Jun 15: An exhortation on the ‘limitations’ of democracy by Dr Mahathir Mohamad during a recent speech in Manila has only laid bare the mindset behind the actions of his administration and subsequent leaders of Barisan Nasional, according to Kuala Selangor member of parliament Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
“It is now further confirmed that Mahathir was a dictator hiding in the garb of democracy which he so despises, and this contempt was out in the open in Manila!” said Dzulkefly.
The PAS research head said Mahathir’s speech gave the clearest glimpse to his audience why the former prime minister and others trapped in his legacies had embraced draconian laws to curtail the people’s freedom.
“So the people can now know why Tun M and UMNO-BN need these adjustments to the ‘laws’ during their two-third majority rule,” said Dzulkefly.
BN LEGACIES … Dzulkefly says Mahathir and others trapped in his legacies justify draconian laws through their distortion of democracy
He said Mahathir’s propagation of a ‘tweaked’ democracy ‘suited to the condition’ only showed his ignorance of the subject.
“Tun M will forever remain ignorant about democracy and can never find enlightenment about democracy.
“His view that democracy should be ‘adjusted’ and ‘modified’ is the very idea which has led to rampant acts of corruption and power abuse because the people have been denied information which enables them provide check and balance on the government,” Dzulkefly stressed.
In his 20-minute lecture at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila on June 11, Mahathir said democracy could never give people “the goodness that it promises” but only encouraged instability which hinders development programmes.
Justifying his claim, Mahathir blamed the Filipinos for voting in the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, saying this was an example how democracy brought destruction.
“Government of the people, by the people and for the people would result in a stalemate, in no government at all, in anarchy,” he argued, adding that human rights ideal would also render the authority of a government meaningless.
Reacting to the this, Dzulkefly said democracy when sincerely practised would give rise to an informed populace who can stop corrupt leaders before they are entrenched in power.
“And this is why Tun and other UMNO-BN leaders fear the ‘Arab Spring’ which is the Arab peoples’ uprising to end dictatorial regimes who for decades had denied freedom and true democracy to their peoples,” said Dzulkefly, referring to the recent remark by Mahathir that the opposition would want to jail him and suffer a similar fate of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak.
According to Dzulkefly, Malaysia’s fusion of ‘democracy’ and ‘autocracy’ made it fit the Political Science term “snycretic state”, or “electoral authoritarianism”, as described by Austrian professor Andreas Schedler.
also read : ‘Mahathir will never understand democracy’ (FMT)