In the last few by-elections, the Election Commission just forked out less than RM3 million in expenses. However, the police had used more than RM31 million. This is really shocking and unacceptable. It is unacceptable because we have read of police unnecessary interference in the democratic process including the right and freedom to assemble and hold political rallies during the campaign period. The person(s) who authorised the expenses must be held accountable.
The fact that the police needed RM31 million or ten times more than what the EC needed to run the by-elections speaks volume of the authority mindset. Malaysian voters are not a wild and unruly lot unless provoked. The use of water canon, tear gas, dogs, helicopters etc are a waste of public fund. The attitude of the authorities must change if they want to keep down the cost of running a by-election. The next time the police thought of using the helicopter again they should really justify its uses. It is public money! Not BN's money.
I do agree that the Penanti by-election is waste of public fund is there was an underhand tactic to bring down Fairus. Hence, both the Chief Minister Lim and Anwar Ibrahim owe the public an explanation why Fairus was asked to quit. He was voted in by the people and held an important public office. The state government and his party are accountable and answerable to the people of Penang, including me.
Next, I hope the BN will not use the Penanti by-election and the waste of public fund as a reason to brush aside the need of quick and immediate snap elections in Perak to resolve the political and democratic quagmire there. The whole crisis is becoming too odd. Now, the federal court ruled that it has the jurisdiction to review the decision made by the legislative assembly. Ex-justice Chan said a decision that was made in blatant defiance of Article 72(1) of the Federal Constitution which says, “The validity of any proceedings in the Legislative Assembly of any State shall not be questioned in any court”.
If we have to spend scarce resources on a good cause such as preserving our democratic rights then it has to be done e.g. the power grab and illegitimate government in Perak. It is clear and without a doubt that the BN installed Menteri Besar and state government would lose a state wide election if one is called. Simply, this was not the government elected by the people. Hence, to ensure our democracy works, it is important to go back to the people.
Finally, the Sultan of Perak has spoken. He said, "Rulers are above politics and as such they cannot participate in open debate to answer allegations hurled against them by political groups." However, when a ruler has made a political decision he owes it to the people to explain his decision if it appears to be inconsistent with the highest law of the land - federal constitution. This is a binding and legal duty of a constitutional monarch.
He cannot claim a right to remain silence by saying that his monarchy is above politics. It was his decision to appoint a non-popularly elected Menteri Besar and to legitimize a government which is dependent on three dubious characters. He cannot claim to be above politics if he had made such a controversial and undemocratic decision.
He added, "It should be stressed that the constitutional monarchy has three rights - the right to give views and counsel, the right to encourage and motivate, and the right to remind and reprimand." As citizens of this country, the people are privy to the same rights to question, probe, criticize and take legal action against anyone including the royalty for bastardizing the federal constitution. The royalty is part of the society and not above it.
Sultan Azlan Shah has a lot to prove for his other statement, he said the rulers were neither blind nor deaf or mute.
Prove it! Action speaks louder than words. He appears not to know, see or hear the reaction, response and reception of his people towards the BN installed government.
Give us back our democratic rights!