Now before we get too deep into our national issue, let’s reduce the scope to a place where we are now going through our 4 to 5 or even more (touchwood) years of our life here, MMU. Today we witnessed the SRC Elections for two territories; Presidential and Faculty of Law. As we all know, the elections will be held for 2 days, 10th-11th August at CLC Concourse from 9am to 4.30pm. I won’t deny that the turn out today was great as students turned up and participated in the elections. However after realizing the total number of voters for Day 1 raised a major concern. Based on trusted sources, the voters for Presidential Seat were 2300+ (all 3 campuses) while for FOL Seats were 300+ (only Melaka). Now, in case you are not aware, we have almost 10,000 students in MMU Melaka Campus and 1200+ FOL students from Foundation to Final year. As the statistics speaks for itself, the percentage is nothing near to satisfactory. Yes perhaps more will turn up tomorrow but that will be a big ‘IF’. The thing that bothers me a lot is that, where are the rest?
Which is why the biggest concern about this election isn’t who is going to win but are students voting? The very concern we have when Malaysians don’t vote and still scream at the top of their lungs complaining there is no change, we are facing the exact same issue here.
Every year, students will complain about SRC, that SRC is NATO (no action, talk only), that students were not given a chance to choose their candidates and so on. We can see all of this in various mediums such as MMU Confessions Page, in our daily FB timeline post, pictures of lousy facilities being posted with captions cursing the SRC and so on. But the majority of us did all of this without actually contributing to change and improvement, voting in the election is one of it. Now this article is not about defending SRC and their members but to solely question the hypocritical mindset the majority of us have. For the past 2 SRC terms, all seats including the Presidential Seat won uncontested. The last Presidential Election was back in 2013 where Cham Bing Yi attained the Presidential Seat. People will criticize that it’s unfair students don’t get to vote for their President, true enough it may seem unfair, but ask ourselves did we complain about the absence of election but later take it for granted when an election is actually going on at a venue that has the highest student traffic percentage daily which is obviously CLC Concourse.
Perhaps many do not see the need of voting in an election? Perhaps no matter who leads the SRC, no significant difference will be made? Perhaps it’s just not worth my time? Perhaps I don’t like all this politics? This is where this thinking is not justified. The SRC is never a one man show or a one man army. SRC cannot be efficient with just 25 officers carrying out their duties but it works efficiently with the support and cooperation of all students starting with electing the best candidate whom students believe can lead not only the SRC but the whole MMU community for betterment. Due to that, a minimal turn up of voters simply reflects our mindset.
Check and balance is how things go by in any organization or country, what’s more a university with 15,000 plus students. SRC checks the management and the students in general also check SRC and the management. Every student has a right that is very powerful which most of us ignored. The voice of students collectively can bring about change that we all yearn to see over the years, but if we choose to shy away, lower our heads down and run away like a little mouse, this is where the power of students rights disappear into thin air. How can SRC serve efficiently when students shy away when they can contribute based on that right? It is a 2 way street, we cannot deny SRC must improve how they want to engage with students and break that gap that chases away students from approaching SRC for any issues. At times, SRC have to ask themselves why do students do that. However, if a platform is prepared by them and it’s very convenient for all of us, this is where all students must seize the opportunity and practice that right in a constructive and respectful manner.
As a great start towards that scenario, students should exercise their right to vote for their representative as all students have an equal share in this and we all have a stake hold. Who you vote is not an issue as long as you do vote or else no matter what you complain about later on either about SRC or management, it will be pointless (cc keyboard warriors). To quote Shakespeare:
“Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing