Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The Post 513 "Umno-cracy": Majority or Legitimacy?

"It was the ones we call the prophets who were jailed and driven into the desert."
-Noam Chomsky

On this 40th anniversary of May13, when bloodlust ruled the streets of Klang Valley, I'd like to state that IMHO, Malaysia isn't a democracy - at least since that day. Malaysia, has since been a racist aristocracy practicing apartheid enforced by the "instruments of state" - more so since the advent of Mahathirism. As a matter of fact, one wouldn't be too far off the mark to say that Malaysia has since, always been, and is still a Police State - albeit, clothed in a Constitutional Monarchy which apparently practices Parliamentary Democracy - in a nation of ignorant, hoodwinked & politically emasculated citizenry (although there has been an element of awakening over the last two years).
The BN - It has always been and is still a government which wastes the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them. Never mind the sin and tyranny of it all - they don't hesitate for a moment enforce to their "gunboat diplomacy" majority, in their pursuit of personal wealth and power.

"In the running of a democracy, we cannot allow the tyranny of the minority to decide for the majority."
Those were words of Zambry who was speaking as a faithful henchman and spin-doctor to "certain quarters" who were bent on acquiring power for themselves even if it meant destroying the very institutions they claim to defend. This is the guy who at one time challenged some journalist or other and asked him if they knew what democracy was -or something to that effect.

While Zambry proceeds with his attempt at subverting democracy on the pretext of defending the rule of the majority, little does he seem to understand the reason for democracy as a system of governance. He appears to be ignorant of the fact that democracy lives on "Legitimacy".
Majority or not, he has forgotten (or is ignorant) that the people are the ones who decide in a democracy - and not the rulers.

Jefferson once characterized the people (Notes on the State of Virginia) as the "safe depository of the government" and that "governments degenerate when trusted to the rulers" . As such, he said that "the true corrective of constitutional abuses, is to return it (the mandate) to the people who can make "informed choices" through education, as opposed to taking it away from them. This however wouldn't gel with Zambry's (or PDRM's) notion of a "democracy".

Incidentally, what the BN bunch (epitomized by the above statement) advocated since the time of Mahathir - the Asian Values cum Nanny State - is diametrically opposed to this concept of democracy which they claim to defend. The BN argument is this - as long as they have a majority in a parliament, they are "democratic". The methods of achieving it does not count in their brand of democracy - hence the "Asian Values".
For BN, the ends justify the means. It is quite possible that if they have to intimidate, harass, kill or even possibly sell their mothers to gain that majority- in their eyes, it is perfectly legit & democratic - or else it is "the tyranny of the minority".

Let's forget the ISA/ Police Act/ EO and what not for a moment - to date, one political party squandered billions on the PKFZ and OPV, Sukhois and Scorpenes, gang-raped the Federal Constitution, gambled on oil futures, MISC, Forex. Then manipulated and humiliated the Monarchy, sacked judges, arrested lawyers out to defend constitutional rights of citizens, banned civil society groups and candlelight vigils, arrested bloggers and peaceful civilians, got court orders to declare certain colorful fashion statements seditious, dragged out the speaker like a sack of potatos, arrested joggers or patrons of eateries for having roti canai ... and the list goes on ad nauseaum, ad infinatum.

It is but a futile effort for us to try educating these bunch of goons - in fact, they have despised the intellectuals ever since the infamous days of Ops Lalang under Mahathir. Just like any gangster would, they do not see intellectuals as "prophets", but as a nuisance. They would despise Tun Dr. Ismail's words warning of an uprising of the people, should they abuse the constitutional process. Sadly however, reason was thrown out of the window among the "mutineers of 1969". They would wholeheartedly probably agree with Mao Ze-Dong's convictions that "power comes from the barrel of a gun", and nothing more - therefore the infamous May13. (Who knows what Altantuya or Rosmah might say to this, right?)

In keeping with Mahathirist "traditions", any attempt to educate them on the need to respect Law or the Federal Constitution in it's original form is met with much scorn (for more, feel free to browse through entries of August 2008). Judges and Lawyers are only good to serve them- and not the law. The same goes for all other institutions and intellectuals/ academics/literati - and the vacuum is filled by installing highly decorated, incompetent & glorified pretenders/ puppets, so as to hoodwink the masses with their imbecility. To justify and facilitate this travesty, the sectarian agenda is played out for an unsuspecting public. Just like the prophets of old, they (the deserving intellectuals) are "discarded" or persecuted if they don't toe the line and serve the political masters.

They have failed to understand that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue" (Barry Goldwater). The rulers of Malaysia do not see that it is sinful and tyrrannical to "compel a man to subsidize with his taxes, the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors"(Jefferson).
BN understands the human spirit (which is often dulled by sectarianism and brute force), but have yet to see its fury unleashed through whatever means available, when all avenues are exhausted. That being the case, should the mandate for the legitimacy of rulers not be returned to the people, (just as TDI predicted in the sixties while debating the ISA) the backlash by the common man will come to pass - sooner or later.

To Zambry I say -
"In a Democracy, more than the majority, it is about Legitimacy! It isn't just about majority rule, but also about the means of achieving that majority that grants you that legitimacy."
To BN I say - don't "kill your prophets"!
Listen then if you have ears - and grey matter ......

"The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
and tenements halls

and whispered in the sounds of silence."
-Paul Simon

Perak Chicken Run!