Tuesday, January 23, 2018
EVALUATING MALAYSIA DEMOCRACY
Salleh Said Keruak
1. There are parties often claim that Malaysia's democracy is dead. The reason is that they said government practice favoritism, racial discrimination, violation of civil liberties and etc.
2. The allegations unfounded because in reality, the government treats all its people fairly. As example, governments help poor people with various programs, providing a lot of funding to assist the small businesses, provide BRIM, economic opportunities, jobs and so on. In short, the government does whatever it takes to fulfil its obligations to the people.
3. The data show otherwise despite attempts to give negative image to the government. As example, the Democracy Index of 2016 shows that from 167 countries, we are ranked 65 (6.54), compared to Thailand (4.92), Cambodia (4.27), Myanmar (4.20), Vietnam (3.38) and Laos (2.37) which was fall under the authoritarian regime.
4. The Central American countries which is close to United States also a failed democracy. The Honduras and Guatemala scores 5.92. Bhutan, a country with high gross national happiness score 4.93, is also considered as failed. Qatar, the highest per capita population in the world only score 3.18 - also failed.
5. This shows that the level of Malaysian democracy is not as bad as what some people are accused of. We still remain as a democratic country.
6. The newly released Freedom of the World 2018 did not categorize Malaysian democracy as death, but with Singapore as "partly free" with a score of 4, compared with non-independent Brunei, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar (score 6) .
7. "Partly free" is not a reflection of our dead democracies or the government denied the rights of its citizens, but because of some of the preventive acts we have to maintain the stability and peace in our nation. Is Malaysia safe? Of course. The Global Peace Index 2017 puts our peace index, 29th out of 163 countries, and the fifth safest in Asia Pacific after New Zealand, Japan, Australia, and Singapore. As a citizen, we should be happy.
8. Finally, this year we will hold a General Election. Surely all parties are ready to face this General Election. Hopefully the GE 2018 is the safest and stable and our country can move forward.