Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ku Li blames Umno, Dr M for loss of democracy

Ku Li KUALA LUMPUR: Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (picture), Umno’s most vocal dissident,  yesterday fired some of his most devastating salvos in recent weeks, at one point using the word “deranged” to describe the country’s leadership.
Speaking at the launch of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), the member of parliament for Gua Musang declared that Malaysia was a democracy only in name.
According to the Malaysian Insider, he appeared to have singled out Umno and former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad for the loss of democracy in Malaysia and thus the betrayal of what Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Malaysia’s founding prime minister, stood for.
IDEAS is dedicated to the memory of the Tunku and its mission is to promote liberty and justice.
Razaleigh said Malaysia had been “left it to the deranged for too long.  To expect change from the incumbents is to expect, in the Malay saying, the mice to repair the gourd, bagai tikus baiki labu.”
Tunku Abdul Rahman, he said,  “brought together a Malaysia … ‘through our own free will and desire in the true spirit of brotherhood and love of freedom,’ in a union arrived at ‘by mutual consent by debate and discussion … through friendly argument and compromise,’ and ‘in the spirit of co-operation and concord.’
“That basis has been replaced by something alien to it. His memory has been suppressed, and our history revised.”
Razaleigh, popularly known as Ku Li, said Tunku Abdul Rahman would not recognise today’s Malaysia because it had been replaced with the “cult of the great leader.”  Many Malaysians would recognise that as a reference to Mahathir.
“Tunku built up a system of good civil service in which ordinary citizens did not need to see so-and-so to get things done,” he said. “This has been replaced by a domineering style of leadership in which what you get done depends on who you know.
“In place of the protection for ordinary citizens guaranteed by popular representation, rule of law and the checks and balances of independent institutions, we have the cult of the great leader.
“It is no accident that the erasure of his memory has gone hand in hand with the erosion of our institutions.”
Razaleigh noted that the Tunku was not alone in fighting for and winning Malaysian independence, but was with “an entire class of individuals schooled in the culture and practice of parliamentary democracy.”
Four concepts that drive IDEAS are rule of law, limited government, free markets and individual liberty. Its launching yesterday took place at Memorial Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra.

* This article is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The blog owner does not endorse the view unless specified.

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