PETALING JAYA: A newly-launched campaign by former DAP state assemblyman Jenice Lee is educating the people to vote for quality candidates instead of blindly supporting a party logo.
"This is a very effective way to force each party to nominate candidates with political vision, and an indirect way to prevent them from practising nepotism," Lee told The Star Tuesday.
The Civil Awakening Movement of Malaysia chairman launched the "My Vote, My Choice" campaign alongside six other NGOs and residents associations.
Lee said she felt a need for a campaign to educate the people on how to vote wisely after noticing a growing disappointment at both Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional's "failure to meet public expectations".
"People are so fed up with the current political situation, especially those who put high hopes in the new coalition Pakatan Harapan just to see that it is no different from BN.
"They come up to me and say 'Why can't we just cast a spoilt vote?'" Lee said.
She explained that instead of thinking passively, voters can take control of their vote by citing for the candidate with policies they agree with.
Through this new campaign, she hopes to create the awareness that voters have the right to propose their demands and conditions to politicians, and the dangers of blind loyalty.
"If voters blindly support a party without setting any conditions, they are in fact encouraging dictatorship within a political party and promoting nepotism and cronyism.
"This happens during the selection of candidates as only those who having close relationships with the top leaders will get the chance to stand as candidates," she said.
The campaign will go on a nationwide road show to help communities deliver their demands to politicians.
It also advocates 10 conditions covering the delineation of constituencies, abolition of draconian laws, fairer treatment for vernacular schools, declaring Malaysia a secular country, restoring local government elections, better housing policies, freedom of the press, and freedom of information.
Voters who are interested or need help voicing their demands can get in touch with the movement on its Facebook page.
Lee also said that voters do have the right to cast a spoilt vote to show that they are unhappy with the candidates and to pressure parties into reviewing their policies.
Lee, who was assemblyman for Teratai, has yet to decide whether she will be contesting in the next general election.
"The most important thing for now is to get quality candidates and quality voters in the country.
"Everybody has to do their jobs, including residents and NGOs. We cannot just ask for parties to give good candidates.
"As voters, we must also choose wisely," she said.
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