Monday, February 20, 2006

Who hijacked democracy in Malaysia?

Submitted to Malaysiakini but never made it

It is funny to hear people say that Anwar Ibrahim will never have a chance at being Prime Minister outside of UMNO. It is even funnier to hear people say that we should be grateful for our government. In Malaysia, we have only seen one political party in government and as a result we the people do not understand the fundamentals of democracy and our parliamentary system.

We have not realized that we, the people elect the government to serve and to uphold the constitution of the country. We are fearful to understand what may lie ahead should we ever have a change in government. However, a mature democracy ensures the right of the people to change governments according to the majority of the people. The US alone had a republican in office in 1980 (the same time as Dr Mahathir), a democrat in 1992 and now a republican again in 2000. We not only had the same government we had the same leader in that 20 year span! This is nothing really to be proud off. By having a change in government, it puts the onus on the government and his leader to perform. To govern with the highest calling of his office.

The opposition in Malaysia in the last 2 decades have been seen as subversive elements and many have been arrested under the Internal Security Act. A threat to national security it seems. Now, our Dr Mahathir says it is not good to have too weak an opposition. In the UK, the opposition is known as Her Majesty’s Opposition party. They are recognized as government in waiting.

It is not impossible therefore for Malaysia who claims parliamentary democracy to have a change in government one day for the mark of a mature democracy is smooth transition of power. This is only possible if the police and the Royal Malaysian army and armed forces and civil services understand their role as civil servants in nation building and protecting the constitution. The result of almost 5 decades of rule is the blurriness between BN the political party and the seat of government which is an elected office. The blurriness extends to the civil servants who see themselves as BN officers rather than the Malaysian government.

We must educate our young on the freedom of choice and with it comes the responsibility of electing a government that truly upholds and protects the freedom of all Malaysian people through the rule of law and ensures the sacredness of the Constitution of Malaysia.

So it should never be said that it is impossible for Anwar Ibrahim to be Prime Minister. He who says that, says democracy is dead in Malaysia. That our election is a farce and the rakyat will never have a say. I would like to believe that elections in Malaysia is free and fair and that any party can one day hold office in government and on the flip side any government who fails to protect the constitution and the Malaysian people by protecting their rights could be removed from government.


ndyeow said...

it will normally take some kind of serious situation to cause people to "seemingly" take the risk of voting in the opposition. It was supposed to have come about with the "awakening" of the masses with the Anwar incident but unfortunately, the groundswell ws insufficient.

History has shown that by the time sufficient people realise that the situation is bad, it is normally quite late in the day.... unless you have someone at the top who realises that changes have to be made of the good of the people... yeah, like that's going to happen in my lifetime!

Meng said...

Thank you nd for your comment. I am beside first entrant!! Thank you.

I am a little bit more optimistic about the Malaysian political scene, partly because the ruling coalition is in a bit of a pickle now.

Was it not the Orange revolution in Ukraine and other nations where the ruling government who have been there for decades (perhaps since independence) were finally replaced by the people through the ballot box.

The question is whether the police and the army will rspect the constitution by honoring the results of a general election should an opposition party win.


Les, I am of more or like the same opinion of nd. Reason. Yes, orange revolution and all did work. Was Ukraine one race one country ? And if yes, do you not think the ukranians are allowed to be a bit more outspoken both in temperament and dialogue. What % are we as a nation where we see ourselves as voiciferous and outspoken. Maybe a high percentage you say, maybe not. Are we allowed to speak most of the time with/without discretion ?

And for decades you say. Maybe we need to start with the first step to achieving those decades. I doubt we are anywhere near one first step.

We can be optimistic, I'm sure the rest of the guys in the country are, even I am. But question is are we realistic ? What form of framework then are heading for ? Is there total transparency in the so-called framework ? Economic sustainability is a framework ? Or is it not ?

I have little knowledge on the depths of the political scenes in and around the ruling/opposition party. All I know is that if chosen to run a country, please motivate people first and run it well. Elections and ballots are sheer forms of power ousting which I think may only be necessary if we have iron hand rule in the likes of Iraq. At the moment, I think we are still juggling balls in the air without knowing which ball we really want.

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