Diary of an IKEA co-worker

Not many people know this but once upon a time I was an IKEA co-worker. About 8 years ago right after I dropped out of college, I started to look for a job, any job to support my family. I've always been a fan of IKEA home furnishing so I thought I'd like try to look for a job there. Although there's a few vacancy at the store, there's not much to choose from that suit my zero-qualification except for showroom assistant, kitchen helper or a cashier. So I applied for a cashier there and a week later started my first job after college.

When my manager first called me to offer the job, I was delighted. I was jobless for a few months and I had a baby on the way so I was understandably happy that I finally got a job, at a place that I like. Although it was just a lowly cashier, I can't really complain because it's definitely better than no job at all. First day on the job, I was given 3 pairs of uniform and 2 IKEA-branded jeans. I thought it was cool to actually wear jeans to work instead of the usual t-shirt and slacks uniforms like other jobs. Then I went straight to the cash office to start my work.

Working as a cashier wasn't really awe-inspiring or glamorous. I'm sure when your teacher asked you what you'd like to be when you grow, nobody said 'a cashier at a furniture store'. But it's a job and at that time, IKEA paid slightly above market rates for cashiers at that time at RM900 per month. Only today they started to pay RM900 as minimum wage. My job as you might guess is to attend the cash register and check out the goods that people buy. It was a repetitive and boring job. One must check every item at the checkout line carefully as not to miss anything. If you didn't scan an item and got away with that, that's okay. But if your superior finds out then that would spell trouble for you. During my time, we had to pay RM10 for every item that we missed. I don't know how they deal with that now.

Then there's the case of shortages. Yes nobody's perfect, including cashiers but that count for little at work. If your cash amount didn't add up you'll be the one paying for it, literally. It'll come from your meager salary. That's why sometimes you'll see teary-eyed cashiers coming out of the cash office. As a cashier, you are expected to be good with counting and handling money. It's part of your job description. I've had my fair share of shortages although not numerous but it still sucks.

Other than that, I find the work environment and culture at IKEA extremely pleasant. You start your shift early in the morning around 8:00 AM. The store doesn't open until 10:00 AM but you got to come early to count your float money and prepare for stuff. They have a cafe especially for the staffs or co-workers as they like to call us. If you frequent the IKEA restaurant on the first floor, there's actually another dining area especially for co-workers on the opposite side of the kitchen. The entrance for this co-worker restaurant is next to the women's prayer room. There you'll see an exact copy of the regular IKEA restaurant but on a smaller scale. IKEA co-workers get to buy everything on the menu including the day's special at half price. That means, 10 pieces of meatball will cost us 5 ringgit instead of the usual 10. The co-worker restaurant is nice and clean just like the regular restaurant. There's also a smoking room inside the co-worker restaurant where smoking staffs can puff away without harming anybody else. I guess the food at the restaurant is so good that even during fasting months you might find healthy-looking male Malay Muslim co-workers eating there during lunch. Shameful, I know. Although they had no official halal certification I can assure you the food there is quite halal. Most of the cooks are Muslim, including a few managers and they check all their suppliers carefully and only order from halal-certified ones. There was a time when the meatballs that they sell was rumored to be not-halal. The management quickly close down the restaurant to investigate and clean the entire kitchen in the proper Islamic way. About two weeks later, they found out their meatballs is actually halal and the rumors and reports were just rumors. That's how seriously they take their customer's satisfaction and confidence.

There are basically 3 shifts working at IKEA Malaysia, the morning, middle and closing shift. You work five days a week and have two days off where one of them can be on weekends. Apart from full time co-workers, there's also part timers who came in to work from time to time. Part timers are paid by the hour instead of a fixed monthly wages. At IKEA they don''t pay you for overtime, instead every hour that you worked outside your normal shift would be accumulated into leaves. I thought that was pretty cool at first but when I think about it now, it's a pretty clever and cheapskate way to squeeze every seconds of your employee's labor and avoid extra for overtime.

We get pretty much basic industry standard benefits like panel clinics and hospitalization. There's 13th month pay or bonus as you normally call it. Apart from that, there's a little incentive for co-workers every month depending on how much profit the company makes.Co-workers also get to buy everything in the store for 11% off (I think) including AS-IS items and sales item. But since entry-level co-workers make little money in the first place and the products on sale are not exactly cheap, most of us can only afford to buy stuff like once or twice a year.

Holidays are celebrated with decorations and promotions around the store. Christmas is extra special at IKEA and they have special programs and events for this particular holiday. On Christmas day, every staff will be given a present from the company, usually something cheap, under 50 bucks each. When I was there, everybody got a little inexpensive mp3 player each. Since it's free, I can't really complain but somehow I wished they were something more memorable. Leaves are limited (I forgot how many) and you'll have to plan them far in advance. Hari Raya is especially contentious because every Malays staff would like to have a day or two off for that occasion. Usually our manager would rotate who will be granted the day off for Hari Raya. Somehow I was lucky to have 4 days off for Hari Raya that year.

I worked for one and a half year at IKEA in Mutiara Damansara. Like most jobs I've had my fair share of ups and downs, good and bad memories. In my early days, I was pretty pissed when I had to leave the check out counter late in the evening and only got home near midnight. One time after a particularly busy and tiring day at work, I slammed the cash office door on my way out. I'm pretty sure my supervisors remembered that day well because I didn't get any kind of promotion until a year later. I was young and stupid and not very patient back then. Eventually after showing much effort and improvement in my work, I got my much awaited promotion. Although I didn't become a supervisor straight away, my boss gave me the job of assigning and scheduling people for breaks and dinner. That was kind of a promotion because you don't have to open your counter for much of your shift and do supervisory stuff instead. Pretty sad, I know.

The company had an annual dinner event usually at some posh hotel where everybody dress up in their best for the occasion. During my time there the theme was Hollywood Glamor or something and they held the dinner at Le Meriden hotel in Bangsar. The women showed up in their most beautiful dresses while the guys in their best suits and coats. I remember I had to borrow my uncle's coat for the dinner because I'm to poor to buy or rent one. Still I had to say people said I looked different (dashing) in a suit instead of the usual t-shirt and jeans (ahem). We had a proper 5 course meal and performances by artists and some of the co-workers. There was also free flowing beer at the dinner and I can still remember vividly some first time drinkers (read: Malay staff) getting tipsy from the beer. I didn't touch any of course. It was a truly memorable event.

A year and a half into my job though, I started to get disillusioned with my job. During my interview, my boss promised me gradual promotion at work if I did well. I think I did pretty well at work, doing everything that was assigned to me, good attendance and stuff. But when one by one co-workers who are much junior than me started to get promoted while I'm still stuck at my lowly position and wages, I talked to my boss face to face and she coolly said she doesn't remember making such promises. That when I thought it was time to get a new job. Normally one would find and get a new job before quitting their current one. I was so unmotivated to work, I just gave 2 weeks notice to quit my job to my employer even without securing another job. Fortunately I didn't have to wait for long (is 2 months long?) to get my next job which is an IT assistant job in Seri Kembangan.

Working at IKEA Malaysia sure taught me a lot of things. Like how to kiss your boss' ass to get that promotion or win her affection (I didn't do any of that of course). And never to slam the door of your office when you're pissed off at something. Even when you are unsatisfied with something, you've got to be professional and calm in your actions. Losing your cool won't achieve anything and would only harm your reputation and affect your chance for development. I also learn some office politics and how to steer my way through it. I learned how IKEA furniture are made, it's history and company secrets. Well it's not exactly top secret or anything. The key is with their designers who design stuff from the least expensive materials while maintaining quality. They also buy raw materials and product things in huge volume to lower price. And of course everybody knows IKEA infamous flat-packaging and DIY furniture assembly which saves a lot of cost. I also learned how to do the best in everything I do. It has always been my mantra. Do the best in everything you do. Be it a fast-food restaurant crew, a cashier, anything. I was a damn good McDonald's crew and I tried my best to be a good cashier and IKEA co-worker in general and towards the end of my employment there, I think people started to notice too.Be the best in what you do and the recognition and rewards will come sooner or later. And you don't even have to kiss other people's behind in the process. But most of all, the one important lesson that I learned working at IKEA is that I can complain and sulk about my work and life or I can do something about it. That's what I did, something to overcome my unhappiness and look for another job.

Even after 8 years, I still remember fondly at my time at IKEA Malaysia especially since I still frequent that store at least once a month. A few people there would still remember me and say hi while most of my former co-workers that I used to work with had left the company. In fact soon after I left the store, there was a little exodus of co-workers leaving that place. I guess a high turnover rate for a company that size is perfectly normal. The showroom manager during my time there is the Store Manager now which is quite an achievement since they usually hire foreigners for that position. I like the spirit, the energy and the friendliness of the co-workers. There people would say hi every time they meet in the hall or corridor. I love the smell of wood and furniture whenever I enter the building. I like how I can keep my hair for as long as I like. I love the cheap food beautiful showroom. IKEA Malaysia would be a nice place to work if you start from executive level onward. If you start from the bottom, the work is hard, the hours are long and the pay is dirt cheap just like any other entry level positions in the market. That was my experience as an IKEA co-worker

LG Nexus 4

My wife was looking for a new smartphone to replace her broken iPhone a few months ago. As the official geek in the house, I was tasked to find the best smartphone for her. Since a brand new iPhone is way too expensive (RM2k+) our choice is limited to one of those many different Android phones in the market. After doing much research and reading various reviews I came to the conclusion that the LG Nexus 4 is the best value for money smartphone you can buy today.

I've always been an advocate of the Nexus brand of smartphone and tablets as apparent in my purchase and review of the Nexus 7. They're made closely with Google, they get the latest update first and the design and the build quality is excellent. But the most important thing is, it's really affordable at RM1,300 depending on where you buy it. Add another 200 ringgit and you'll get yourself a cool Nexus wireless charger where you could just place your phone on the charger and it'll charge wirelessly, no cable needed.

My first impression of using the Nexus 4; the screen is huge. Not as big as the Galaxy Note but at 4.7" diagonal, the size is just right to hold and tap with one hand. The 3.5" iPhone 4 that I'm so used to hold seems tiny in comparison to the Nexus 4. It's a refreshing change. The screen is made with Corning's tough Gorilla Glass 2 material and so far survived a few drop tests made by our lovely children and my wife herself.

This smartphone comes with 16GB fixed storage and a generous 2GB RAM. It is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor which is comparable to the fastest CPU's in the market today. Playing graphic-intensive games are a breeze with the Nexus 4.

The Nexus 4 comes with a decent 8 Mega-pixel rear camera and 1.3 MP front facing camera. This is where the Nexus 4 comes short compared to the iPhone. Despite boasting 8 MP, the pictures taken with this phone looks pales and washed out compared to the iPhone and especially poor in low-light conditions. Other than that, I have nothing to complain about the Nexus 4.

Other than the camera, I have nothing but good things to say about the Nexus 4. Maybe because it's made by LG or maybe Apple just have the best camera for smartphones so far. If you're looking for a brand new Android smartphone that offers the best value for money, I would highly recommend the Nexus 4. Stay clear of any of those Samsung phones. Most of them, even the S4 comes with bloatware and offers very little storage space (around 4GB). My wife who has been a proud owner of 2 iPhones before is very happy with the Nexus 4. Said it's the best smartphone she'd had so far. Wouldn't trade it for anything.

13th General Election

This general election was touted as the mother of all elections. And rightly so. Right from the moment of the dissolution of parliament up until election day, we were bombarded with campaigning material and propaganda from both the government and the opposition. Although I must say it is an uneven playing field where the incumbent were backed by the might of media, money and government machinery. It has always been that way since as far as I can remember so as much as I find it disgusting, there's not much we can do about it.

The days leading to election day, Malaysians were fed with hateful advertisements from MCA-owned media like The Star and its radio stations. Media Prima TV and radio stations also did their best to paint a rosy picture of the government and manufacture stories about how the opposition is the devil's spawn and voting them will send the country into chaos and economic ruin.

As soon as I found out the election date from the EC, I quickly applied for leave the day after so that I have sufficient time and rest to make the return trip to Kelantan. Just like my first time voting in 2008, I felt so excited in excercising my right to vote. I'm sure millions of other first time voters as well as seasoned one felt the same. From what I read on social media and neutral news portal and website, I've got a good feeling that we may finally have a new alternative government this time round. The amount of people thronging opposition rallies is just incredible. BN sponsored events which were furnished with generous amount of food and other intensives paled in comparison to the ones organized by PR where the crowd came at their own volation and free will. The positive vibes that I received was overwhelming.

The day before the big day, I made my way to my hometown in Pasir Mas to vote. Traffic was clear up until Genting Sempah when it stopped to a crawl all the way to Bentong. Soon I realized that so many people returned to their respective hometown this time around to vote that traffic became worse than Hari Raya. It took me 12 hours to get from KL to Tanah Merah last weekend when it usually take 7-8 hours with regular traffic. Still, no amount of traffic jam could stop me from making my journey home this time around. My voting center is in Pasir Mas but my wife's is in Tanah Merah so we parted ways on the eve of election day. One of the downside of going to far flung places like Pasir Mas was that the Internet connection is abysmal. There was no coverage at all for U mobile while my Tunetalk line could only muster GPRS connection. I felt like I was cut out from the outside world staying in Pasir Mas. I had to have my Internet connection because they are my only source of reliable and unbiased news about the election and pretty much everything else. Surely you don't expect me to watch TV3 right? I'd rather watch Barney non-stop and torture myself than watch that piece of rubbish.

Election day, I started out bright and early to the polling station with my little sister who happens to vote there as well. I can safely say most of my family members and close relatives will be rooting for PR this time around. My mom, a long time staunch and only BN supporter in my family is sight-seeing in Europe at the moment so that's one vote less for them. I got in line around 8:30 AM. They couldn't find my name the first time in the voter's list Only when they looked for my name in the computer database that they found my name. Since I came early and my hometown is not so heavily populated, I finished voting in like 30 minutes. After that I rushed back to Tanah Merah, 30 kilometers away to make sure my wife and in laws made it to their respective polling stations to vote.

Next it was the hard part. Waiting for the election result to come out. Despite intermittent rain in the afternoon, voters turnout for the 13th general election was outstanding. In big towns and populated areas, the lines were so long, they overflowed to the streets. At the end of the day, the official voters turnout tally was 80%, the highest in the country's history. It goes to show that the many Malaysians has became aware that their votes count and by coming out to vote, they will have a say in shaping the future of the country for better or for worse. The results didn't come out until about 8:00 in the evening. Sarawak was the first to find out with BN retaining most of the seats in the east Malaysian state. Despite the corupt ways of BN leaders from both states and recent and previous expose, people of Sarawak and Sabah still decides to give BN another 5 years at the helm of power.

Slowly but surely, other results started to trickle in from all over Malaysia. There were extensive coverage on most major TV channels with many of them being totally biased towards the government and didn't announce opposition victories until late in the evening. Despite a few early count showing results favorable to the opposition, any of them were overtuned when the final tally adds up. There were reports of suspicious black outs and mysterious ballot boxes being ferried into various polling centers and despite official denial from the Election Commission and the government, half the population suspects serious foul play in this general election done by the incumbant.

At around 2:00 AM the next day, it was apparent that PR could only win 89 of the parliamentary seats while BN retained the remaining 133 seats thus maintaining the latter's 57 years of hegemony of the country. Despite acquiring 52% of the popular vote, BN still managed to obtain a simple majority to form the government thanks to gerrymandering. All in all, BN under Najib Razak did even worse than Pak Lah where PR gained7 more seats in Dewan Rakyat and inspite gaining Kedah and retaining Perak and Terengganu, lost more state seats compared to 2008. Today Dr Mahathir proclaimed that Najb's fate will be determined by UMNO members meaning that there's a possibility that he could be overthrown by power-hungry leaders of his own party. Another story that dominated the headlines of UMNO-owned papers today are how Najib is blaming the chinese community for rejecting BN with some UMNO leaders calling the chinese people ungrateful and other racist labels.

The fact is, more than half of the people rejected BN and 25% of them being chinese would mean that the majority of Malaysians regardless of race has favoured PR rather than BN in the recently concluded general election. Today, Najib is trying to divert the blame to the chinese people to save his skin when the truth is, Malaysians have rejected him and his party despite spending billions in instant handouts (read: bribe) and another billion in mass-advertising in all form possible. PR may have failed to form the new government in Putrajaya today but one thing for sure, they had the support of over half of Malaysians. Today concludes the country's 13th general election. Personally I think PR should stop putting all the blame on election fraud and dirty tactics from BN. Sure, there might be truth in all their allegations but the fact remains that many Malaysians still thinks BN is still the better choice to govern this country despite all their shortcomings and corruption. PR should triple their effort in winning the hearts of the rest of Malaysians especially in the rural areas where Internet penetration is still low and their only source of information is from BN-owned media. The fight for Putrajaya in GE 14 starts now, don't give up and rest-assured that we are with you the all the way.

To all undecided voters & my dearest BN supporting friends

In the wake of the coming 13th General Elections, we have witness the onslaught of opinions and views. Many articles, posters, cartoons and videos have been flooding our Facebook news feed, each reiterating points on why we should vote for change or not.

To be honest, much of the stuff on my news feed are pro-change, which basically means a majority of my friends will be voting for an alternative government this coming elections.

But I have noticed a couple of my friends, whom I hold dear and very much respect, to be supporters of BN.

First and foremost, I believe that it is everyone's right to vote for whom they think is worthy and I do not think those who support BN as evil or corrupt. Not at all. I know all of you well enough to know you are decent human beings and this is why we are friends. I have also heard your justifications on why we should give BN a chance and I completely understand where you are coming from.

If I may, I would like to state a few points in hope that I could offer an alternative view. Read with an open mind, my dear friends. I do not need you to agree with me and I will not judge if you don't. We are all entitled to our own views. However, I believe there will be certain things that we will agree on.

On being grateful

Many whom support BN continuously do so because they feel that we should be grateful for what our government has given us. We are given access to education, an economy and a space to thrive, our country is relatively safe compared to that of Cambodia or the Philippines, we have EPF, we are being given BR1M and BR1M2 and we have been a relatively peaceful country for 56 years.

Before I go on to say why I think this is a moot point, let us first understand the role of government. The role of government is to basically do just that, govern. It is to provide us with education, health care, a healthy economy, infrastructure, public safety and to ensure balance and harmony in the nation in which it governs. Obviously, to govern and to ensure all these things are in place, a government would need money. Where does this money come from? Well, yes, us, the people, the Rakyat.

So, very simply, we pay the government money, in the form of taxes every month, to provide us with these things we should be grateful for. Well, I don't know about you, but for me, that's like saying my boss should be grateful to me for coming to work every morning when I'm being paid to do it.

Let's understand one thing. What we currently have; education, health care, EPF and etc, aren't special things that BN has brilliantly thought of for us. EVERY country with a sound and solid government would have all these things in place, otherwise they would be considered failures. The point isn't to be grateful that we have these things, the point is to judge whether our government has done its duty and done all it can to provide us with what we deserve. The answer is no.

Our education system has been failing to produce quality students. Crime rates has escalated so badly that no one dares walk out on the streets alone, even in broad daylight. Our infrastructure are inefficient and badly maintained. Our rural folks have no access to proper health care and basic amenities. The value of our currency has taken a huge plunge in the past 30 years. We are no longer as economically competitive as we were before, with the Philippines and Indonesia fast taking over our position and we are way behind Singapore in, well, everything. In the past 5 years, racial tension has been at a all time high and completely out of control with politicians (i.e Ibrahim Ali and his ilks) spewing racial hatred and offensive statements without getting reprimanded. And lastly, early this year, the Lahad Datu invasion and the unveiling of 800,000 illegal citizenships given to Filipinos and Indonesians in Sabah some 20 years ago.

All our lives, we have been told to be better. We go to school to be better, we study religion to be better versions of ourselves, we work hard to get to a better position in life. It is in our innate nature to want to be better. Therefore, when comparing ourselves to other countries, we can't possibly compare ourselves to countries that are worse off and be grateful that we are not them. It is not about being greedy either. It is about wanting to be better and knowing that there is plenty of room for improvement and insisting upon it. Remember, we pay the government taxes to run the country. We have a right to want it to be better. It is also our duty to ensure that they be better. We owe it to our country. We owe it to our children. We owe it to ourselves.

On Chaos and instability

Many have sited this as the reason for sticking with BN. We fear that there will be riots on the streets and our economy will collapse should the opposition win. But that's not very logical is it? If PR does indeed win the GE13, why on earth would they cause a riot? They have won! So think now, when you think of riots, who then do you think will be causing them? The losing party? BN? If that is so, if you think the party you are supporting would be sore losers and cause a riot thus disrespecting our democratic process, would you still endorse them as fair capable leaders? Is this how we were brought up? Kick up a fuss when we lose? Is this how we would bring our children up? To lose with no integrity?

And as for the collapse in the economy, for many years, our economy has been running on auto-pilot. I for one, do not believe our economy will collapse because I believe in our people. Our economy isn't run by the government. They have a part to play, yes, but WE the people, play a bigger part. We are the building blocks and we are the ones that move the economy. Do you really think banks and MNCs will fail to function once the government changes? No, it won't. Because come 6th May, should there be a change of government, we still have to go back to work! It is still business as usual and everything will function the way it always has. The many great businesses in Malaysia did not happen because of the government. It happened because our people are innovative and hard-working. We made this economy, not our government. We just need a stable space to go about our daily routine. So if BN doesn't kick up a fuss if they lose, deals will still be made, transactions will still happen and trades will still be very much alive. But only if BN doesn't kick up a fuss.

On corruption

As urban folks, it is very easy to forget that in Malaysia, there still exists a huge portion of Malaysians that live in poverty. These folks are so poor that they cannot even afford food. Do we know what it is like to not be able to afford food? I am eternally grateful that I don't. But does this mean that we forget about these people in the kampungs and rural areas and pretend that they do not exist? We are all Malaysians. Why are they still so poor? Why hasn't anything been done to improve their lives? You'd think after being in power for 56 years, BN would have AT LEAST help these people afford food right?

But no, the poor are still marginalised while corruption is rampant within the government. The one thing I fail to understand, my dear friends, is how can you stand by a government so corrupt?

Every year, our Auditor General Report states ridiculous over-spending and yet nothing gets done. RM15,000 for a laptop. RM700 for a calculator. We all know this happens and we all know it is true. It's been so ingrained into our system and yet, we close one's eyes and let it be. We admit that corruption is a real problem in our government but which government isn't corrupt you say?

Well, my dear friends, this is where WE have to change. I believe all of us are upstanding truthful people. This is why we are friends. Now, because we believe in the truth and we believe in what is right, we must reject corruption. We can't allow it to happen nor give any excuse for it to happen. Some of us have children and some of us will have children. Will these be the values and lessons we teach our young?

I know for one that I will instill in my child, lessons of honesty, integrity, fairness and equality. To treat each person with respect and to help those who aren't capable. To always be kind and to be a good person.

If I allow myself to turn a blind eye to corruption and not denounce it, I will be going against everything I believe in. If I support a government that has been so corrupt for 56 years, I am subscribing to those values. How else then would I be able to teach my child the lessons I want him/her to learn? How do I look my child in the eye and teach them the very thing I'm going against by endorsing BN?

Some of us are religious and some of us are not. However, I believe that all of us believe in the same things and have the same values. How do we uphold these values and stay true to our paths while supporting a government that has been desecrating these values for years?

On racism and equality

I am a 3rd generation Malaysian. I've sung Negaraku every Monday for 12 years in school and I know the Rukunegara by heart. All my family is in Malaysia and I do not have any affliations to China. I don't even know how to read and write in Chinese and my Cantonese is atrocious. I only love one country. This country. And if it comes down to it, will only shed blood for one country. This country.

My dear friends, we are the same. It doesn't matter what our ethnicity is. We are Malaysians. We went to the same school. We played the same games. We enjoy the same amount of public holidays. We have the same memories. Most importantly, we share the same home. Neither of us are more Malaysian than the other. Neither of us should be made to feel that way.

Our parents, our grandparents, perhaps their views were marred by differences as they did not grow up together. Perhaps they felt distrust because they were not privileged like us to live in times of better integration. Perhaps they've told us things, from their point of view. But it doesn't make them right. We should know better. We've lived it and we are still living it. We know we can trust each other. We are friends.

My dear friends, if you see me fall, would you pick me up? I am sure you would. How about if you see someone telling me I don't belong here? Would you stand up for me? As friends, we must stand up for each other. If I see someone mistreating you or stripping you of your rights, I would stand by you. This is because we are equals. We do not need BN to tell us we are 1Malaysia. We have been like that for a long long time.

On an alternative government

Many fear that PR would be no better. To be completely honest, I do not have an answer for this. I do not know if PR will be the solution to a better government. I do not know if they would indeed bring change upon Malaysia. What I do know is that we desperately need check and balance in this country. To have the same government rule for 56 years is not healthy. Let us use logic to analyse this. If you are the government and you have been in power for 56 years, wouldn't you become complacent? If you know you'll win every single time, would you try as hard? It is human nature to take things for granted and BN has taken things for granted. It has forgotten the role it is supposed to play.

We need this change because we need to restore the democratic process in our country. We need the power to shift back to the people. We need the government to fear the people and not otherwise. This is because only through fear would any government be kept on its toes and do its job well. We know what it is like to have a really scary boss. We naturally do a better job because we'd otherwise be fired. It is the same logic.

Power needs to be shifted back to the people. If we manage to change the government, we would have won half the battle. We would then know that we can pick whoever that is best to run the country. If this does happen, we can easily boot PR out after 5 years if they do a bad job and elect BN again if they prove to be better.

Think of this as helping BN to change. BN will not change if we still give it power to rule after being so inefficient for so long. They can promise us a lot of things and that they will change but we have given them 12 chances to change already. If we boot them out this time, they would have to restructure themselves and compete really hard to win the hearts of the people. Perhaps then, we would see better policies and better governance. Perhaps then, we would have two strong parties for us to pick. And perhaps then, we could have intellectual debates about policies and plans instead of the fear mongering and racial scare tactics we see in our election campaigns today. If we manage to change our political landscape to one which is that, then we, the Rakyat, would have won. Malaysia would be restored.S

So my dear friends, please know that I am not voting for a change for the sake of it. I am doing this for you and me and our future. I envisage a Malaysia that is much better than the current Malaysia. I know our country has so much potential and I want it to be so much better. This is because I know it can be better.

I hope you have read this with an open mind and I hope you will give it some thought. If you know me, you know that I am not an extremist or a radicalist. I am just your ordinary Malaysian person who wants this country to be better.

Just like you.

by Amelia Tan

Original link