Back to Politics 101

  • Brave New World
  • Wednesday, 26 Oct 2016

IS it okay to want to choose a government? Well, duh.

Of course it is. That’s what a democracy is about. But reading some of the statements being made by one of the numerous Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department, it appears that wanting a choice is like some sort of sin. And helping those who want the right to choose is also a sin.

I sometimes wonder what these people think a democracy is. If we believe a government is corrupt, incompetent and wicked, then surely we would want to speak out about it. Then hopefully others would agree and there could be a civilised debate.

I am embarrassed to type this out because this is how I would explain things to a toddler and I am quite certain that there are no toddlers reading this. If I sound like I am insulting your intelligence, dear reader, please forgive me, it is not your intelligence I am questioning.

I am writing as though I am speaking to a kindergarten class because sometimes I think that is the level of intellect of some. I mean, what is their idea of a democracy? We all vote and then whatever the Government does, we just sit around and quietly go about our business until the next elections when we vote again?

Anyway, while I am in the mood to teach infants, let me make a few more points. When people ask for systemic changes and the Government has no intention whatsoever to make those systemic changes, then one has no choice but to campaign.

It does not mean one is a tool of the Opposition. It just means that the only way to get what one wants, like clean and fair elections, is to get rid of those who do not seem interested in giving what you want.

Simple, right? Obviously not simple enough.

Oh, there’s more. If a group acts unlawfully, violently and generally odiously, then they are not to be blamed.

Instead one should blame the victims whom this lot is being violent and odious towards. Even though these victims are doing nothing wrong.

It’s true, this was said by the Deputy Home Minister regarding the Red Shirts. He said that if Bersih stop their activities (which are peaceful and perfectly within their democratic rights), then so will the Red Shirts.

Well then, this being the case, the next time some rich titled person has their house robbed in Damansara Heights, or wherever it is these rich types live, then the Deputy Home Minister should go there and tell them off.

After all who asked them to have so much wealth, to live in a big house and to drive a fancy car? If they didn’t have any of that, then there wouldn’t be any thievery.

I sometimes wonder whether being obtuse is a prerequisite to holding power in this country. Or perhaps it is something that happens once you get into power.

I have no idea. What I do know is that some people are beyond teaching.

  • Azmi Sharom ( is a law teacher. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.
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Opinion , Azmi Sharom , columnist


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