#UndiRosak is gaining popularity among young Malaysians – but not everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon

A voter has his finger painted with ink during the general elections in 2013.
Reuters

#UndiRosak is the new black, at least among Malaysia’s social media users today.

The hashtag, which literally means ‘spoiled votes’, has become the top trending item across multiple platforms such as Twitter and Facebook in the past few days.

Whether its success online translates to a real influence among the voting public is yet to be seen, but for now, its supporters seem happy with the results of their efforts.

At a forum held on Thursday (Jan 25), supporter Hafidz Baharom decribed the movement as “successful”, Malay Mail reported.

Another panelist, Maryam Lee, was quoted by the news website as saying that spoiled votes are voters exercising their rights to tell the contending parties that they were being boycotted.

“Spoiling your votes is exercising your voting rights and telling Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional that we don’t like the both of you,” Lee was quoted by Malay Mail as saying.

According to Free Malaysia Today, Lee said she supported the #UndiRosak effort because she was against having former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the next prime minister.

But despite this confidence, the movement has also irked many politicians and voters across the nation, with some calling its purpose childish and “shallow-minded”.

Many, like MCA Youth chief Datuk Chong Sin Woon, believe that it is unwise to spoil one’s vote in an important election.

It is better to cast a vote because otherwise, others will decide for you,” he was quoted by The Star as saying.

Pakatan Harapan’s candidate Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that boycotting the elections would prove “shallow-minded”, and stressed that a change in Malaysia’s political scene was needed.

“If we didn’t need a change, I wouldn’t be bothered with this because I’m 92 going on 93,” The Star quoted the former prime minister as saying.

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) supreme council member Tariq Ismail also spoke out against the movement in a strongly worded message on his Facebook page.

He wrote: “A bunch of spoilt brats crying over spilt milk whilst over the dinner table they don’t like the food and instead asks the host to cook a meal they want with the intent to spoil the mood of everyone.

He added: “Complain, complain, complain. The fact that you are on social media you are far far far away from the realities of this country’s needs. If one wishes to or not to vote, that is one’s right.”