KUALA LUMPUR – Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak has said the country’s democracy is not dead because the government treats all its people fairly and does not denied the rights of its citizens.
He denied allegations by certain parties that Malaysia’s democracy is dead because the government provided various assistance to the people, including helping the poor with various programmes, providing fundings to assist the small businesses, 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) as well as economic opportunities and jobs.
“In short, the government does whatever it takes to fulfill its obligations to the people.
“This shows that the level of Malaysian democracy is not as bad as what some people are accused of. We still remain as a democratic country,” he said in his blog sskeruak.blogspot.my today.
“As example, the Democracy Index of 2016 shows that from 167 countries, we are ranked 65 (6.54), compared to Thailand (4.92), Cambodia (4.27), Myanmar (4.20), Vietnam (3.38) and Laos (2.37) which was placed under the authoritarian regime category.
Salleh said the Central American countries. which is close to the United States was also a failed democracy and cited as examples the Honduras and Guatemala. which scored 5.92 respectively.
In fact, he said, Bhutan, a country with high gross national happiness score of 4.93, was also considered as a failed democracy and Qatar with the highest per capita population in the world, which only scored 3.18, also failed.
He said the newly released Freedom of the World 2018 also did not categorise Malaysian democracy as dead, but with Singapore as “partly free” with a score of 4, compared with Brunei, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar (score of 6).
“’Partly free’ is not a reflection of our dead democracies or the government denying the rights of its citizens, but because of some of the preventive acts we have to maintain to ensure stability and peace in our nation.
“Is Malaysia safe? Of course,” said Salleh, adding that the Global Peace Index 2017 put the country’s peace index at 29th out of 163 countries, and the fifth safest in Asia Pacific after New Zealand, Japan, Australia, and Singapore.
“As a citizen, we should be happy. Finally, this year we will hold a general election. Surely all parties are ready to face this general election.
“Hopefully the GE 2018 is the safest and most stable and our country can move forward,” Salleh added. – BERNAMA