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Perhaps not a dictator, but clearly an autocrat

S Thayaparan  |  Published:  |  Modified:

The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law. - Christopher Hitchens in ‘Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays'.

COMMENT So, is anyone going to provide proof, like what former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad demands, that he is a dictator?

For my part in my Malaysiakini pieces, I have (sometimes) drawn interested readers to the fact that the rhetoric of the opposition often times is in conflict with the banality of the everyday reality of the systemic racial or religious discrimination that (and here is the important part) we, had a hand in creating. The unbearable truth is, it's not about you but us.

NONE My piece on the former prime minister's bad medicine elicited brickbats here and elsewhere. I love the smell of abdication of personal responsibility in the morning. Smells like... victory.

Providing proof of tyranny does not necessarily make a dictator (not that I have used the term or maybe I have, like many I too have had my bellicose moments) in the populist sense of the word and would no doubt lead to relativist tinged arguments with a base of solid pedantry.

Some like the term "dictator", I prefer "potentate" or "autocrat". These last two I believe more accurately describes the reality of the power-sharing formula espoused by Umno and the subservience of those of us who allowed such an arrangement to go on for decades...

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