Dr M: Use the ballot, not the bullet
PUTRAJAYA, June 20 — Voters who feel oppressed by discriminatory laws can change the government through polls without resorting to force, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
“In a democracy, we can change a government without uprising, civil war, revolution or violence,” the former prime minister said in his address today during the launch of the Maybank Foundation-Perdana Leadership Foundation essay competition here.
“All we have to do it vote for a new government, that is the best thing about democracy,” he added.
“But we have to remember freedom has its limits. If you think you should enjoy freedom without a sense of responsibility, in the end you will lose freedom,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also said Malaysians should not assume that all change is for the better.
“We must not assume anything done in the past is wrong, and should change and follow changes which are modern only because they are modern,” he added.
The former premier pointed out the country is still a “younger democracy”, and that “we are learning”.
He also warned the people that “it’s dangerous to take things for granted”, referring to Malaysia’s “progress and prosperity”.
“Never assume whatever you have will be with you forever.”
Dr Mahathir has been critical of the April 28 Bersih rally for free and fair elections in Kuala Lumpur, accusing the organisers and opposition leaders of having planned a coup against the government during the mass demonstration.
Bersih leaders have dismissed the allegation, saying the protest was intended only to seek electoral reforms.