On Saifuddin Abdullah — Lucius Goon
JUNE 20 — Some people say that Deputy Minister Saifuddin Abdullah is the more intelligent and reasonable face of Umno.
I am tickled when I hear these things, because at one time, that is how the Umno apologists described Khairy Jamaluddin (and we know how flawed those descriptions turned out regarding the political chameleon).
Last night, Saifuddin took part in a debate with Sallehudin Ayub of PAS on the subject of street demonstrations, and predictably, the Umno man said that street protests is not the way to grow a democracy.
My question to him is this: What happens when the government of the day subverts democratic practices? Should the public pretend that democracy really exists and go about their business with little regard to the reality?
Under this Barisan Nasional government, there have been allegations of doctored electoral rolls and manipulated electoral boundaries.
It has indulged in vote buying on a scale never seen before and Saifuddin Abdullah talks about demos not being the way to grow a democracy.
No person in his right mind wants to go out onto the streets or work outside the system and put himself at harm’s way if the system is fair.
But in Malaysia, the electoral system has been manipulated to ensure that the BN stays in power and it is the duty of every right-thinking Malaysian to do their utmost to ensure that their one vote counts.
So, when the people went out on April 28, they were doing their utmost to pressure the government to clean up the electoral rolls and ensure that their one vote counts. Not the votes of a Nepali or Indonesian or Bangladeshi.
Only when the electoral system is not being subverted, can we even begin to talk about growing a democracy.
* Lucius Goon reads The Malaysian insider.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.