Malaysiakini Letter

Changing the face of the country

R Kengadharan  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Theoretically a significant change will only blossom if there is a revolution, but this idea no longer seem as pragmatic as all that.

Today the objective is to liberate the minds of the people and create a mass non-violent movement and its importance cannot be discounted.

The purpose is to make the people the masters of their own destiny.

A major achievement would be in the ability to change the status quo without violence and to cast a current political practice into a limbo and adapt a new one by an election.

In this process the new government could remake the economy or renovate the institution yet not destroy it and re-fashion even the structure of government by votes rather than by force.

We must constantly remind ourselves that characteristics such as human dignity, economic freedom, individual responsibility, equal political rights are fundamental values that distinguish democracy from all other forms of government.

When the right to vote in any system of government you live in is undermined then you are a subject and not a citizen.

Additionally, " No democracy can long survive which does not accept as fundamental to its existence the recognition of the rights of minorities" - Franklin D Roosevelt (US President, 1882-1945).

Democracy is the only tangible vehicle that can extraordinarily extend the sphere of individual freedom and liberty and attach all possible values to each man and will seek equality in liberty without any form of restraint and servitude.

The people of Sarawak will once again visit the ballot box on 16 th April 2011 . How do you propose to exercise your fundamental democratic right?

Many political parties and pundits are fearlessly lamenting about claims to promote human freedom but not it profits them concretely from the denial of freedom.

Note there are only two kinds of freedom i.e. the freedom of the rich and powerful (who invariably will exploit manipulate and commit deception on the poor) and the freedom of the monk who renounce possessions.

In every civilised society human rights must have the upper hand and such rights cannot exist without economic security and independence. Moreover, " no democracy can flourish half rich and half poor, any more then it can flourish half free and half slave " - Felix G Rohatyn.

Never must we forget that " everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well being of himself and his family including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control." - Universal Declaration of the Human Rights United Nations Article 25.1, 1948.

In essence every voter attempting to exercise his universal freedom on 16th April 2011 must remind himself and herself of the following values:

(i) Dream of the reality that ought to be - that must be;

(ii) Live beyond the pain of reality with the dream of a bright tomorrow;

(iii) Use hope and imagination as weapons of survival and progress;

(iv) Need no longer hold your tongues or fear to vote the revolutionary or reformatory ticket;

(v) Your objective is to achieve complete freedom, justice and equality.

Finally: " Many politicians of our time are in the habit of laying it down as a self evident proposition, that no people ought to be free till that they are fit to use their freedom.

"The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story, who resolved not to go in the water till he had learned to swim. If men are to wait for liberty till they become wise and good in slavery, they may indeed wait forever " - Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859).

 R Kengadharan was an ISA detainee.

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