"It is the private citizens’ duty to measure the health of a democracy"
– Alexis de Tocqueville, French political scientist
Extensive scholarly works showcase the gradual development of politics and government since 2000 BCE. Strangely, unity was considered a myth associated with the denial of politics. Individuality became the first fact of participation in politics between 2000 BCE and 400 BCE. This clearly explains the divide-and-rule form of disingenuous democracy.
Intensive experiments in politics, in well-planned intervals, produced a medley of good government, godly government, consensual government, fact-based political behavior, and ultimately, identity politics. People of the government, by the government, for the government, in the government has gained currency.
Mircea Eliades, writing in his 1971 classic, The Myth of the Eternal Return, postulated that discerning pre-moderns found themselves indissolubly connected with the Cosmos, whereas neo-moderns believe in a strong connection to history. The Cosmic Architect versus man-made theories?
Carl Jung’s ‘collective unconscious’ are useful for failing democracies that need professional mind engineering techniques to weather deliberate political perils and socioeconomic torpedoes. No cure, just endure, is bad karma. Manipulating the narrative is another avatar of putrid politics.
The public need not endure what they think they cannot cure. Why do the problem-causing culprits walk scot-free? When public officials moonlight as kleptocrats, a government agency investigating these undesirables is akin to asking an alcoholic to advertise for alcoholic beverages.
It’s sheer madness casting your vote for those who deem politics a highly lucrative profession. Whether you choose to vote or not is a constitutionally protected choice (right). Reminder: the Malaysian Federal Constitution is silent about not voting, Election Commission notwithstanding.
The Federal Constitution is also silent about the fate of a sitting prime minister facing a vote of no-confidence by MPs with statutory declarations. Parliament, not the Palace, is the sole tribunal to test confidence votes that prove that frogging has multiple synonyms impoverishing and improvising legislation.
And Molotov cocktails are not welcome at 3 a.m. to send a heinous message to a Member of Parliament who dared to thync different. Arson can lead to murder. Do MPs now need armed Gurkha guards? The usual suspects await apprehension with glee.
The Federal Constitution is also silent about citizens tolerating and enduring putrefied politics. Career politicians refuse to go away. That explains bad loans fueled by cronyism and nepotism, false accounting practices, scapegoats, nominees and proxies, tax haven accounts, secret trusts, and bailouts. Disingenuous democracy should not become a national monument.
Disingenuous democracy is a no-end zone pretending to be a near-end zone. The puppeteers and shadow-players are busy doing what they do best for the worst of all consequences. When will voters stop grinding their teeth and go for a real telling bite? Disingenuous democracy detests smart citizens who are getting smarter.
‘Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods,’ quipped H L Mencken, and that holds good for Malaysian leaders who came in with their fingers firmly in the till. Their highly-paid spin-doctors weave a fabric of lies and misinformation to mislead the bloodhounds. Investigations and litigation are boring sideshows where fact and law collide and collude to produce jocular jurisprudence.
Mencken dropped another gem: ‘Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.’ And once you factor in the frogs, and statutory declarations, demoncrazy replaces democracy.
Mark Twain, too, contributed to the brain trust. His tirade that ‘few things are more irritating than when someone is wrong is also very effective in making his point.’ This is so apropos Malaysian politics while watching patent mediocrity in Parliament.
Discerning Malaysians are also cognitively aware of Twain’s timeless observation that ‘my kind of loyalty was to one’s country, not to its institutions or its office-holders.’ Therefore, the rubbish bin awaits patronage politics.
The present government is advocating D-I-E (Diversity-Inclusion-Equity) as a cure offering sustainability, prosperity, innovation, respect, trust and compassion (Madani). These ideals seem to compel the penitent public to push huge boulders uphill as punishment for electing a disingenuous democracy.
Cure-all remedies seem readily available in Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of the Federal Constitution (Fundamental Liberties). Are we destined to endure the institutional excuses, excesses, exceptions, exclusions and exemptions? Do Malaysians need another master manual to invoke and evoke their rights and just desserts?
The discerning public, despite surviving failure after failure since 1957, know that strategic Sabah and Sarawak will blaze a new trail. They enjoy untold and unused geographical, financial, constitutional and political advantage despite previous failed federal checkmates. A Borneo Territories Minister must match wits with a Federal Territories Minister to level the playing field.
Disingenuous democracy in Malaysia was the work of a recalcitrant dictator who took 22 years to invoke, instill and inculcate money politics. Is it still possible to win an election without money? If the answer is in the negative, then voting is a disgraceful and shameful act.
The governed commit treason when they cannot control a fragile state morphing into a failed state. Damnation awaits disingenuous democracy. We must demonize disingenuous democracy into ignominy. Money should not factor in when freedom and liberty stand tall against political and legal terrorism.
Litigation and legislation offer no remedies for national rage caused by race, region, religion, and ringgit. The Madani government’s role as Sisyphus is wholly unavoidable.