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Democracy a la Malaysia, a bundle of contradiction – Ilaiya Barathi Panneerselvam

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell.

Malaysian ruling regime has consistently portrayed itself as the primary practitioner bundle of contradiction through various platforms; how obvious else it can be when our astute national leaders belonging to the ruling elites are vigorously advocating democracy while practising something totally opposite to what they preach upon. (Well, that’s what politics is all about).

This is supposed to be an agitated writing as a response to the blockade of online daily, The Malaysian Insider (TMI), which resulted in their closure by tonight (at the time of writing).

However, writing in the tone of criticism would eventually see me behind the walls of any nearby police stations or most probably in Dang Wangi police station as “thinking critically”, “voicing criticism against ruling elites”, “alternative ideas” and “writing on what ‘you-know-who’ don’t want to read the first thing on the morning or before going to bed” is absolutely sinful and banned without mercy in our beloved motherland.

First of all, before spitting away my infuriated emotions into writing, I think the best way is to show my deepest gratitude to TMI who published my first writing about a year-and-a-half year ago, where I tried my best to blend Gramsci’s Cultural Hegemony into Malaysian context, is by expressing my utmost solidarity with TMI who has been reporting quite truthful with all its might, noteworthy that they didn’t practice censorship and that is definitely a ride on the bull’s back.

What a coincidence, the content that I wrote a long time ago is still relevant up till today and I’m absolutely not surprised. Well, this is Democracy a la Malaysia. (Have to adjust lah).

“State, government, ruling elites, repressive state apparatus, ideological state apparatus, archaic/backdated laws, police forces, educational institution” – all this played a huge role not only when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad joint hand with the oppositions to demand our beloved and democratically elected Datuk Seri Najib Razak to resign peacefully, but it all started from The Man himself, Dr Mahathir.

Put away all those political plays and sketches aside, which merely dances of the tunes of their own political agenda which carries personal aspiration than the peoples’ aspiration.

Anyway, there is no such thing as permanent enemy or friends in politics, but it is always the people who get the lollipop in the end.

What to expect in our country with ongoing restriction on freedom of expression and freedom of the press?

It is a question which has to ponder every minds and souls of the masses.

The superpower in any democratic country is none other than the united people themselves.

Divided into race, religion, zone, district, state, university and many more irrelevant sentiments would only strengthen the unruly power of the regimes.

One of the most regressive things that could happen is, people would start to practice self-censorship in afraid of legal actions that might follow their path to home.

This will also leads to a society that restricts themselves to voice out its critical thinking towards social injustice or most probably a society that would end up in lazy chair, drinking coffee – expecting others to fight their battle.

Well, that is not the problem; the problem arises when everyone starts to think in the same way. It is important to remember, resisting the injustices is a duty of every single citizen.

In the end, one thing that has been proved – a pen is always mightier than sword.

Kudos to the whole of team of TMI, thanks for being with us all this while, and my gratitude for giving an arena for me to express my concerns and ideas.

“When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you- pull your beard, flick your face, to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor” – John Lennon. – March 14, 2016.

* Ilaiya Barathi Panneerselvam reads The Malaysian Insider.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.


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