The First Time

Roughly a year ago, I remember feeling a bit upset and angry. I was filing my taxes, and looking at the amount I had to pay, I wished that there was more granularity in the income tax bracketing system. But even so, I didn’t feel upset.

What made my anger start to simmer was when I learnt that, as a tax paying citizen, I wasn’t allowed to vote (at the time). Postal voting was only allowed for Malaysians studying overseas and civil servants posted abroad.

Rumours of election day had already been flying about then. Many were predicting it to be in September or in the fourth quarter of the year. Unofficial campaigning had begun in some parts of the country. After the surprise outcome of the previous General Election, the upcoming election was something everyone, regardless of their political alliances, was eyeing nervously. Many new voters had registered over the past couple of years, including myself.

So you can imagine my disappointment and frustration when I learnt that I wouldn’t be able to vote. I was appalled because I was doing my duty in paying taxes, but could not exercise the right to choose my representative in government. I was baffled because the policy, for whatever reason, seemed too simplistic and not well thought out.

For months I sulked at the injustice of it all.

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