Democracy or democrazy? I always wonder whenever it is time for the General Election of Malaysia. Is democracy that big a deal? It seems that the whole world is fixated on the idea of free will and hoped that one day all the nations will be democratically ruled.
I don’t know how that system works in other countries, but I will tell what I can about how it works in Malaysia before talking about my misgivings about it. The system in Malaysia is known as a constitutional democracy. Simply put, although our Prime Minister and all other are chosen by the people, we still have a head of the country, known as the Agung, not unlike the British Monarch. The difference is that there are 9 Sultans in my country, and they will take turns to occupy the position of Agung. They do not have much power, mostly as the head of Islamic matters.
About the political parties though, it is different story all together. I am unsure if any of you would know, but the recent 13th General Election on 5th May 2013 is one of the most closely contested election in all 50-something years of history. Before the election in 2008, 5 years ago, there is only one coalition worth mentioning — Barisan Nasional, which is the ruling coalition. It consists of many parties, the main three being UMNO for the Malays, MCA for the Chinese and MIC for the Indians.
In 12th General Election 2008, three opposition parties, DAP, PAS and PKR formed a coalition named Pakatan Rakyat, which means ‘People’s Alliance’. To everybody’s surprise, there is a political tsunami and between the three of them, they managed to wrest Penang, Kedah, Kelantan, Selangor and Terrengganu from BN. It seems as though a new dawn is breaking for Malaysian politics.
In 2013, the General Election quickly became heated and the people turned apprehensive, fearing another May 13 tragedy. There is however, a clear and definitive difference between the older generations and the younger voters. The race riots of 1969 still retain their horror for the older voters but the younger members prided themselves on being mature enough to restrain from riots. The result? No riots, but accusations of fraud prevailed.
So now, nearly two months after the election and one of the ‘chosen’ died due to health problems. For us? Another re-election which is bound to waste tons of money and yield very little results.
One thing that bugged me is how we never get to choose the candidate. Instead, we have candidates from the parties contesting against each other and we are supposed to choose one of them. What if I don’t like either of them? What then?
What is democracy meant to do? To give people choice? I think that democracy is a mere illusion of choice. We don’t really have a lot of choice. We only have a choice between evil and wicked and neither is a nice choice. Sometimes, I wonder why do we bother to hold elections when we are not really given a choice. If I had a choice, I would have elected my secondary school teacher who had more sensibility than all the current politicians added together!
A waste of time and money, a wealth of corruption and fraud hiding behind the planning. Is democracy all that good? Just wondering.