Alternative forms of democracy


Today, we, Malaysians, exercise control of our political scene once in five years.

Recent events show that our representative democracy is not being representative of our views. In advanced democracies like those in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a 2018 OECD survey showed that on average 60% of responses in OECD countries disagree or strongly disagree with the statement “I feel the government incorporates the views of people like me when designing or reforming public benefits”.

With an increase of political hopelessness and inability to form concrete actions to tackle climate change, it is high time Malaysians explore and learn about other formats of democracy.

Two speakers present a couple of alternative forms of democracy: deliberative democracy (citizens assemblies) and participatory democracy:

  • Sonia Randhawa is the Australian project manager for the Sortition Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to deliberative democracy. She has been actively involved with various Malaysian NGOS. More importantly, she is a strong advocate for citizen’s assemblies
  • Arveent Kathirtchelvan is the youth chief of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) and he has penned several Malaysiakini articles on the concept of parliamentary and participatory democracy

Organised by Tindak Malaysia

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