Will we go under without Mahathir?

November 2nd, 1998

    "Democracy: Government by the people ... in which the supreme power is vested in the people and is exercised directly by them through their elected agents"

    "Autocracy: Uncontrolled or unlimited authority and power over others invested in a single person"

    - The Oxford Universal Dictionary

Has our democracy, our country - for which our fathers and forefathers fought so hard - degenerated so much that its very existence depends upon the well-being of a single man?

Have our political, economic and social institutions been so crippled that it will all crumble like a deck of cards without the guidance of one man?

Are Malaysians so weak and stupid that we will all fall into the arms of chaos and anarchy without the benevolent wisdom of one man?

Are we a democracy? Or have we become an autocracy?

YAB Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir has done a lot for the country. He has pushed us kicking and screaming from our agricultural roots through the industrial age into the information age. His vision - true vision - has give n us a path into the new millenium. His strength and determination over the years has given all Malaysians strength and determination.

But he did not so all this alone. All Malaysians have poured blood, sweat and tears to be where we are right now. And we couldn't have done this if we did not enjoy the freedoms, rights and democratic institutions that our founding fathers - Onn Jaafar , Tunku - fought so dearly for. They crafted a Constitution which guaranteed us equality, citizenship, education, freedom of speech, assembly and association - rights and freedoms which ensured that all Malaysians could live in peace and prosper.

How can there be peace when, today, we see so many of those rights and freedoms slipping away from our grasp? When the freedoms of speech, assembly and association that are enshrined in our constitution are denied - what respect then shall they give to those other fredoms we assumed we still had? Why not just remove those offensive articles in the Constitution instead of taunting us with their impotence?

If you do not believe that Malaysians can rule themselves without the guiding hand of one individual - why did we bother getting rid of British at all?

What if those thousands of demonstrators lining the streets of Jalan TAR 41 years were shouting "Merdeka!" instead of "Reformasi!", shouting "Freedom and Liberty!" instead of "Truth and Justice!"? Ask yourselves, how many of you would have called them "trouble-makers", "traitors", "rioters"?

How many of you would have said, "What are these people doing? The British give us a good life, we have enough to eat, they build roads and tall buildings and nice monuments. Why must these people do this? We don't want to be like Indonesia and the Dutch. It will scare away the tourists!"

Is the call for ""Truth and Justice!" so different from that of "Freedom and Liberty!"? Should we just stop at "Merdeka!" or go on to the next stage of building our democracy. Do we really want a democracy? Or just a Malaysian "Tuan" who will tell us what to think, what to do and just leave it to me, I'll take care of you? Is that what we really want?

Back to Diary