Are we a democracy?


Democracy will be under severe test in the next couple of days.

wan azizah

What happens during this period will determine if we truly practise democracy as what is understood or will it be a sham pretending to be a democracy.

As has been the practice all along, the party commanding the majority in the state assembly has the sole right to determine who will be the candidate to head the government. This is the democratic tradition and this tradition must be honoured and upheld so that there will be total acceptance of the person appointed as the leader.

However, this tradition is now under threat and is about to be undermined. If the manoeuvres to scuttle this tradition come from the opposition we can understand that. But if the attempt is apparently from one of the coalition partners in Pakatan, it is mystifying and troubling.

Pas, which had been viewed as a principled party, is now seen as a stumbling block to the preservation of democracy. Malaysians are finding it difficult to understand their dithering and teetering in coming to a conclusion in the choice of the next Mentedri Besar of Selangor. They seem to be lost in this issue and are dragging their feet unnecessarily to the annoyance of many Malaysians who are utterly disappointed with Pas.

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Pas had confirmed that they would not submit a name from their party to be considered as the next MB. They had even conceded that it is the sole right of Parti Keadilan Rakyat to nominate their candidate for this post. Having so declared, why do they want to submit two names? Doesn’t this amount to interference in the internal affairs of PKR? They have no business to do so.

After much foot-dragging, didn’t they finally support the choice of Wan Azizah as the sole candidate to be the next MB of Selangor? Having taken that decision, why is there another meeting to decide further on this matter?

If they provide two names to His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Selangor, they would not only be betraying the trust of the Selangor voters but they would sabotage the democratic process knowingly.

What is the implication of them forwarding two names? It simply means they are giving the choice to the Sultan to choose whomever he wants as that choice is being given to him. You can’t fault him for choosing any one of the two names.

Is this the situation that Pas wants to create – so that PKR’s choice of candidature will not be considered? This is tantamount to what would be considered as unethical and uncouth behaviour. This conduct has the tendency to break the solidarity of Pakatan and frustrate the emergence of a two-party system.

Their decision to submit two names – if it comes about – will cost them dearly as most Malaysians are obviously upset with their strange behaviour, which will certainly create confusion. They will lose a lot of support that they received in GE13 and will discredit themselves for good. We hope that this doesn’t happen in the interest of democracy.

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Wan Azizah has the unmistaken majority support in the form of signed declarations from 30 assembly members. This must be respected and supported.

If the remaining 13 PAS assembly members throw their weight behind this support, then there would be no necessity to dissolve the assembly and conduct a fresh election in Selangor which will cost, according to the Election Commission, RM50m. Why cause this unnecessary expenditure?

Pas must not cause this situation. We all hope that Pas will rally around Pakatan and ensure that their unity will be preserved and their right to govern Selangor will continue uninterrupted. This is their responsibility and an obligation to all Malaysians and the democratic process.

P Ramakrishnan
Executive committee member
24 August 2014

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P Ramakrishnan
P Ramakrishan, the long-serving former president of Aliran who served three and a half decades on our executive committee, has been with Aliran since its inception in 1977. Now an ordinary Aliran member, he continues to highlight issues of public interest to a larger audience.


  1. By declaring that they are leaving the selection process of the MB entirely to the Sultan, does it mean that they are abstaining from voting? If this is so, the support for Wan Azizah (PKR (13), DAP(15) and PAS(2)) would be 30 against 13 for Khalid (UMNO (12), Ind (1)). Therefore, the support for Wan Azizah would be quite comfortable with over 50% of the house, not to mention a significant majority of 17 against the opposition vote of merely13. On this ground alone, Wan Azizah should qualify as the fair and democratic choice for the MB post.

    But for whatever outcome, the people should be ever wary of PAS after seeing their lacking in commitment towards the ideals, aspirations and spirit of the PR coalition. However, for the sake of a 2 party system, the PAS should not be rejected in toto but votes should be cast based on the quality and political position of each candidate as I believe that there are still many in PAS who are still committed toward the cause the PR coalition is taking on.

  2. No, No and no . We all know that ever since this repugnant … Mahathir became the PM has not practiced democracy in this country. This Umno made (man) knew this all along and that was the sole reason why he .. just (had) to remain the PM of Malaysia. Without any consideration of the
    need for additional infrastructures in the country (his administration) literally imported from the neighboring country million of muslims with the (hope) these immigrants will (support his administration) in Putrajaya in exchange. … He is not going to worry the many problems these … immigrants will create so long he remained as PM of this country …

    All these are at the expense that the country will loose out the billions or may be even trillions in taxation annually the (those minorities who emigrated) were generating.

    Now (anyone) will know why the country is now in deficit and also in desperate need to beg the (emigrated) professionals to return to serve the country plus also to keep keeping the billions they were paying. We all know that the Talent Corp has failed to do that, even with incentives and added incentives thus the need to implement the GST (Goon Survival Tax) just as a replacement but where is the replacement to come from when the black gold has run out and that will happen soon. The only area is to increase the taxes and also an easy way is the GST. How come the oil producing countries like Saudi Arabia or Brunei do not have personal taxes and the GST or in Singapore, a non oil producing country, where the first S$20,000- a person earns is tax free.

    It only shows this repugnant … Mahathir does really care about what the consequences will be… He can only hope and (dream) for (his) son to continue his dynasty … !


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