Democracy could breed violence, says Dr M

Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

Democracy does not guarantee security, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today, warning instead that it could lead to violence when minority groups rise to demand their rights.

The country’s longest serving prime minister pointed out that during elections, losing parties often do not accept their failures and would do their best to bring down the elected government.

Dr Mahathir said that although it was through a democratic process that these parties had lost, they would turn around to use the same democratic system to negate the results of the polls by claiming that it had been tampered with.

“Sometimes this leads to violence and killings, burning of houses and buildings… they would do anything to bring down the majority government,” he told a luncheon talk for the International Forum 2012 held in conjunction with Umno’s general assembly this week.

“This is because in newly democratic countries, we do not fully appreciate the system… while we say we like democracy, we only like it when we win, not when we lose,” he added.

Dr Mahathir added that as democracy promotes equality of its people, this would lead to conflicts as many do not share the same ideals.

These conflicts, if not settled properly, would lead to unending violence and loss of lives, he said.

“So even democracy does not guarantee the security of the people,” he said.