Several ‘Blackout505’ rallies in protest of the election result are no doubt quite a success. At least the Opposition Leader can claim legitimacy to continue his struggle to become the Prime Minister of Malaysia because it seems ‘the rakyat has said so’.
The stated objective of the rallies is to reject the outcome of General Election because the government of the day can only garnered 47% support from the people. Because of that, democracy in Malaysia seems to be dead. But is it fair to paint democracy in Malaysia is dead simply because the ruling party has lost popular votes? If first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting system adopted by Malaysia is considered undemocratic, so does United Kingdom.
Is Malaysia an undemocratic country as claimed by the detractors? I think not.
Looking at election result alone may allow ourselves to be biased due to partisan view. It should be noted that democracy is also about freedom to speak, to assemble and to associate.
It is common nowadays whenever people have something to grouse, they will go straight to the Prime Minister, even if the matter is about water disruption in their area. Why don’t they seek solution to the relevant authorities is still a mystery. Sometimes they held the government to ransom and demand this and that. Obviously the current weak and unpopular government has no choice but to bow down to the demand.
Where can you find a country the civil servants can threaten and forced the government to make a U-turn about the new salary scheme that was purely intended to revamp the bloated and inefficient civil servants?
Only in this country, the government education policy can be sabotaged by the stakeholders. The inconsistency of PPSMI is very telling.
Worse is, some government secret and private information can be leaked by the officials.
The corporate deal like share swap can be rescinded due to the strong pressure from workers union.
Genuine foreign investor namely those in rare earths business has been put under Parliament Select Committee’s (PSC) scrutiny because of public uproar.
Here, politicians are free to switch camps- jumping from one to another without the law forbids it. This happened if they no longer hold the same view with the party they represented.
It is in Malaysia that someone who made fun of the national anthem; or made seditious comments about flying the national flag upside down; or undermining a national Olympic hero; can walk freely without being prosecuted.
In fact, Malaysian has also freely spit vulgarities against their own Royalties, Prime Minister and their families.
One should wonder whether such is possible in the “greatest democracies in the world” such as USA, UK, India, Indonesia … or Singapore?
Looking at reasons stated above, it is obvious Malaysians are free to speak, to assemble and to associate albeit these rights are not absolute. Thus, it can be said that democracy is very much alive.
Is democracy dead in Malaysia? Ask yourself.