Dr M hits out at ‘undemocratic’ Singapore

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad suggested today that Malaysia was a more democratic country than Singapore, and argued that the island republic’s “disciplined” image was at the expense of the freedom of its citizens.

According to the former prime minister, the reason why Malaysians were not as disciplined as Singaporeans was because Malaysia was more “democratic” and did not resort to extreme measures in governing the country.

“Perhaps this is because we are democratic. Political parties (in Malaysia) are afraid that people will not support them if they act harshly in order to make people more disciplined.

“The Singaporean ruling party is not afraid of its people. If Singaporeans choose a candidate who is not from the People’s Action Party (PAP), that candidate will be dragged to court, fined and made bankrupt. After that that candidate will not be able to go to Parliament to oppose the acts of the ruling party. Even if he is allowed a place in Parliament, he will not dare say anything,” said Dr Mahathir (picture) in a blog posting today.

He said that politicians in Singapore would not have to worry about being rejected by voters because as long as they were nominated by the ruling party, victory was guaranteed.

Singapore would have also solved race issues involving Malays by removing Malays from their land and building high-rise apartments instead, he added sarcastically.

“The Kampung Baru issue (if it was in Singapore) would have been solved easily. Just remove the residents of Kampung Baru and build high-rise apartments instead. Just like how Geylang and Pasir Panjang were lost, Kampung Baru would be lost too,” he said.

Dr Mahathir recently warned against dispersing Kampung Baru’s Malay residents in the same way Singapore had scattered the Malay community and diluted its voice.

He said that while Malaysia was being governed by a Malay-majority government that cares for the fate of Malays, “let us not be so sure that there will never be a government where the voice of Malay representatives is removed.”

In June last year, Dr Mahathir told a rally of Malay NGOs that Malays in Malaysia risked becoming marginalised like their Singapore counterparts because of political divisions.

The former prime minister had said: “If we do not think deeply about the future of our community then there is a possibility that we can become [like] the Singaporean Malays and have no power.”