Guan Eng: Democracy is dead

Written by Regina William, The Edge

Expressing his sadness over the turn of events in Ipoh during the state legislative assembly sitting, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng condemned the "wild and extreme" police action which he said had violated the sanctity of the august House.

"Democracy is dead in Perak and I am distressed and sad that the police could intrude into legislative assembly and use violence to remove an elected representative.

"This violent interference and barbaric action has never happened before and the police have never interferred with the epitome of democracy," he said at a press conference. "This clearly reeks of dictatorship and shows that efforts to portray reformation and liberalisation by the new leadership has failed miserably.

"If this is not rectified, it only goes to show that Barisan Nasional (BN) does not respect the clarion call made by the people of March 8 for the coalition to reform.

"The people wanted change and BN had promised change, but clearly, that does not seem to be their intention," Lim added.

He said what happened in Perak showed that BN would resort to any means to remain in power.

"This signifies the death of democracy as the state legislative is deemed the highest legislature of land which symbolises the people's right to elect their own leaders.

"If the police can violate the sanctity and use violence on these duly elected representatives, it shows democracy is dead and Perak is already a police state," he added.

He said the BN government must "wake up" and realise that not only the Perakians but the entire nation was angry with the episode.

"It shows that all that has been said and promised about reforms and liberalisation is just talk without substance.

"Even wearing black has become a subversive act.

"Malaysians are not only fighting against discrimination on their skin colour but now are also subjected to discrimination according to the colour of their clothes.

"It is such a laughable matter, and Malaysia has become an international joke, but I am too sad to even laugh about it.

"BN has lost all moral authority, legitimacy as well as ethical values," he said.