Just as Barisan Nasional still asks itself how it is to “tackle” 7 million youth for the next General Election especially the 62% who “sit on the fence”, Malaysiakini reports that LoyarBurok has already hatched a voter education campaign to assist the rakyat in making better informed choices. LoyarBurokker Edmund Bon spoke about the plan at a forum recently and urged members of civil society (as well as prospective funders) to come forward to support the campaign.


27 July 2010

Law community to educate voters for next GE

Edmund Bon speaking about LoyarBurok's voter education campaign

The civil society should start preparing and educating the rakyat for the next general election so that they can make informed choices, said law blog Loyarburok spokesperson Edmund Bon.

Speaking at the Media Legal Defence Training programme last week, Bon said that the civil society should work together to educate voters to base their choice on core community and national issues rather than voting purely for party personalities or ad hoc election promises.

“Voters should be discussing the issues that affect them and their livelihood, rather than electing some personalities or party through ‘bribery’,” he told Malaysiakini.

Bon explained that loyarburok.com – a blog by lawyers and law students – is planning to establish a movement to further educate voters on how to vote.

“Now political parties are just trying to get voters registered, but they do not educate them on the next step. For example, how to vote and the questions and issues that they should raise with the candidates,” he added.

For example, he said, we should ask the candidates on their plans to eradicate corruption.

“Most importantly we need to teach them how to read the national budget, as the people should understand how our money was spent,” he said.

The campaign

Targeting the young

Bon (left) said that the most effective tool for this project would be through the new media.

They are planning to release 24 short videos, DVDs and a fanzine for a whole year hoping that it will reach at least 50 percent of the target group aged 16 to 30 years old.

“The campaign will be run by lawyers, law students and activists online and on the street,” he said, adding that they are still looking for prospective funders to channel half a million ringgit to run the campaign.

All members of the civil society should come forward and join us in this campaign, he urged.

He stressed that this campaign is not politically driven, and should not have any political agenda or influence, saying that it is purely to educate voters.

“I think it’s high time that Malaysian voters become more mature and issues-driven when casting their next vote.”

“We want to push the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat politicians further, as they are not doing enough for the people,” he said.

LB: Malaysiakini’s Chinese section reported a similar story on 23 July 2010 here. Would you be interested in this idea of our time, something which we have not seen happen before? Please render your suggestions on the campaign/movement in our comments section below including the preferred name of the initiative and how best the community should implement the same. Let’s rock!

7 replies on “LoyarBurok to Educate Voters for Next General Election”

  1. I guess it comes down to content which will make the programme/workshop/roadshow work better. But not sure myself how we can avoid being influential about parties. Everything seems to be interlinked – if we say, look, our education system is down the drain and they just cut the budget for it again, people will ask (if not think to themselves), oh so err, problem BN ka? And that's if they are even aware there's a problem in the education system. If we say, look, crime is on the rise and the police aren't able to keep a lid on it, they might say, eh, ok, problem BN lagi? 'ni orang nak hentam BN ka? Anyway, I'm not sure it's a bad thing either if they come to this conclusion on their own.

    But I did think that since things like candlelight vigils seem to be disallowed in our paranoia-driven country, maybe it's good to seek out innocent victims of the ISA, record their stories on camera and turn those into quick filmlets, then bring the victims along to the roadshows and ceramahs. Or do posters of the 10, 000 people who have been caught but not charged. Get photographers to shoot EACH and EVERYONE of them into portraits, turn it into an art exhibition, where entrance fee goes into funding for other activism work.

  2. Sacrifice creature comforts and masuk to the deepest, remotest parts of Malaysia to hold our roadshows/talk/forum programme.

    I'm serious.

  3. Halo folks,

    Most happy to hear of your plan to do voter education to prepare for coming elections. Some of the effort by Sarawak Road Shows can be found here: http://sarawaknews.wordpress.com

    looking forward to possible collaboration to provide voter education to those most in need of them!

  4. A great step, and very timely. As for the name, it should be something short and catchy. In the national language & English if necessary. And reflect the fact that its their own future they're caring for. Like Malaysia Milik Ku! / MalaysiaKu!, etc. (Malaysia Is Mine!)

    Also, maybe a voter-get-voter campaign. Each voter who joins this campaign makes a pledge to recruit and educate/expose another five unregistered/new voters by 2011. And those five pledge to do the same.

    Facebook can be a valuable tool here.

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