Final thoughts going into GE15

18 Nov 2022 12:46pm
Malaysia goes to polls on Nov 19 - Photo: BERNAMA
Malaysia goes to polls on Nov 19 - Photo: BERNAMA

It’s the final stretch!

In previous general elections, my last piece before voting was often a little more emotional and heavy.

This year, it’ll probably be on the light side - just some general observations, and maybe some "what would I do" for certain seats around the country.

For whatever it’s worth, however you’re deciding to vote, I understand.

I even understand if you’re choosing not to vote - though all things considered, I think it’s great if you can.

If you want to vote according to party lines, that’s okay. If you vote based on who you want to be as Prime Minister, that’s okay. If you vote based on the candidate in your area, that’s okay. If you vote based on some sort of protest sentiment on how Malaysian politics is going, that’s okay too.

Voting along party lines or based on who you prefer as Prime Minister is quite straightforward - it’ll mean choosing a flag, regardless of whose name is next to it.

Barisan Nasional (BN) supporters might be in a bit of a fix here though, as there is likely deep uncertainty as to whether the final pick for PM will be Ismail Sabri Yaakob or Zahid Hamidi.

The latter is famously going around saying “ultimately it’s up to the YDP Agong”.

If you have a strong preference for one or the other, then you might not vote for the BN ‘dacing’ in every single constituency.

In many constituencies, Ismail supporters were replaced by Zahid’s men, so if you support Ismail, maybe you want to register a protest and vote for a non-BN candidate in such seats.

Similarly, if you are a Zahid supporter, then perhaps you would decide to vote against BN in seats like Bera or Sungai Buloh.

Me personally, I doubt I would vote for any Perikatan Nasional candidate, based on one criteria only - the way Muhyiddin Yassin handled the Covid-19 pandemic when he was in power.

I suspect there will be a fair number of voters who will not vote for Pakatan Harapan simply because they feel Anwar Ibrahim relies too heavily on DAP.

If the results prove otherwise, it may mean that Malaysia has consciously taken a very positive step away from racial politics.

For me personally, the choice of who to vote for is very obvious in some seats, but less so in others.

I’m lucky to vote in Segambut, where Hannah Yeoh’s exemplary record really just speaks for itself. 10/10 would recommend.

There are similarly a few other PH candidates that I would recommend just about as wholeheartedly, based on previous experiences with them.

There is Jufitri Joha in Rembau and Steven Sim in Bukit Mertajam; my old colleagues Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad in Setiawangsa and Sim Tze Tzin in Bayan Baru; Muda candidates Lim Wei Jiet in Tanjung Piai and Cikgu Rahayu in Tanjung Karang, and many more.

I’d have zero reservations voting for the PH candidates in any of the seats.

I would vote for the PH candidates in Gombak and Ampang, as I think the incumbent MPs there and their brand of politics should definitely be shown the door.

I would definitely vote for PSM’s Bawani KS in Ayer Kuning as PSM has always had a solid record of serving the people.

Independent candidates are mostly there to be a protest vote of sorts, and basically never win.

I think in Bagan Datuk, any non-PH vote will simply increase the likelihood that Zahid is returned to his seat.

In Batu however, I have an old soft spot for Tian Chua, so would perhaps vote for him there.

I wish there were independent candidates in Pandan, as I might vote independent there, seeing as how many candidates there represent what is an increasingly disturbing and odious brand of politics.

Sungai Buloh is another seat where I’d have to stop and think. In fact, this might be the most interesting and unpredictable contest in the country.

I don’t think I’d vote for the PH candidate.

It’s bad enough that Rhodes Scholar Sivarasa Rasiah was replaced; he was replaced by someone who used to be in MIC. One would have hoped that PKR was able to produce a better tier of candidates by now.

I generally quite approve of Khairy Jamaluddin’s work as Health Minister, surely he deserves some reward for that.

But I would still be hesitant to vote for anyone in BN. And a reversal of PH’s massive majority of 26,634 in GE13 would elevate Khairy to almost godlike status. I like his work, but I’m not sure I like it that much.

There are a number of other interesting seats in the country, but these are the names and contests that jump to mind.

Looking ahead at Saturday night, one possible outcome is a clear winner and a new PM being sworn in on Sunday morning without fuss.

Going by most predictions (which have a history of being very wrong a lot of the time), pundits seem to consider this outcome less likely.

If they are right, we could be in for a period of prolonged negotiations. If so, hopefully the nation will remain calm and our newly elected MPs will be able to navigate the process in a dignified manner.

That said, we should probably prepare ourselves for some rollercoasters.

Whatever happens, here’s hoping everyone stays safe throughout the journey home and on voting day.

Do remember that Covid is still a clear and present danger, and that numbers have been slowly climbing back up. Do exercise as much caution as you can, and have a great day voting!

NATHANIEL TAN works with Projek #BangsaMalaysia. Twitter: @NatAsasi, Email: [email protected]. #BangsaMalaysia #NextGenDemocracy.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of Sinar Daily.

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