Dr M talks about democratic abuses

(Free Malaysia Today) – Many would find this ironic, but Dr Mahathir Mohamad has decided to share his views on how democracy can be abused.

During his 22-year tenure as prime minister, the 84-year-old statesman was accused of muzzling the media and emasculating the judiciary, police and anti-graft commission, among a litany of other alleged misdeeds.

In his latest blog posting yesterday, seven days ahead of the MCA elections, Mahathir also talked about party elections.

“Political parties love democracy as it seems to be fair to everyone. Anyone can bid for any place in the party, including the top post. That is the theory at least.

“But the reality is that only certain people could aspire to lead because of the support of a substantial number of the members,” he said.

Ideally in a contest, Mahathir said, the one with the biggest number of supporters should win and the loser and his supporters must accept the decision of the majority.

“Unfortunately the loser or losers may not want to accept the results. This can ultimately lead to the party being split and weakened.

“The process may have been very democratic but the objective of choosing a leader by majority vote is not achieved. The losers must remember that when they win the same can happen to them.

“In other words, a democratic contest can only lead to the break-up of the party (I am speaking from experience),” he said in referrence to the 1987 crisis in Umno.

Mahathir said he woud like to cheer on the candidates contesting for any post anywhere through the democratic process.

“Obviously only one would win. If those who lose cannot accept the decision of the majority, then it is better not to talk about democracy. You really do not know what democracy is about,” he said, adding a footnote at the bottom of the page which read, “Of course I am assuming that the contest is fair.”