Friday, 3 May 2013

Think long and hard

WE have three more days to go before we head out to polling stations nationwide to cast our votes in the 13th general election.

I am sure that by now, there are voters who have already made up their minds on who to vote for.

They will vote along party lines because they are members or loyal supporters of the party they like.

These party loyalists are hardcore, staunch followers of their party, and nothing can change their stance.

However, I believe that the majority of voters are still struggling at this moment in time trying to figure out which candidate is worth their votes because they do not have deep roots in any particular party.

These voters are rather neutral in their outlook, and they will vote based on current developments and latest issues.

They may be influenced to make a decision on who to vote for based on the things they hear and the happenings that they see around them.

Despite the past 10 days of intense campaigning, maybe there are still many voters who are still rather blur on their choice of party because the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat parties have been so engrossed in mudslinging and trading accusations and allegations against one another that all of them look like they are without direction.

I am pretty sure that there will be voters who may not even be able to make up their minds even as they head into the polling booths to mark their vital ticks on their ballot papers this Sunday.

Perhaps only at the very last moment will they make a decision on their choice of party and candidate.

For those who are still finding it difficult to decide the candidate of their choice, allow me to offer a practical, straight-forward solution — vote for the candidate whom you know have good values in his or her heart.

Compare those candidates who are contesting in your constituency where you are voting.

Which one of them you know for certain is the candidate whom you would look up to as a wakil rakyat because he or she displays the quality of a good, upright, God-fearing person?

Vote for that righteous candidate, nevermind which party that candidate represents.

As long as that candidate is a good person, he or she will use the public office to promote righteousness in the constituency and in the Dewan Rakyat or state assembly.

The logic is simple — if you vote for those candidates with good values in their hearts, then we will have Members of Parliament and assemblymen who are governed by good values regardless of the parties they represent.

What are the good values we as voters should look out for?

I am sure that all of us want a YB who is kind-hearted, approachable, caring towards the needy, hard-working, honest, sincere, effective in problem-solving, reachable at all times, humble, down-to-earth and ‘clean’.

‘Clean’ in the sense that he or she is not the type who practises corruption or out to enrich himself, his family and cronies using his public office and the power that he holds.

‘Clean’ also in the moral sense, that he or she is not the type indulging in immoral or evil practices or oppression and victimisation against others.

There are 222 parliamentary constituencies and 505 state seats up for grabs this Sunday, and Sarawak will see 31 parliamentary contests.

If all Malaysians vote for candidates whom they know have good values, then we will have 222 incoming MPs who are people of good values, and 505 incoming state assemblymen who are also good people.

That way, Malaysians will be sure that for the next five years, the MPs and state assemblymen who represent them, and who will shape policies and laws affecting the country and states, are those who will do a good job because of the goodness of their hearts.

I personally believe that a voter must not just vote based on party line or manifestos and propagandas. Many times these are mere political rhetorics.

Voting based merely on party line or sweet promises in the form of words is just not good enough.

It doesn’t ensure that good people get voted into office.

It is possible for a party to offer bad candidates who are corrupt, tainted and evil, so if every voter just votes based on the party, then that bad fellow will become wakil rakyat.

I have been thinking long and hard on what I should include or exclude in this column because it is so near voting time and I don’t want readers to think that I am promoting certain candidates.

Even as I am penning this column, I am seated in a corner of St Joseph’s Cathedral in the heart of Miri city, in the silence of the midday hours when there is no one around in the church, hoping to get some divine inspiration so that I will not write wrongly.

I am reflecting on the current situation in northern Sarawak and after contemplating long and hard, I have to voice my own personal opinion that I think our state and country need to have more good people in public office.

My personal opinion (which you are free to disagree with) is that in northern Sarawak, we should have more good people such as Datuk Sebastian Ting in Miri, Baru Bian in Limbang and Roland Engan in Baram as our wakil rakyat because I am very certain they will fight for a more righteous and just society.

Based on my own personal judgement, I know that they are caring, sincere people, people having high humane values and people who will strive for justice and a better life for others using their public office.

Of course, that is strictly my own personal opinion and I am not implying that the other candidates are bad people.

I am sure all of you will also have your personal opinions of who you think will make a good wakil rakyat in those areas that you are living in.

Vote for them based on the goodness of your own heart so that those who hold public office in our nation over the next five years will be people who have goodness in their hearts.

May this Sunday see peaceful polling and may the results bring good things and blessings for our state and country.-thestar online

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