Saturday, February 7, 2009

rex non potest peccare? menyembah mohon derhaka.

The 'Perak incident’, for me, has served as the very large grain of rice that has tipped the scales - the scales being how exasperated I feel regarding our local politicians.

When I see the actions of and hear the words of our politicians-in-power, I feel very let down. I feel angry because they say and do the darnest things, and feel let down because Malaysia seems to be stuck in this 'broken tape recorder' loop of electing people into power who are not really worthy of the role of leadership.

The latest happenings in Perak confirm this. While Najib Abdul Razak flashes his smug smile to us, reminding us all that this is probably the only good thing politically that has happened to him in a while and the Sultan makes his decision in support of Najib, the wheels of democracy have suddenly gone in reverse.

Can't Najib, a politician for a government that espouses democracy, see that? Is he really happy with taking power in Perak this way - undemocratically? What is happening in Perak is undemocratic - make no mistake about it. It is only a simpleton who thinks of democracy as ‘majority wins!’.

No, democracy is more than that. Democracy means that the people's voices are represented as best as possible. I think it is a fallacy to conclude that somebody who jumps ship or hops to another party would continue to represent the people who voted for him/her in the first place.

Sure, it is possible. But is it likely? No, and certainly not seeing the strange circumstances of how it all happened in Perak over the last few weeks.

One 'hopper' hopped to PR, and then back to BN again! Surely, this ‘hip-hopper' would not get the same or similar votes if he ran today - there is clearly a lack of loyalty and consistency in this individual, and an indecisive and fickle leader is one that cannot lead well (well, either that, or he was some sort of 'spy'...who knows these days?).

And the hop from PR to BN is not exactly like a hop from Mcdonald’s to Burger King - the two parties differ very fundamentally in the way they do things (one is for 'divide and rule', the other is for global representation through ideals of justice and fairness).

Who would vote for this individual if elections happened now? This politician is clearly fickle to both ways of doing things.

Pak Lah has, of course, pointed out that the transition that is occurring in Perak is legal. Of course it's legal. But does that make it right? Legality and moral rightfulness sometimes do not go hand in hand. The same applies for 'legality' and 'democratically supportive'.

What is happening is legal, but it is not democratically supportive. What would be more democratically supportive would be for elections to be held in the state again. It is clearly the better 'democratically supportive' action.

Why? If things go as they are, BN will gain a majority through individuals who likely no longer enjoy the people's support. Again, democracy doesn't equal 'Majority wins!' - it's way deeper and bigger than that.

Though you know, it is interesting that PR intended to overthrow the federal government in a similar pattern a few months ago. I would like to think that they decided not to continue pursuing that approach due to the lack of democracy about it. Who knows?

But does anyone remember how much the BN folk, Najib included, were saying last year that doing that (taking over the government through these 'hip hoppers') would be democratically wrong? I certainly remember reading it in the papers. And when I read it, I thought, ‘You know what, they're right - it would be undemocratic’.

And now this happens. Good grief.

My guess is that Najib knows exactly what he is doing, the fact that it is an undemocratic way of seizing power in Perak. I further guess that he has guessed what I have, that is, if he supports the call for state elections and these elections go ahead, that BN would lose.

I guess they would lose because of this episode over the last week. Perhaps, he thinks, if he can get BN in control, do a good job, send lots of cash Perak's way, when the time for the next elections comes, that people would overlook this incident.

The sad thing?

My guess is that the people will. We've been selecting unworthy candidates as our leaders for decades - what's going to stop this trend from repeating in the future?

Politically, the right move. Democratically, the wrong move.


Normally, this is where our rulers step in to bridge the two.

But the Perak ruler does not seem to be as democratically supportive in this incident.

Go figure.

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