Why restoring the basics of democracy is urgently needed

All levers of power, government institutions, and check and balance mechanisms must be restored as comprehensive solutions are needed to fix this country.

By TK Chua

Looking at the events unfolding each day in our country, I think we have serious issues on our hands. It does not matter who our next prime minister will be or which political coalition will be leading the country, I think the lessons learned and the reforms needed must be contemplated by all Malaysians starting from now.

Why do we think government leaders can commit grave wrongs with impunity? Why do we think they can cover-up and sweep every wrong under the carpet? Why do we think they can manipulate all levers of power in the government and galvanise certain people to support them blindly? Why do we think we need foreign governments to probe into the wrongdoings allegedly committed by our own leaders?

Some may think this is solely the fault of our PM. But I think the problems we face are bigger than that. No doubt, the PM does play a part but the nation and its governing system cannot simply assign the fault to one person, neither can they depend on the “goodness” of one man. We need a revamp of our constitution and governing system to bury dictatorial tendencies once and for all.

What are the causes of our problems today? If I may venture – it is total consolidation of power in the hands of one person; his unbounded control over our national coffers, his sole discretion in key civil service appointments and dismissals, his pervasive control over other branches of government and his final say over investigations and prosecutions. There is no resemblance of any form of democracy left except in name only.

If we think another leader or another political coalition is going to rescue Malaysia from this crisis or lead us into a vibrant, progressive and forward-looking nation, I suggest we think again. We need to restore the basics of our democracy and any leader or political coalition taking over must do this first and foremost. All levers of power, government institutions and check and balance mechanisms must be restored, with no exception.

We, the people must demand and jealously guard these basics. There shall be no grace period for any leader or political coalition to dilly-dally on this. We, the people must always remember that dictatorial tendencies are natural and inevitable; power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Do not just talk religion and morality because that alone cannot stop abuses of power and corruption, unless the people take an active interest in the business of government.

Why restoring the basics of democracy is urgently needed
September 25, 2015 – FMT


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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
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