14th General Election critical test whether Malaysia can be normal democratic country where voters can peacefully and democratically elect the Federal government they want

This year, Malaysians celebrate the 60th Merdeka Day and 57th Malaysia Day anniversaries, and this is an important milestone to review our national successes and failures.

Despite thirteen General Elections in nearly six decades, Malaysia has yet to become a normal democratic country where voters can change the party or political coalition in government peacefully and democratically through the ballot box like other mature democracies without threats of national catastrophes.

In the past 60 years, there had been six democratic and peaceful changes of government in the United Kingdom, but not a single time in Malaysia. In Asia, Japan, India, South Korea, Taiwan and even Philippines and Indonesia have more democratic traditions and practices than Malaysia, as the Japanese, Indians, South Koreans, Taiwanese and even Filipinos and Indonesians can use the ballot box to change the party or political coalition in power without any national disaster or calamities.

The case of South Korea should be a salutary reminder of how far we as a nation have fallen short of our expectations when we achieved Merdeka on August 31, 1957.

Sixty years ago, South Korea was very poor and backward, with a per capita GNP which is only one-third in this country. Today, South Korea is one of the richest, most developed and prosperous nations in the world.

Sixty years ago, any notion of democracy and human rights in South Korea was non-existent as it was ruled by a dictatorship. But today, the South Korean Parliament could impeach the South Korean President and eight judges of the South Korean Constitutional Court could unanimously uphold the impeachment of the South Korean President by the South Korean Parliament on charges of corruption and cronyism.

Can Malaysians to do the same thing against “MO1” which had earned for the country the international infamy and ignominy of a “global kleptocracy”?

Why is Malaysia so backward and behind South Korea in political and economic developments today, when we were ahead of South Korea on both scores sixty years ago.

All Malaysians should ask these question and look for the answers – why after six decades of nationhood, we failed to be an example and showcase to the troubled world as to how diverse races, languages, religions, cultures and civilisations could successfully co-exist and integrate to build a united, harmonious, purposive, democratic, just, progressive and prosperous nation.

The impending 14th General Election will be a critical test whether Malaysia can be a normal democratic country where voters can peacefully and democratically elect the government they want for the country.

Are all political parties and leaders prepared to prove their democratic credentials by declaring clearly and unequivocally that they would respect and abide by their voters’ choice expressed through the ballot box on general election day, including a peaceful and democratic change of the Federal Government?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah