down went my candidate of choice.
Okay, so I'm staying in Kuala Lumpur, you may ask me why don't I change my voting constituency? I just don't fancy changing my voting constituency. The last time a friend and his wife did that, their name disappeared from their old constituency and never appeared in the new constituency so they are no longer registered voters as far as anyone is concerned!
So this time around, I'm gonna pass. Not gonna fly back just to vote, cos judging from the responses on fb among my friends who purposely wanna fly back just to vote, I think that will stir things up enough for us to watch the drama unfold through the mass media. Moreover, during that weekend, I'm going to be up to my neck with work and deadlines (this time around, I'm a lecturer, nope, not in political science but in Public Relations), and to give a very politically-correct response to the election this time around, let me gear up my Public Relations skills to give an acceptable answer:
Someone on facebook, a friend from my childhood years in Bau (a former goldmine town in Sarawak) asked about my comments on the impending election based on my past reporting experience - I kinda like what I typed in the comment box and it came from me, so I'm sharing it here:
"We have to remember not all politicians are bad, they are just different by their levels of commitment towards their 'fight' for the people. Once you join politics, you are bound to have some degree of 'taint', cos it's the same dirty pond we're talking about." -- Sue Tiong, 2011
I rest my case. :-)