by Danny Lim
A two-party system protects the rakyat from the politicians. It gives the rakyat a choice. Politicians would fear being voted out. As such they would not bully and threaten the rakyat and would be more sensitive to the needs and feelings of the electorate. In such a situation the rakyat is the boss.
Umno-BN has ruled the country since independence. If Umno-BN wins GE13, it would still be a one party state in Malaysia and the rakyat would still be under the thumb of Umno-BN. Is this bad? Let’s look at one party state in various countries. Immediately Singapore our neighbour comes to mind.
PAP has ruled Singapore since 1960s, and Singapore is doing very, very well. But there are certain characteristics that Malaysia does not have, e.g. city state, zero corruption tolerance, professionally managed, performance and merit based. Even than Singaporeans want more freedom and voted in six opposition politicians (a record) in elections in 2011.
More distinctive examples would include countries in the Middle East where the ‘Arab Spring’ is still ongoing. Egypt, Tunisia and Libya have undergone tremendous changes after many years of one party rule. Why? One word – Oppression.
Characteristics of Oppression includes massive corruption; tight control of the mass media; public instituitions like the police, the army and the judiciary are not independent and are used against political opponents; and the elections are not conducted in a free and fair manner. Sounds familiar?
Lets contrast with countries having a two-party system – USA, England, Australia and Canada. These countries have changed governments very often and yet they are high income stable powerful advance developed countries.
Their main characteristics are: A free and independent press, independent public instituitions, freedom of assembly and free and fair elections. The citizens are the boss and the politicians the servants. No single political party holds power all the time.
Do we the rakyat want to be the boss? There is a saying ‘Change is the only constant’.
We have a choice now through the ballot box. Vote Pakatan Rakyat for a meaningful two- party system.
* This article first appeared in Free Malaysia Today