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Understand Democracy Well, Muslim Leaders Told

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KUALA LUMPUR: Muslim leaders need to learn about democracy in depth and understand how the system could be well administered in their country, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said many of them did not understand the meaning of a democratic government and instead believed the notion that if a country was democratic then it would be well ruled.

Addressing participants of the Kuala Lumpur Summit International Conference (KL Summit), here, today, Dr Mahathir said: “The general impression in the Muslim world is that democracy has worked in Malaysia and Muslim countries want to know why has it succeeded here.”

Stating that it was not the perfect system as western countries took 200 years to reach the stage they were in today, he said: “The electorate must be mature enough to choose in the elections.

“They must not choose leaders simply because they belong to the same tribe, or sex but must choose a good candidate, and as for the candidates, they must live up to the promises made during the elections if they govern the country.”

Dr Mahathir, who is also the KL Summit chairman, shared that Malaysia’s democracy was not like the western democracies of being too liberal which resulted in the collapse of their moral system.

“Our democracy emphasises on the right to vote the government into power and accept the election results. If we lose, we have to accept the election results. If we win, we form the government.

“In a democracy, we cannot expect to win all the time. Some may win and some may lose. We must accept losing and wait until the next election is held and try again,” he said.

On another note, Dr Mahathir said Islam and Muslims were facing a very serious crisis that they were fighting each other.

“Instead of them killing us, they (enemies) want us to kill each other. Killing our Muslim brothers is wrong and this is not the teaching of Islam,” he stressed.

Some 100 delegates from Islamic countries are attending the three-day summit.

— BERNAMA

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