Spoiled votes spoil the nation

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Photo Credit: World of Buzz

Photo Credit: World of Buzz

Guang Ming, March 15, 2017

As the general election is nearing, even with indications that it would be held

within this year, comments are growing in the Chinese community

encouraging voters to cast spoil votes. Many theories have been offered

turning it into a hot debate.


Simply put, those who advocate casting spoil votes can be classified into

three groups.


The first regards parties on both side of the divide are equally dirty. This group

of people could not find any reason to support either side and thus, they

would abstain from voting. They are neutral, having no inclination to support

either side and have up hope on democracy.


The second group of people have given up hope for a government change

and they want to caste spoil vote to teach the opposition a lesson and hope

that they would change and improve. They are opposition supporters hoping

to use their spoil votes to correct the opposition parties, out of good intention.

The third group of people think that since the Chinese are not voting for

Barisan, they encourage spoil votes so that neither side will gain. By doing so,

opposition votes would be reduced to benefit Barisan. This group comprises

Barisan supporters but is trying to confuse people by pretending to be part of

the first two groups.


The third group has a particular objective in campaigning for spoil votes and

of the three, only the first two have valid reasons to convince people to cast

spoil votes.


However, for whatever reason, casting spoil votes will never help to achieve

our objective.


Unless you don’t live in this country or prepared to emigrate, to abstain from

voting or cast a spoil vote just because both sides are in a mess (they are

messy in different ways and also with great differences), you are actually

being negative. You give up your right as a citizen and allow others to make

decision which would affect you personally.


The reason is simple. The elected government, regardless of who votes for it

and regardless of whether you like it or not, as long as you still live in

Malaysia and hold a Malaysian Identity Card, any policy or action taken by the

Government will affect every aspect of your life. You will not be exempted just

because you have not voted for it.


Every vote is important in Democratic Politics


The Brexit is the best example. Many young voters were outraged after the

referendum results were out. They joined streets demonstrations claiming that

their future had been decided by the older voters whose turn-out rate was

high. Actually, as they had given up their voting right by not voting, they were

just tasting the bitter results.


The other reason in encouraging spoil vote sounds noble. It is about sending

a message of discontent to the opposition parties they support. It is about

letting them stumble so that they can learn and rise again. This will give

greater meaning to a government change as otherwise, it would be

meaningless, just like old wine in a new bottle.


The reason given sounds noble. If you love the opposition parties, love

Malaysia and want a real change, cast a spoil vote so that they will change

and for a better Malaysia! How touching it sounds but in fact, it is all



In the first place, a spoil vote cannot speak. It is only a piece of waste paper.

People who speak for you and have the final say are those in Barisan who will

benefit by your spoil votes. They can interpret your spoil vote anyway they

want. Nobody cares about your original intention of casting a spoil vote.

Moreover, democratic politics is not just about casting votes, it is about

participation. As a citizen or an opposition supporter, if you are not satisfied

with the opposition parties now, you should join in and check on them so that

they can hear your voice. It is not about doing nothing and simply casting your

spoil vote which has no meaning at all.


Of course, many would dismiss public opinion as useless and would not take

it seriously. Now, take a look at DAP for example. If public opinion is useless,

why was Hew Kuan Yau, the foul-mouthed, self-righteous guy who always

think he has made a great contribution to DAP forced to quit the party in the

midst of rising complaint against him? Can’t do or not doing it are two totally

different things.


As such, participation is important in democratic politics. Every vote is

extremely important. Spoil votes also spoil the nation. Don’t get confused by

all the talk about spoil votes!

Original Source: 廢票禍國