Sunday, 24 February 2013

We live in warped logic

Going The Distance (Selangor Times)
22 February 2013


I DON’T get it. I just don’t get it.

Sometimes the level of warped logic that permeates this country simply beggars belief. Take the “invasion” of Sabah for example.

First off, let me be clear that I am glad there has been no violence at the time of writing. I am not here to call for blood.

Indeed it is quite heartening to see a restrained approach taken by the Malaysian police and armed forces.

In fact it is more than restraint, there is a great deal of compassion as can be seen by Sabah’s Police Commissioner who said that they were dealing with human beings and thus the softly, softly approach.

I just wish that compassion can be shown to Malaysians.

Let’s put this in context, armed men land in our country. They are not carrying baseball bats and machetes, they are carrying automatic weapons. The possession of such weapons unless in very specific situations can carry with it a death sentence, so the mere fact that they are armed is seriously against the law.

But it is more than that; they are here to claim the Malaysian state of Sabah as belonging to their sovereign.

This looks to me like an act of war. A Quixotic act of war no doubt but how else can you describe it?

Yet, these people have been treated gently with no violence or even threat of violence.

On the other hand, when Malaysians gather peacefully, with no weapons whatsoever, and demanding nothing more than the upholding of basic democratic principles, they are tear-gassed and beaten.

Aside from these incidences during large citizen gatherings, we also read of cases where unarmed men, women and children die in police custody or are shot dead by the police.

Is it just me or is something wrong with this picture?

And the warped logic continues.

The banning of Australian lawmaker Nick Xenophon has been hailed by some quarters as necessary to maintain the stability of the country.

He apparently creates instability by criticising our electoral process.

That is some seriously odd thinking. The thing that causes instability in a country is when the election system is flawed.

The best way to ensure a peaceful and stable country is by making sure that people have a voice and that they know their voice matters.

In mature democracies, you don’t see any problems when there is a change in government.

This is because there is faith that the election was fair.

If people feel that then, win or lose, the result can be acceptable. This is because they realise that even if you lose today, there is a fair chance that through democratic means, you will win the next time.

But take away that faith with an electoral system that is rife with gerrymandering, or phantom voters or anything else that will undermine the democratic ideal; that is when problems can occur.

If the powers that be and the academics applauding the deportation of Xenophon truly care about national stability, then they should look at the real causes of instability, not some noisy Aussie senator.

Work your socks off to fix the electoral system in this country so that citizens will have faith in it once more.

No comments: