When you limit yourself to a choice of BN or PH


One of the great philosophers, Plato, in his thesis The Republic, actually opposes Democracy. He calls Democracy the tyranny of the majority over the minority. Hence Democracy is still very much a tyrannical system. And Plato advocates a benevolent dictatorship. Are we smarter than Plato and dare we say that Plato is talking nonsense?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Dear RPK, you speak your mind, hence your site’s title is “No Holds Barred”. Democracy is the lesser Evil of all forms of Government, and hence Malaysia has chosen to run within the framework of Democracy. A Government is run by politicians. Power lies in the position.

With power, you can either use it for Good or for Evil. YOU ARE CORRECT, both sides of the Malaysian political scene has Evil elements. The public can only do one thing; choose the lesser of TWO EVILS to run the country. UMNO is NOT the lesser of TWO EVILS. Please choose wisely Sir. I HATE being called a Non Bumiputera when at a moment’s notice I would give my life for this land in which I was born. I want my children’s children to someday be called Malaysian in its true meaning, ie., Born, Bred, and in EVERY sense A MALAYSIAN.

UMNO does not believe in that, hence there is racial segregation. The opposition likewise, speaks of Nation building on the foundation that all Man are born equal, but it’s just bull end of the day. However, the opposition IS the lesser of two EVILS.

The public can but choose the “fooking” politicians who would not “fook” the country up as bad. Here is an analogy for you Sir: A thin man used to eating just to live is brought along to a grand buffet with an obese man who has some form of food in his mouth 16 hours a day. Who do you think would eat more when presented with this Grand buffet? For what it’s worth, I have the highest respect for you Sir. You have given up much to speak your mind, and I shall not forget that. God bless you and your family Sir. Oh, and May God not desert our country.

Chris Lim · Commented on my article ‘Why should I support Pakatan Harapan?’


I thought Chris Lim had raised some good points so I would like to reply to them. When I say ‘good points’ what I mean is that he argued his position well but that does not mean I may agree with what he says, though. So let me offer my counter-arguments to his.

Chris argues from the position of two choices, Umno or the Opposition. To Chris, Umno translates to evil while the Opposition is the lesser of the two evils. Hence we are asked to choose between the big evil over the small evil. And the choice Chris makes is the smaller evil.

This was the same argument that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini used in 1997. America is the Big Satan. So we must reject the Big Satan in favour of…yes, in favour of what? In favour of a Theocratic State? And that was what Iran turned into, a Theocratic State, which even I at that time supported.

But as is the case in most revolutions, the Islamic Revolution of Iran eventually turned on its own people and proved more evil than the American-backed regime of the Shah that it ousted and replaced. It became a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire. So you either fry or you burn, take your pick.

That is the problem when you limit yourself to just two choices. It becomes a choice of the lesser of the two evils — big evil or small evil. And, of course, most will choose the smaller evil over the bigger evil. But evil is still evil however you look at it. You are just arguing about the degree of evil involved.

This is the mindset that we need to break away from. Why smaller evil over the bigger evil when both are still evils? And why just two choices? Why not a third choice? Is it because a third choice does not exist? So, if a third choice does not exist then we limit ourselves to only two choices?

Why must we settle for this situation? So a third choice does not exist and we are victims of only two choices. And we accept this situation, maybe with reluctance or maybe with glee. Nevertheless we accept the situation anyway.

And this is precisely what I had been propagating since 2010. I said that we must not limit ourselves to only two choices, Barisan Nasional (Chris says Umno and not Barisan Nasional) or Pakatan Rakyat (now called Pakatan Harapan). Since a third choice does not exist then we must create that third choice. And I called that third choice The Third Force.

That same year I launched the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM). And I stated that the purpose of MCLM was to create this third choice (The Third Force) that did not exist and still does not exist until today. And because it does not exist people like Chris talk about choosing the lesser of the two evils.

But the Opposition itself rejected the idea of MCLM and The Third Force. They viewed MCLM and The Third Force as a competitor. They were worried that MCLM and The Third Force would draw support away from the Opposition. So they condemned the move and called us a ‘government agent’ whose purpose was to split the votes of the Opposition.

In other words, the Opposition did not want a third choice. They wanted to limit the choices to only two: Umno or the Opposition. So the situation of only two choices that is prevalent in Malaysia today is partly the fault of the Opposition. Five years ago we wanted to address this but the Opposition opposed the idea.

Chris then talks about Democracy as if that is still the best system. Why is it the best system? Democracy is not perfect. It is not even the lesser of the two evils, as it may even be the bigger evil in some cases. But we regard Democracy as the best system because we are too lazy to think and to ponder on what could be a better alternative to Democracy.

One of the great philosophers, Plato, in his thesis The Republic, actually opposes Democracy. He calls Democracy the tyranny of the majority over the minority. Hence Democracy is still very much a tyrannical system. And Plato advocates a benevolent dictatorship. Are we smarter than Plato and dare we say that Plato is talking nonsense?

There is Democracy and there is Democracy. Democracy is not absolute or perfect. It is not the endgame. It is the means to an endgame. And as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. So what type of Democracy are we talking about? There are many types and Malaysia practices one type.

Russia in 1917 set up a Democracy. It was a Soviet Democracy. The Soviet or people chose their local leaders from amongst the workers, farmers, soldiers, sailors, etc., who then chose their regional leaders, who then chose their national leaders.

So the Soviet Democracy can be said to be a true Democracy because it was a ‘bottom-up leadership’ and not a ‘top-down leadership’. The Soviet Democracy, for all intents and purposes, can be said to be very Islamic, in theory (the Ummah or commune system: which is where the word Communism comes from).

But when we separate theory from practice, this is when the problems arise. And the Soviet Democracy, too, had its flaws. But it had its flaws not because the system sucks but because the politicians like Lenin, Stalin, and many more, abused the system for the sake of power. So what difference is that in many other countries under many different systems, Malaysia included?

Hence theory is one thing and practice is another. In theory even the Westminster system of Parliament and the Constitutional Monarchy is good but once put into practice the flaws begin to show.

Yesterday, at 11.00am, Britain observed two minutes of silence in memory of the 1.2 million British military personnel who died in wars over the last 100 years. Yes, 1.2 million British military personnel died over the last 100 years in various wars. And we observed two minutes of silence to remember them.

But what about the 160 million others who also died in those wars? Not only the British military personnel but also people all over the world died in wars over the last 100 years. Do we not also remember them? And one thing we must remember is that those 1.2 million British military personnel and 160 million others all over the world died in wars to uphold Democracy. Yes, they were Democratic wars.

So, over the last 100 years, 160 million people were killed by Democracy — 1.2 million of them British military personnel who we honoured with a two-minute silence at 11.00am yesterday. Democracy is great. It is the best. But the 160 million people who were killed by Democracy might not think so.

In Malaysia we already have a Democracy, contrary to what many may say. We are allowed to vote for the government that we want so that means our government is democratically elected in principle and in theory. Yet we still say that Malaysia is not democratic or not fully democratic. Why?

You complain about racism, draconian laws, abusing of power, corruption, and whatnot. And you say Malaysia is not a Democracy or is not a full Democracy because of that. But were not those laws and the system adopted by Parliament through the 222 Members of Parliament elected by the people? So it is the people who made those laws and adopted the system, but through the 222 representatives they chose.

The laws or system may be draconian, harsh or unfair. But they are Democratic laws. And they are Democratic laws because the people chose those laws through their 222 representatives. And the laws are allowed under the Constitution. In short, the Constitution provides for those laws and those laws are not unconstitutional. So how can we say those laws are not democratic?

So the problem is not those laws or the system. The problem is with Democracy. Because of Democracy those laws you do not like become legal. Hence how can Democracy be perfect when Democracy allows and provides for laws you do not like?

Chris pointed out many flaws in Malaysia. But then those flaws he pointed out are not the problem. They are the end product of a problem. Why argue about the symptoms of a disease when we should instead be arguing about the cause of those diseases?

And herein lies the problem. Most Malaysians such as Chris spend so much time and waste so much energy arguing about the symptoms rather than the cause. You cannot cure the symptoms. You need to cure the cause. And once you cure the cause the symptoms will automatically disappear and will no longer be there.

And the cause, as far as people like Chris are concerned, is Umno. So, get rid of Umno, then the cause of the disease will go away. And once the disease goes away the symptoms will disappear. That is called wishful thinking.

I am not going to argue whether Umno is good or bad because that argument will achieve nothing. For argument’s sake let us agree with Chris that Umno is bad. And Chris argues that we should therefore get rid of Umno. But what if we cannot get rid of Umno? What if Umno is going to continue to be the government for the next few decades at least?

Well, then we would have to consider the point: if Umno is bad can it become worse? And if, for example, Prime Minister Najib Razak is ousted and is replaced with a ‘Council of Elders’ or ‘Presidential Council’ led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will Umno become even worse than it already is now?

And that is how I have dissected the problem. In 2004, after the election disaster that year, the same year I set up Malaysia Today, the objective was to replace Barisan Nasional (not just Umno as Chris advocates). In 2008 that did not happen and we began to see many flaws in Pakatan Rakyat (the result of which we can see today with the collapse of Pakatan Rakyat).

So in 2010 we needed a change of game plan, if not we would never see the endgame that we were aiming for. But the people rejected that game plan so we were back to a choice of the lesser of the two evils.

2013 proved that ousting Umno was not that easy and that we are most likely going to end up with the same government for some time to come. So, again, we needed a change of game plan. And that change of game plan was: if we are going to have to settle for Barisan Nasional then we had better make sure that it is not going to be a Barisan Nasional that is worse than the one now.

And to do that we have to make sure that the group that is trying to oust the current Umno leadership does not succeed because many of the problems facing the country today were created by that same group. They did not change the system when they were in power so why should they do that if they again come into power?

Chris works on two choices, Umno or the Opposition, the lesser of the two evils. I, too, work on two choices, the group that is trying to oust Najib or the current Umno leadership, the lesser of the two evils. So, yes, both Chris and I are adopting the doctrine of the lesser of the two evils. The only thing is we see things in a different perspective.

And that is why people like Chris choose PAN over PAS. PAN is also an Islamic party like PAS but is the lesser of the two evils. So they choose PAN over PAS. Will PAN agree to amend the Constitution and remove Islam as the religion of the Federation? Will PAN agree to abolish Article 153 in the Constitution? Will PAN agree to legalise Shia Islam and allow Sunni Muslims to become Shias? Will PAN agree to allow Muslims to convert to Christianity? Will PAN allow Muslims to drink beer or to live together outside wedlock?

The list can go on and on and PAN will say no to all, just like PAS does. So what extra do you get by supporting PAN other than that PAN loves DAP while PAS does not? Hell, PAN will not even agree to repeal Selangor State laws, a state under Opposition control, that forbid Christians from using Allah and about two dozen other words. So what is the difference between PAN and PAS other than it is the lesser of the two evils because DAP loves them and does not love PAS?