Are Malaysians generally interested in Democracy?

In this previous post – I made a statement suggesting that we Malaysians can and should learn about Australian democracy.

Unfortunately not many Malaysians here in Australia are interested in Australian democracy. And unfortunately too, many Malaysians are not interested in true Democracy itself.

I have talked and discussed with some Malaysians about the recent Australian elections. Only a few seem to be genuinely interested in this subject.

More unfortunately (and more distressingly), those Malaysians that are genuinely interested in this subject are generally sceptical of the idea that Australian democracy can be applied in Malaysia. One aspect is the political advertisement. Here all parties can broadcast political advertisement (of course they have to pay for it). For this particular election, there are too many mud-slinging, scare campaign and negative messages from all parties. This is especially true for the Liberal-National coalition which basically ran a mostly scare campaign of what will happen if Labor comes to power. Of course, Labor party are also involved in such tactics, but not to the extent done by the Liberal-National coalition.

So, these interested Malaysians generally remarked to me that we can never have such things in the Malaysian mainstream media. Obviously, they can accept if the BN (Barisan Nasional ) coalition runs a scare campaign indicating all the bad things about the opposition on TV. But, they cannot imagine opposition parties doing the same thing. Several of them even argued that if the opposition are allowed the freedom to run a similar mud-slinging campaign on the TV and mainstream media, there will be chaos. Unfortunately the most recent protests in KL have further re-enforced this belief.

So those are what I got from some Malaysians. It is obvious that I cannot conclude that the opinions from them are indicative of the general opinion of all Malaysians.

But somehow, reflecting from my observations and discussions from other Malaysians in the past, I think we can say that: the general mood of the Malaysian public towards the abstract ideas of Democracy and Human Right is pathetic. Many are simply not interested in Democracy and Human Rights; and the few that are interested are sceptical. My opinions are also re-enforced by this posting by The Malaysian: Survey Shows Malaysians Happy With Present Govt Administration – PM. Is This Claim True? . Under the current circumstances I think that such a survey is true.

Why is this so? – See this post: One Failure of the Malaysian Education System


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