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.