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Dec 30, 2007

Why fear greater democracy?

via aliran.com

The levels of corruption in all areas of life are evident and marked. The judiciary is in a shambles; the police, customs and immigration departments are reeling from serious questions of credibility. The only option now seems to be to register a strong protest vote at the next general election, urges K Haridas.

Living in Malaysia where ethnicity, religion and culture continually interface, we are not devoid of issues that germinate tensions. The challenge, however, is to ensure that these issues are addressed. This could be done using several methods, some quietly off the media hype and others more publicly.

After 50 years of independence, the fact that we have not become a banana kingdom, the fact that we have thrived economically and have democratic institutions, ultimately says some things.

Nevertheless, what we could have become is still a far cry from where we are presently. It is therefore not appropriate to sit on our laurels and to say that all is well and that dialogue will foster goodwill. This seems inadequate to many Malaysians.

Rampant corruption

It is a measure of success to become an economically vibrant nation. But if this is not matched by a more transparent, accountable and resilient democracy, then it breeds corruption, injustice and inequality. Our problems are compounded by the fact that we have had the same political party basically in power all through these fifty years.

It has been the notion of ‘stability’ that has kept the social contract between the different ethnic groups viable. For want of peace and stability, we have given in to corruption and injustice. We have reached a tipping point where to do so continually for many is to betray their deepest convictions. |more...|


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