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VOTING is an important process that can determine a country’s future. The right to cast a vote is precious. Not all countries grant their citizens the privilege to vote and choose their leaders and government.

The right to vote is a fundamental aspect of democratic societies, one that remains an aspiration for individuals residing in non-democratic nations.

Malaysians should be grateful that they are living in a democratic country, and should value their right to vote.

Voters should not take their votes lightly as every vote can determine the fate of the country for years to come.

As responsible citizens, it is imperative to approach the voting process with the gravity it deserves.

Voting provides a way for citizens to have their voices heard, influence policy making and endorse representatives.

Voting is a great opportunity to effect positive change within our communities and country. It is one of the most effective tools for expressing our viewpoints and offering suggestions for alternative approaches.

If we aspire to make changes in the country, we must exercise our voting rights in order to have constructive impact.

Individuals who abstain from voting relinquish their privilege to voice grievances or opinions regarding government matters or the state of affairs of the country.

Voting also brings people together, transcending various barriers, such as cultural, economic, social and geographical differences.

We can amplify the value of our rights by participating on election day.

Voters should regard voting as a source of pride and honour as it is an opportunity bestowed upon individuals aged 18 or older by the Federal Constitution.

Voting is an investment for the future. It holds the power to mould the nation. Our decisions today will shape the country’s direction, making voting imperative, not only for our future but also for that of our offspring.

Furthermore, voting serves as the bedrock for upholding democracy and securing accountability. By participating in elections, we actively contribute to the vitality of democratic principles.

The Election Commission is entrusted with adhering to the legal procedures established to safeguard the integrity of elections. This meticulous process is designed to ensure the security of our voting procedures.

In addition, voters should exercise prudence in their voting choices. It is crucial to engage in thoughtful deliberation before casting a vote, ensuring that the chosen candidate possesses the competence to effectively fulfil the duties and responsibilities of his/her role as a representative.

Voters should refrain from supporting candidates whom they perceive as incapable of fulfilling their duties and responsibilities, and who are not suited for the role of a representative.

Regrettably, Malaysians have frequently encountered news stories concerning representatives who exhibit poor conduct or subpar performance. These instances of unprofessional behaviour ought to serve as a stark reminder to all voters to exercise caution and discernment when casting their votes.

The writer is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Syariah and Laws, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia. Comments: