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Friday, August 28, 2015

Let’s claim our most fundamental right

The right to a system that recognises errors and rights the wrongs
By CT Wong
Human beings are not infallible and because leaders are humans, or at least because we think they are, we can’t expect only saints or sages to be walking down the corridors of power. We have to expect that some elected leaders will be greedy for power and wealth, others will choose to hold on to power at all costs and still others will make errors of judgment. This is not my main concern, though it is still important.
My main concern is not so much whether or not our PM Najib Tun Razak will resign but whether we can salvage our political system so that we have a system with the foresight and the hindsight to correct mistakes, and correct them in time.
I am disillusioned because there is a real possibility that we are dealing with a system that cannot do that. Correcting the wrongs seems almost impossible because the system we have seems to lack even the capability to differentiate right from wrong. The signs suggest that the ruling elite have lost all sense of shame and that they lack the moral courage and fortitude to right the wrongs. An even bigger tragedy is that those who point out mistakes and errors face criminal intimidation and imprisonment.
This is what we should be marching for ─ a real democracy with real voting rights. Yes freedom of expression, the right to assemble etc. these are important hallmarks of democracy, but the fundamental right ─ that which will allow our system to correct its mistakes and learn from them, that can only be achieved by clean and fair elections.
If we had real voting rights, not fake voting rights, we would not be dealing with the wrongs of epic proportions we are faced with today. We would not be in a situation where the weak, the poor and the marginalised have to pay for the sheer folly of those in power.
So, walk we should, so that we can lay claim to a system that knows honour and compassion, a system that can recognise wrongs and has the courage to right them.
Walk we should, so that we can claim our right to the most fundamental of all democratic rights, real voting rights.
CT Wong is an FMT reader.

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