• Melissa Kartini

#MyFirstTime: Voting- and Helped Make History

Updated: Sep 5, 2018

Photo by Melissa Kartini

Wow, that is a super obnoxious title, isn’t it? But now that I’ve got your attention, I’d like to make it clear that I’m just your average Malaysian. I’m just one out of billions of people on our planet, a mere grain in an endless shore.

It’s something I’m acutely aware of, and yet, on May 9th, I chose to perform my civic duty and voted for the very first time.

If you had met me years ago, or even just last year, I would have told you without hesitation that I’ve never been interested in politics. It just seemed like a huge headache to me. It is a subject that constantly sparks arguments and heated debates. It doesn’t even matter what country we’re talking about, just the topic of politics would raise blood pressures and the air around us would turn into one of frustration and bitterness.

But as I grew more independent and started thinking more about my future, I slowly realised just how important politics is.

Being an adult isn’t just about going to work, making money and trying to make ends meet. There is more to it than that. This is something I eventually realised as I started making plans towards independence. Being exposed to the news helped speed up the process, and the more I knew, the more I understood just how important politics is.

It helped me understand why things are the way they are in our country. In every other country. It especially helped me understand Malaysia’s financial/economic state.

With this realisation, I knew that I had to vote. Though I was largely negative about the chances of my party of choice winning, I couldn’t just sit and do nothing about it. I could no longer be apathetic when I understood that as a citizen, my vote could affect the lives of everyone in the country. It could help change them for better or for worse.

It’s a dramatic way of wording things, but I think that after the results were announced, we Malaysians realised that we do have the power to change things. We rallied together as a nation and did something historic. I’m super proud of my brown finger and am honoured to have been a part of this, no matter how small.

I hope that what had happened will help spark hope in Malaysian youths and push them to vote, indifference vanquished. The future of Malaysia rests in their hands; the disease of apathy cannot gain prominence if we’d like the future of Malaysia to be on the right track.

While I still wouldn’t say I’m a political person, I do care enough about the direction my country is going in to do something about it. And if it doesn’t go the way I want it to?

I’d just find a way to deal with it. Rather than sit and complain, I’d do what I can to make the best out of life.

Photo by Melissa Kartini

After all, change doesn’t happen unless you do something about it.

Written by Crunch's Melissa Kartini

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