What Malaysians want in 13GE is not a revolution but a normal democracy where peaceful transition of power at national level is accepted by Najib, UMNO and all stakeholders

Yesterday, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad questioned the “clamour by some quarters to push for a revolution to topple the government when the latter was already giving a lot of priority to the people’s interests”.

In a forum entitled “Discussions with a statesman – The commitment of graduates will be a catalyst for national progress” at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Mahathir said there was no necessity for Malaysians to act outside of the law to topple the government as Malaysia had a democratic system that was much better than many countries affected by the “Arab Spring”.

Mahathir is in his classic and irresponsible self spouting perverse illogic, deliberately and mischievously couching the present phase of the democratic battle in Malaysia in misleading and tendentious context by invoking the images of bloodshed, chaos, violence and riots by referring to “a push for a revolution to topple the government”.

Only very recently, there was the monstrous lies about the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28 as a “coup attempt by the Opposition to topple the government” when hundreds of thousands of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, class, region, age or gender gathered peacefully in a common national cause for a clean election for a clean Malaysia, armed at most with salt and water mineral bottles to defend themselves against irresponsible police firing of tear gas and chemically-laced water cannons.

But whether on April 28 or in the run-up to the next general election, there is no “push for a revolution” in Malaysia.

Let it be spoken, loud and clear, that what Malaysians want in the 13th General Election which the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has kept postponing is not a revolution but a normal democracy where peaceful transition of power at the national level is accepted by Najib, UMNO and all stakeholders.

Najib is clearly very upset by a recent article in the Canadian daily The Globe and Mail which has categorized him as a “false democrat”, putting him in the same league as the world’s autocrats.

The article by award-winning journalist Mark Mackinnon entitled “A 21st-century checklist of the new autocrats” categorises autocrats into four groups – false democrats, mad egotists, violent populists and callous capitalists.

Najib is put into the first category, together with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The ‘ex-members’ of the club are former Yugoslavia president Slobodan Milosevic and former Egypt president Hosni Mubarak.

This is Mackinnon’s description of the “false democracies”:

*Key characteristics: They hold elections but have no intention of giving up power. Serious political rivals are jailed and their parties are outlawed on legal technicalities. Mr. Putin’s spin doctors call it “managed democracy” – giving voters the appearance of choice while ensuring they have very little to choose from on election day.

*Reason for hope: Because they allow the trappings of democracy – opposition parties, some independent media, the very process of going through an election every few years – these false democracies create the possibility of change. Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Mubarak were ousted because citizens used the political space allowed them in a false democracy. Russia’s opposition has similarly been on the advance over the past seven months. The next election in Malaysia promises to be interesting.

*Reason for despair: False democracies give the impression of being freer than they really are, which means they rarely face the kind of international pressure that the really nasty regimes get.

The question at issue in the 13th General Election is not whether there will be “a revolution to topple the government”, as the answer is a clear and unequivocal “No”.

The Pakatan Rakyat parties of DAP, PAS and PKR are fully committed to the ballot box as the sole avenue for political and democratic change. The 13GE will be the 11th general elections for the DAP in over four decades and the history and record of the DAP is unswerving commitment to the democratic and constitutional process to effect political change.

The real question at issue in the 13GE is whether Najib and UMNO are equally committed to see Malaysia mature as a normal democracy where change of the federal government through the ballot box is accepted as a healthy democratic process and not one to invite threats of violence, bloodshed, chaos, riots or coups.

A week ago, I had asked Najib to declare publicly whether he is prepared to accept the verdict of the electorate to ensure a peaceful transition of federal government if Pakatan Rakyat wins the next general election.

It is significant that at the post-UMNO Supreme Council press conference last Friday, Najib studiously avoided answering this question when it was posed by the press.

The question Malaysians and the world are asking is whether Najib is a “false democrat”, who “hold elections but have no intention of giving up power”.

This is why Najib cannot continue to evade the question – whether he is prepared to make a public pledge that he and UMNO would freely and democratically accept the verdict of the national electorate in the 13th general election and that he would ensure a peaceful transition of the federal government if this is the will of the voters?

  1. #1 by monsterball on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 - 6:25 pm

    Mahathir is famous to talk what he and his rogues will do…accusing others so that when such an event takes place, he and his band …. will not be blamed.
    You can say he is a good chess player..but a dirty cunning crooked player… he is.
    So take his comment as a prelude for what Najib must do with his plans.
    Once you know that…then all will fizzled out and backfired..
    This is the sign of his bugle call for battle Freedom Fighters against so call
    “Patriots” where only racists and MCA shoe shine boys will believe him.

  2. #2 by Loh on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 - 6:47 pm

    ///This is why Najib cannot continue to evade the question – whether he is prepared to make a public pledge that he and UMNO would freely and democratically accept the verdict of the national electorate in the 13th general election and that he would ensure a peaceful transition of the federal government if this is the will of the voters?///–Kit

    Najib said that the question was hypothetical and so he chose not to answer. Najib meant to say that it is hypothetical that the GE 13 would be conducted. Thus, it was possible that Najib might find another way to continue taking power as head of government instead of trying to win in an election he had no confidence of winning.

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 - 7:04 pm

    If my memory is correct, only 2 or 3 days ago, Najib used the phrase “protect Putrajaya with all cost” in his speech at a gathering. I wonder what he meant by “with all cost”.

  4. #4 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 - 8:06 pm

    In their mind Mahathir and Najib think their scare-mongering and hate selling is merely just their normal course of business-as-usual to stay in power. Scare mongering and hate-selling is not new to them.

    But in reality its unprecedented fraying of nerves on their part. What is different is that they have never done this under so much glare of connected media with an audience that has so much information at their fingertip. All its showing is that they are losing it – desperate, scared out of their minds.

  5. #5 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 - 9:33 pm

    Empires rise and fall; leaders come and go. Nothing is perpetual in life. Najib must face up to such stark reality.

  6. #6 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 - 9:38 pm

    Mahathir – Mubarak – Mugabe – Mussolini :
    what do they have in common?

  7. #7 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 - 9:47 pm

    Errrr are we looking at a loose screw, jib?

  8. #8 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 - 1:55 am

    GE13 will NOT be held so soon or at all!
    NR just wants 2 b merry, go overseas as often as possible, n spend, spend, spend with his char bor like there is NO 2MORO
    He believes in D Maya calendar, NO MORE worries after 21 Dec 2012!

  9. #9 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 - 6:27 am

    By the way, it is time Malaysia ‘sells’ or ‘leases’ Bank Negara to Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary. BN and UMNO is selling ‘almost’ everything to him; why not sell the Central Bank also so that this Syed can then pay for everything else by printing money. No need to borrow anything from commercial banks lah. Apa susahnya. It’s only a political decision by UMNO and BN. And Mahathir will simply say, I think: I have no objections.

    This must be the Economic Transformation Program Najib and Idris Jala are talking about.

  10. #10 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 - 6:34 am

    USA tried solving its economic woes by QE 1, QE II and now thinking of QE 3! Well, QE, in full, Quantitative Easing, is the euphemism for printing money.

    Ahem, now Najib and BN might as well solve Malaysia’s economic woes by privatising the Central Bank – sell Bank Negara Malaysia in a negotiated tender to Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukary for just RM1 and let him take care of all the deficits. Then this Syed can just go to the printing room and print all the Ringgit he needs for whoever wants it and pays for all Malaysian debts and so on and so forth.

    Wow! Then Malaysia would be one up on USA-lah. After all, Malaysia sentiasa Boleh, man!

  11. #11 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 - 6:50 am

    The issue here is reasonableness of expectations. Knowing that electoral playing field is not level and how Bersih’s demands have been stonewalled – knowing also the way huge sums of money is used to make everyone (from Felda settlers to taxi drivers) happy- is it reasonable to hope in the first place for BN to lose in the GE? Even if one says the unexpected can occur, however judging from flip flop that has happened so far, it is reasonable to expect Ah Jib Gor to have the clout to control or mandate to presently commit on behalf of the political elites presently in power on what they will do if the GE went awry against BN? Do they listen to him? Even if he answers “yes” now (let alone he has maintained ‘elegant silence’ so far) do you trust his words? Is it reasonable to compare Ah Jib Gor to Nicolas Sarkozy or Malaysia (which has a problem even selling sand) to France? Is it reasonable to expect a false democracy of more than 50 years to suddenly act as a mature and true democracy guided by the ballot box? Pak Lah once described us “1st class infrastructure 3rd world Mentality”. Has any regime change ever happen orderly and fairly via the ballot box in third world countries??? Is it reasonable to expect so? These are the questions!

  12. #12 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 - 8:44 am

    Topple gobermen. Tu yg si crazyO’mamak takutkan.

    Topple gobermen. That means what? No gobermen after that? This is the issue. And umno has it screwed in its head that umno will be gobermen for eternity and gobermen will be umno for eternity. Jadi kalau umno di topple-kan pasti no more gobermen in malaysia. Is this what crazyO’mamak fears (btw jib prefers to call him ‘loose screw’). Dont worry. Kerajaan pasti masih ada. Kerajaan ni kepunyaan Agung. Kakitangan kerajaan semuanya “his majesty’s loyal servants”. They will continue to exist to function and to serve the country. Yg tukar tu cuma the ruling parti politik. Instead of BN aka umno, malaysia will hv PKR.

    So apa u cakap crazy?

  13. #13 by PoliticoKat on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 - 9:25 am

    I disagree, what malaysians are asking for in G13 is a revolution on par with Arab spring.

    Why do I say this? Look at the political reality of Malaysia. BN has ruled Malaysian since the day it was born. BN has never been in the opposition. In fact for most of the 60 years that BN has ruled it has done so with 2/3 majority allowing it to admen the constitution (which it has done once every year on average)and push any and all laws as it likes.

    There is no debate in Malaysian politics. It is BN’s way or the highway (often in a small prison cell under ISA detention)

    I would not be at all surprised that many BN politician see their office as theirs. The people’s vote is just a rubber stamp for the power that is they own.

    Thus the idea that they may lose power during a vote (which has been mere formality in decades past) is revolutionary.

    “You mean I can lose?” They would say. “You mean I have to give up my place of power?” This is why they will defend Putrajaya with broken bodies.

    We aren’t really dealing with a democratic government. It wears the clothes of one but it think and acts like something else.

  14. #14 by Loh on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 - 10:25 am

    If Najib believes that he can live to serve two more terms, then he should remove all the rules and regulations that could benefit the incoming government ministers, in gaining unfair advantage. He should also remove all those government regulations which are against the people. Legalized corruption and negotiated tenders should go. That way, he would deprive the Pakatan Rakyat government of simply removing BN policies and gain instant fame. Then Pakatan Rakyat will have to work hard to prove that the people are better the next five years than before it took over. That way, a reformed BN without the race-based parties MCA and MIC and UMNO could possible make a come back.

    Najib cannot hope to change the feeling of hated people have against the government brought about by Mamakthir’s institutionalized corrupt practices. Mamakthir is even now calling the shots.

    Najib should plan for a comeback in a GE 14. But it is most likely that after postponing GE 13 to March 2013, Najib suddenly felt that there was no need for election. His father pointed the way decades ago.

  15. #15 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 28 June 2012 - 2:02 am

    In other words Najib / BN have to gracefully yield power if they lose GE 13 first in order to revamp/re-invent as viable opposition to Pakatan Rakyat (in Federal Power), get rid of all vestiges of Mahathir legacy of patronage in order to purge off the people’s hatred, and thereafter make a come back based on inclusive and not ethnocentric platform in GE 14, on a more permanent basis….One of the reasons why they won’t buy this idea of a come back in GE 14 is that they think that PR, once ensconced in federal power, will be going after them for corruption etc.

  16. #16 by PoliticoKat on Thursday, 28 June 2012 - 10:46 pm

    I quite agree.

    The long term survival of BN is on rebuilding itself into a credible opposition.

    But as most senior BN politician are corrupted, they risk jail time. So they are not willing to be in the opposition.

    I believe it is upto BN’s youth members who are not yet so steeped in corruption to take the lead. This would be rather nice for such ambitious young people. All their old folks get removed and they can fill their shoes.

    No interest like self interest.

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