Monday, January 8, 2018


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on December 19, 2017

1. Malaysia today is experiencing the destruction of democracy, the system it chose for the governance of the country at independence.

2. It is now described as a kleptocracy, a country ruled by thieves and robbers. But more than that it is a country where there is no rule of law, where the rulers do anything they please.

3. We had chosen democracy because we believed that the people will rule the country. It would not be direct rule of course. It would be through elected representatives.

4. We believed that if the chosen rulers fail the people, they would be rejected and a new set of rulers elected to take their place.

5. But unfortunately, the system is open to abuse. The process of electing can be manipulated. There are many ways of doing. We are experiencing them today.

6. In the first place, the Election Commission which should be independent, is totally under Government control.

7. It begins with the delineation of the constituencies. The borders can be shifted, polling station changed, and voter names can disappear and reappear somewhere else.

8. Bribery of the voters is open. Reports to the authorities result in no action. Besides money, kitchen appliances and other goodies are openly distributed.

9. The opposition parties are harassed, faults found and registration delayed or denied.

10. All sources of funds for the opposition are blocked, with potential donors being threatened, forced to pay extra taxes and accused of money laundering. Their money in the banks are frozen so that they cannot do business. Certainly not finance the opposition.

11. Government meeting halls are closed to the opposition parties. Hotels may not let their halls be used by the opposition. Local authorities do not permit usage of open spaces for meetings of the opposition. In several cases erection of tents for public gatherings were not allowed.

12. Although the vote is secret. Government spread rumours that it knows who the voters are voting for. There is an implied threat that those voting for the opposition would be punished.

13. Government employees are engaged to man the polling stations and many are instructed to favour Government party candidates in one way or another.

14. Officers in Government agencies and companies are told that they and their staff must ensure everyone supports the Government party. They are threatened with dismissal if they fail to do so.

15. Clearly the election will not be fair. But there are other things that the Government is openly doing to paralyse the opposition. Leaders of the opposition parties are being accused of all kinds of crimes. An incident which happened 30+ years ago is resurrected and a Royal Commission of Inquiry set up which, as expected, finds the opposition leaders had committed breaches and must be investigated by the police.

16. Yet when there is clear evidence that the Prime Minister had misappropriated billions of Ringgit of Government money, the reports on this is placed under the Official Secrets Act and no action taken by the police to investigate.

17. Losing 30 billion Ringgit is serious. But now, NOW, the BNM has reported a loss USD 39.6 billion (Ringgit 162.36 billion at current rate) between 2013-2015. How this huge loss was incurred is not explained. But the fact is that it is an enormous loss. It is four times the loss 30 years ago. Who made this decision which resulted in this huge loss. Who authorised the action which resulted in this loss.

18. Then there is the loss of wealth because of devaluation of the Ringgit. When it was pegged at 3.80 to 1USD, much money was saved. Unwisely it was floated resulting at first in its strengthening to RM3.00 to 1USD.

19. But bad management of the economy and the huge debts taken by the Government caused a loss of confidence in the country. And the Ringgit depreciated to almost RM4.50 to 1USD. Now it has strengthened to 4.1 to 1USD.

20. In the process the people and the nation lost huge sums of money because of the decision to unpeg.

21. But no investigations have been carried out. And no explanation is given to the suffering public. Certainly no Royal Commission of Inquiry has been set up.

22. It would seem that the ruling party in a democracy can abuse and manipulate the powers of the Government as it pleases.

23. Clearly all these can happen in a democracy. In a number of other democratic nations, irresponsible extremists and apparently deranged people can be elected. The result is bad Government and bad governance.

24. Still democracy is the best system of Government ever invented by Man. If democracy does not deliver, it is not because of the concept of Government of the people, by the People and for the People. It is because of the abuses of the system.

25. Democracy is a great system for the governance of a country. It is however not perfect. It is open to abuse. As we can see today democracy can easily be transformed into a kleptocracy, a Government of thieves, by thieves and for thieves.