Danni Rais

Azeem Abu Bakar

By Danni Rais and Azeem Abu Bakar

We live in interesting times. With the general election (GE14) looming ever closer, the times have become more interesting.

The #UndiRosak movement has been a talking point of late, with its originator insisting that it has stemmed from their unhappiness at the recent decision of the opposition to appoint “leaders of the past” in moving forward to GE14, and at the same time they are not convinced with the incumbent.

While many will never agree to spoiling votes, we ought to appreciate the underlying reason for the birth of such a movement.

In essence, it can be said that the #UndiRosak movement reflects the political fatigue that has consumed youths today. They are disenchanted with both sides of the political divide and feel let down by them.

If such views are valid, is this the best way for democracy in moving a nation forward?

However, positivity is required for a brighter future dependent upon the movement of youths, and the negativity of #UndiRosak is not the way forward for Malaysia.

What is required now, by all Malaysians heading towards GE14, is fewer decisions dictated by sentiments, and more by objectivity.

With that, the Organisation for National Empowerment (ONE) calls on everyone to move #ForwardTogether instead.

#1 Assess and address

Politics has always entertained Malaysians, and now with recent developments on both sides, politicians are doing all they can to hoodwink the voters to their cause.

Once sworn enemies now condone the actions of each other, and even support them in leading the cause.

As a result, their supporters now appear disorientated over the decision to have their once ultimate adversary leading them into the ‘Mother of all Elections’.

On the other hand, with the incumbents, political stability is assured, albeit with (unconfirmed) past issues that appear to plague them.

Our youths need to assess it as it is, and not the potential of what could be. Often, important decisions are made not based on whims and fancies, but on actual certainty of facts.

This is crucial in ensuring our direction towards the future.

#2 The things that matter

It is very easy to be deceived by the drama that envelopes politics. However, it is for youths to ask the difficult questions.

Development is good, but who will provide better job opportunities for the ever-growing number of graduates?

Who will provide the economic stability that will provide confidence to investors so that the country can move forward? What about governing experience? Education? Healthcare?

In fact, we ought to even see who would be able to not only serve the needs of the urban and rural folks, but also to narrow the gap between the two.

We must challenge the competing parties on who can secure our future.

We implore youths of this nation to not just decide such matters on their own but to discuss with friends, family, and colleagues. We’re not alone in this. We must move #ForwardTogether.

#3 Vote

Interestingly, to spoil your vote is your right. But is that a right that we would be proud of doing? After evaluating what’s offered by both sides objectively, we need to decide, and vote.

The actions of an individual at the polling booth must be sans emotions. Spoiling your vote will only take away your ability to decide the future of our children.

Vote “#ForwardTogether”. What does Forward Together mean? It means: Having a forward-thinking mindset in everything we do.

Hence, in the context of the elections, vote for a party which you believe can take us ahead; a party that can take the country further in a sustainable and progressive manner.

If we succumb to #UndiRosak we would forgo an opportunity to determine our future.

The fact that “undi rosak” exists is something for us collectively to be very wary of, as this negative practice, although seemingly democratic, can have far wider implications than we can imagine.

With that, we call upon voters to act, not react. Together with ONE, let’s move #ForwardTogether.

Let’s ensure that whatever the outcome of GE14, it is based on our decision, not the lack of it. Let’s empower the nation the right way.

Danni Rais and Azeem Abu Bakar are President and Secretary-General, respectively, of the Organisation for National Empowerment (ONE)

Originally published on Free Malaysia Today on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.