Promoting democracy not an easy task


  • Letters
  • Saturday, 26 Apr 2003

AFTER the jubilation had died down, the Iraqis were rewarded with a commodity called democracy, which US claimed to have fought for.  

But exporting democracy to this part of the region is not as easy as introducing the McDonald's fast food culture. 

If one looks at the Arab world, virtually none is democratic. They either have authoritative dictatorship, military rule or absolute monarchy.  

The issue is not that the people there do not like freedom. On the contrary, it is their entrenched culture of tribal hierarchy and elite rulers hanging on to power irrespective of the people’s sentiment, that is holding things back. 

Even a country like Algeria experimented with free election only briefly, abandoned it to revert to military rule. 

Therefore, it is interesting to see whether democracy could take hold in this land where it is divided by clanship, tribal fractions, sectarian feud and ethnic autonomy ambition.  

 

CHRIS C.C. YONG, 

Subang Jaya. 

(via e-mail)  

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