Friday, January 12, 2007

50 years is a long time....

In a Parliamentary democracy which we inherited, there are clear divisions of government. The 3 main divisions intent on keeping law and order and to ensure that the law is respected irregardless of position in government are the Executive, the Judiciary and the House of lawmakers or Parliament.

In Malaysia, we have improvised the system by making the concept of separation of powers less and less clear. A single party system in government for the last 50 years and with almost half of those 50 years under the authoritarian leadership of Dr Mahathir have slowly but surely usurped the powers of the Parliament and Judiciary. Over the last 22 years, Dr Mahathir’s vision to achieve a developed nation status by 2020 have sought to remove whatever was in his way. Unfortunately whatever was in his way was often the system of checks and balance put in place to ensure accountability in government.

Today, we suffer its consequences. Leaders in government do as they please and a sense of anarchy and lack of rule of law exist. Dr Mahathir himself sees the indicipline and the problems which now exist but it was he who tore down the accountabilities that were in place. From the recent murder of a Mongolian woman with a hint of scandal linked to the ruling elite and to the involvement of the Executive’s family members in business and government including all the various accusations of corruption and election improprieies, money politics etc. exist solely because we have lost all forms of checks and balance necessary in government.

50 years is too long! In order for the rakyat to restore their rightful power there must be the opportunity for all opposition parties (BN included since they are technically “opposition” when Parliament dissolves) to prove their capabilities. As such opposition parties must be looked upon not just as a watchdog but “Government in waiting”.

I was in a taxi and the taximan said there can never be any change. BN will be in power forever and ever. I said Why? There is no where in the constitution that says so. Its just that we have never had the opportunity to think that way.

1 comment:

Bea said...

Well written article.