Monday, April 30, 2007

Najib Says "Ijok Proves Democracy Still Thriving." Is This True?

I don't know what is the DPM's definition of a "thriving democracy" but Bernama has quoted Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as saying that democracy is still thriving in this country as proven during the by-election for the Ijok state constituency in Selangor on Saturday.

He based his conclusion on his assessment of what is a free campaign when he said that "in the by-election, the opposition had the widest opportunity (to campaign)!" But did they?

Moreover allegations have been made by several opposition leaders, including Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, that the by-election was undemocratic as numerous government machinery including the police had been deployed during the by-election.

Najib said that to ensure peace and public order during the campaigning and polling day, 1,200 police personnel had been deployed in Ijok. He said the regulation requiring the opposition as well as the ruling party to obtain permits to hold ceramahs during the campaign also proved that democracy was still very much alive in the country. "This is the law, if we don't respect the law, action will be taken by the police," he added.

I appreciate that the law must be respected and proper procedures followed. I also understand that free and fair elections in a 'thriving democracy' must necessarily allow for equal access to the mainstream media including and especially those controlled by the government and not just hogged by the ruling party alone. There must be reasonable airtime given to the opposition as is the practice in advanced democracies.

Having read about the goings on in Ijok recently, the claims of phantom voters and missing ballot papers as well as the tame, servile stance taken by the Election Commission, I find it very difficult to figure out why the completion of the Ijok by-election should in any way reflect the thriving nature of democracy in Malaysia. There seems to be a disconnect in the logic which arrived at that conclusion. Be that as it may, more importantly do a majority of the people concur with the opinion expressed by the DPM? Do you agree with him?
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8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

who wants to believe Bernama anymore? Zam, is that sort of credibility coming out from your beloved mainstream media?
so, you still want me to believe what you said.
thanks but no thanks. there are more credbile news channel out there.

7:03 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Kim Fung Toi said...

But what else can Najib say?

I believe in the value of reading between the lines however, and for Najib to have to remind Malaysians that democracy is unfettered says a lot, doesn't it?

8:06 PM GMT+8  
Blogger wahi said...

The only truth here is that Najib said those words...

11:33 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Billy said...

RM36m of our money was suddenly poured into the little township for development. Thugs, goons in the form of Scorpions and Mat Rempits threatening the opposition. Bribing the voters was so rampant. Police stop opposition ceramahs. The msm were slant in all their reports favouring the BN. The opposition candidate was prevented from registering on nomination day. MIC supporters prevented the opposition from campaigning in their area. Oh yes! Democracy is certainly still striving. What a HOLLOW victory!

7:22 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just Najib just trying to kick down his opponent when he got them off-balance. There was a lot of expectation of the beginning of his demise targetted by the opposition. Najib did a great job in mobilising the machinery in his favour, dirty tricks and all, and in politics, this is to be respected. It shows that Opposition cannot dismiss him. If they are to take him down, they need to get sophisticated, innuendos and spin doctoring just won't do. They need to have absolute irrevocable truth like what they have on Musa in Sabah.

The submarine thing was probably their best chance as Najib is not going to make the same mistake.

Najib is still vulnerable because he is in KJ way to the Premiership. Its time to drive that wedge even harder. Strategically, I think the oppposition need to talk as if KJ is the next premier and Najib is just stepping stone. This is the only way to get Najib desperate and do something stupid...

10:29 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous smallVoice said...

True, but it is only meant for UMNO.

6:54 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's democracy whereby the rich and mighty can do anything they like. That's democracy by his definition.

2:27 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody can call a "cow dump" a rose.

4:51 PM GMT+8  

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