By the people and for people

  • Letters
  • Wednesday, 30 Sep 2020

EVERY five years, the process through which the common man speaks is repeated. It is an inbuilt system of check and balance to ensure that the mandate given, based on the “promises” and “pledges” articulated during the campaign period, has not been abused.

More critically in the democratic system is the process wherein there is a smooth transition of power from the incumbent to the victor, if indeed a change is required. The incumbent may be voted in again, hence a status quo. The mechanics of the power transition process is the crux of the “one man, one vote” schema and reflects in no uncertain terms the respect ingrained in society to be responsive to the views of the majority.

Of late, this transitory process, as a consequence of the voting process, on the global front has come under much scrutiny. The questioning of the legitimacy of the voting process and casting a pall of doubt on the veracity of the outcome even before the first vote is cast has become a matter of concern.

On the contrary, should one emerge the victor, not a whiff is heard of the earlier allegations on the validity of the results.

In the stead of a peaceful transition of power, Malaysia stands proud as a beacon of the democratic process wherein people do not have to take to the streets, or force the armed forces to join in the fray.

The recent state election in Sabah and the consequential appointment of a Chief Minister is testimony that good sense prevails in Malaysian politics. Those elected to serve can speedily get on with their work for the benefit of the rakyat.

Prior to the May 2018 election, there was doubt expressed by certain quarters as to possible voter fraud. This included purposeful delays in sending out ballot notifications to overseas Malaysian

residents with the sinister aim that the subsequent delay in receipt of their ballots would negate their votes, presumably for the opposition.

The events after said elections speak from themselves. The system was not abused to protect self-interests. That is all that the man on the street wants – a working democratic electoral process and smooth transitioning.

Had the electoral results been different, the immediate reaction would have been to draw negative inferences on the veracity of the results while not appreciating that the loss could have been actually due to the voters having rejected them.

The developing world is oft chided for not practising “true” democracy and harassed into looking to the West as an example of respect for human rights and the electoral process. To this extent, the more developed democracies in the West should re-examine themselves.

It is much pride that we, as Malaysians, can say that we follow the rule of law on this dimension. Some have a tendency to co-mingle the rule of law with virtues related to ethics, integrity and loyalty, especially on “party hopping”, a practice currently allowed under law.

While one would expect both parameters to operate in unison, often there is a divergence which many are not able to intelligently grasp.

Whatever the current flux in Malaysian politics is, we can rest assured that we are politically mature and are not having maniacal personalities at the helm, misleading the populace with unsubstantiated utterances.


Kuala Lumpur

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