This forthcoming 13th Malaysian General election, I do not intend to vote for MCA or DAP. Instead, I intend, to cast a protest vote, Malaysian-style.
There are several ways a Malaysian can cast a PROTEST VOTE.
The FIRST and easiest way is to simply boycott the election. One wouldn’t even have to go to the polls. In fact, on average, only 75% of all eligible Malaysian voters exercise their voting rights. The rest, didn’t bother go to the polls.
As one voter lamented, “What’s the point of going? No matter who you voted for, the Barisan Nasional (ruling government, BN) will always win. And nothing seems to change. We go on with our daily lives to earn a living, whereas they (the politicians who had been voted in) became ever richer. So what’s the use?”
SECOND method is to cast a NOTA, i.e., a None Of The Above, vote. Casting a NOTA would indicate that the voter is displeased with the available choice of candidates. Hence, the voter would submit a blank, unmarked vote on the ballot slip.
NOTA sounds amazingly simple and would certainly leave the counting agents puzzled, but NOTA could also lead to further fraud. A sneaky, dishonest polling agent on-duty could possibly get away casting his/her own party’s vote on the blank slips, unnoticed.
THIRD, which is my personal favorite, is to purposely write a message on the ballot. “THIS IS A PROTEST VOTE. I WANT A MUSLIM LEADER TO LEAD THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY.” Affectively, the ballot would then be classified as a SPOILT VOTE, since ordinarily, voters are only allowed to mark an ‘X’ on a ballot. Nothing more.
The voter’s reason for dissatisfaction would be clearly laid out, that even an idiot would understand the voter’s resentments. During the last two elections, the average spoilt votes per polling station (in the State of Malacca) was only 2-3%.
FOURTH, is a technique more commonly used amongst postal voters. A postal voter on a protest mode simply DO NOT RETURN the ballots. In Sg Udang, Malacca, for instance, 17.5% of 2008 postal voters did not return their ballots. Whereas, in Bemban, the figure was as high as 47.8%.
At the time, the incumbent candidate for the Sg Udang’s constituency was Yaacob Mohd Amin, a mere high-school graduate turned State Education EXCO. Voters wanted an intellectual to fill the position. Whereas, the Malay majority voters in Bemban were against the Chinese candidates parachuted-in by both BN and the opposition.
In any of the above options, a PROTEST VOTE would only make an impact should it be collectively and cohesively participated by a large number of voters. And even then, the main consequence of such a move would be the inert legitimacy of the candidate. A candidate who wins with less than 50% voter turnout, for instance, would have a serious case of legitimacy. So would a candidate who wins the election, but with an excessive number of rejected votes (when the number of spoilt and unreturned votes are higher than the number of votes he/she receive.)
No matter, I am ever determined to cast a protest vote during this upcoming general election. My main message is simply the fact that MUSLIM COMMUNITIES must be administered by would-be fellow MUSLIM LEADERS.
My convictions (the FIVE reasons why I would not vote for neither MCA nor DAP) are based on the following surahs in the Al-Quran, as commanded by ALLAH SWT, the ONE and ONLY supreme God of Islam:
REASON NO 1:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ أَوْلِيَاءَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliya’ (friends, protectors, helpers, leaders, etc.), they are but Auliya’ to one another. And if any amongst you takes them as Auliya’, then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers and unjust).” [Al-Maeda, 5:51]
Islam clearly forbids Muslim ummahs to choose non-believers, including the Jews and Christians, as friends; as those to be trusted; as those who could appreciate and understand the callings of Islamic faith. Any Muslim who purposely ignores Allah’s command (who picks a non-believer as Auliya), is surely a non-believer himself.
There are those who fear that by disengaging the non-believers, they could potentially lose income, influence and strength. But Allah SWT promised that those who accept non-believers as Auliya will neither be guided nor helped by Allah SWT. If wealth and power are what the believers strive for, then they should only ask for assistance from Allah SWT, for He is the best provider of them all.
REASON NO 2: IF ayat 5:51 is not clear enough, Allah SWT repeated the command in ayat Al-Maedah 5:56:
وَمَن يَتَوَلَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فَإِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْغَالِبُونَ
“O you who believe! Take not for Auliya’ (leaders, protectors, friends and helpers) those who take your religion for a mockery and fun from among those who received the Scripture (people of the book, ie., Sabiens, Jews and Christians) before you, nor from among the disbelievers; and fear Allah if you indeed are true believers.”
Ayat 5:56 extended the restriction from the people of the book to other infidels (non-believers, pagans, atheists, etc). Muslims must only take on Allah SWT, the messenger (Prophet Mohammad) and fellow believers–those who perform solat (prostrate to Allah) and give out zakat–as Auliyas.
REASON NO 3&4: And again, two other ayats in the the same surah Al-Maedah [5: 80-81] reiterate the same prohibition:
تَرَىٰ كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتَوَلَّوْنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَبِئْسَ مَا قَدَّمَتْ لَهُمْ أَنفُسُهُمْ أَن سَخِطَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَفِي الْعَذَابِ هُمْ خَالِدُونَ
“You see many of them taking the disbelievers as their Auliya’ (leaders, friends, protectors and helpers). Evil indeed is that which their own-selves have sent forward before them, for that (reason) Allah’s Wrath fell upon them and in torment they will abide. [5:80]
وَلَوْ كَانُوا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالنَّبِيِّ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مَا اتَّخَذُوهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءَ وَلَٰكِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ
“And had they believed in Allah, and in the Prophet (Muhammad SAW) and in what has been revealed to him, never would they have taken them (the disbelievers) as Auliya’ (protectors, leaders, friends and helpers), but many of them are the Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” [5:81]
Not only are Allah SWT’s commands clear, but He had also commanded so REPEATEDLY, with each firman confirming the other. Those who ignore Allah SWT commands and continue to befriend or take non-believers as leaders, would not only will be faced with Allah’s eventual wrath; but would also be considered as non-believers and are to be considered as, ‘Fasiqoons“. Masya-Allah.
And finally, REASON NO 5: From Surah Al-Anfal, 8:73,
وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ إِلَّا تَفْعَلُوهُ تَكُن فِتْنَةٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ كَبِي
“Dan orang-orang yang kafir, setengahnya menjadi penyokong dan pembela bagi setengahnya yang lain. Jika kamu (wahai umat Islam) tidak menjalankan (dasar bantu-membantu sesama sendiri yang diperintahkan oleh Allah) itu, nescaya akan berlakulah fitnah (kekacauan) di muka bumi dan kerosakan yang besar.”
“And those who disbelieve are allies to one another, (and) if you (Muslims of the whole world collectively) do not do so (i.e. become allies, as one united block with one Khalifah–chief Muslim ruler for the whole Muslim world—to make victorious Allah’s Religion of Islamic Monotheism), there will be Fitnah (wars, battles, polytheism, etc.) and oppression on earth, and a great mischief and corruption (appearance of polytheism)”.
Instead of befriending or taking non-believers as leaders, Allah SWT wanted all Muslims in the world to unite under one Muslim Khalifah, so as to better exercise, promote and administer the ummahs‘ Islamic faith.
Obviously, this would be a daunting task. It would indeed be much easier to follow the herd. To accept what others had already accepted.
But during this 13th General Election, I have to obey my supreme creator’s commands, in all the surahs above and the particularly the surah [Al-Anaam, 6:116] below:
وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِي الْأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ
“Dan jika engkau menurut kebanyakan orang yang ada di muka bumi, nescaya mereka akan menyesatkanmu dari jalan Allah; tiadalah yang mereka turut melainkan sangkaan semata-mata, dan mereka tidak lain hanyalah berdusta.”
“And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s Path. They follow nothing but conjectures, and they do nothing but lie.”
If the above are still not good enough reasons for you, how’s this:
Over the last 30 years, we (the Muslim community) had, again and again, been forced to choose either ruling MCA or opposition DAP candidates. We’ve tried voted for both. And over the thirty years, none of the MCA and DAP assemblymen or parliamentarians whom we had voted for, had ever shown their faces in our communities, assisted in our cultural activites or even bothered to say, hello.
In at least one case, a dire Muslim mother of four had to rent the kitchen portion of a Chinese family wooden home. The former was on the run from her abusive drug-addict, Johor-based husband. The Malay family had been living in such dire condition for at least three months, without help. Whereas, an MCA’s Tengkera Community Center was, right NEXT door.
In Malaysia’s race-based politics, Chinese politicians only serve the Chinese communities.
Thus from now on, we INSIST. We EXPECT. No, we DEMAND, that the general Muslim ummahs should be served only by a member of the Muslim community. By Muslim leaders. Insya-Allah, a protest vote it is. A protest vote it must be.