By Ambiga Sreenevasan
Those in the international community may be forgiven for saying, “Is there a problem with the democratic process in Malaysia?”
In the international arena, our leaders portray Malaysia as a moderate Islamic nation that is built on the democratic principles that are enshrined in our Federal Constitution. The fundamental rights of freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, the right to life and a fair electoral process, are indeed guaranteed under our Federal Constitution.
The reality is, however, far less idyllic. There are serious questions whether these rights are respected and upheld by those in power.
Since before the 1990’s, Malaysians have been pushing for a reform of the system of governance. There has been growing discontent over issues like rampant corruption, abuse of power, deaths in custody and selective prosecution (or persecution), to name but a few of the grouses.
We are increasingly alarmed by the use of race and religion by politicians to divide the people for political gain, with no regard whatsoever for the possible long term consequences of this conduct.
We note with disgust our mainstream media descending to the lowest depths of junk journalism. We are appalled at the growing instances of political violence.
Read the rest here: Malaysia’s elections: Should the international community care? — Ambiga Sreenevasan