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YOURSAY ‘Which parts of these basic elements of democracy you don't understand?’

PM: People’s power to choose gov’t, but only at the polls

Aries46: Considering the current imbroglio and slew of allegations surrounding PM Najib Razak, he has forfeited the right to speak of his so-called powers as PM, the virtues of elections and people's power or the democratic process.

Najib lacks track record. He had it easy riding piggyback on Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's mandate for four years and when finally driven to seek his own mandate managed a miserable 47 percent popular votes, curtsy of vote-buying and the tainted and discredited Election Commission and its slanted and manipulated electoral systems.

The merits of the Najib victory at GE13 and in light of the recent expose of RM2.6 billion Umno election ‘donation’ are the subject of an ongoing legal challenge mounted against Najib and his cohort in the courts.

If as Najib claims GEs are the only time people can remove an elected regime, did he allow the same rights to the people of Perak when he allegedly bought over three Pakatan Rakyat assemblypersons and dismissed the elected Pakatan government without even the benefit of a vote of confidence in the state assembly?

Samurai: Najib should be careful when making ridiculous statements like this because it only slaps him back in the face like the proverbial Malay saying about slapping a pan of water.

The PM obviously never heeds his own logic, for example in the case of Perak when they stole the Pakatan government although the speaker demanded a re-election, in line with what Najib is saying now about “doing it at the polls”.

And what of Pak Lah’s infamous ousting after 2008? De ja vu? Karma? Whatever you call it, he sure wasn’t allowed the five-year “only at the polls” privilege Najib is demanding for himself now, was he?

And other Umno leaders like minister Azalina Othman have short memories regarding democratically elected governments. Remember how Sabah flipped from opposition party to BN component? I really don't recall any democratic election being won by BN in that state at the time.

Negarawan: "In between elections, we cannot do anything that contravenes our country's constitution and laws," said Najib.

The rakyat understand democracy. The rakyat understand the rule of law and the constitution.

However, when the PM of a country has allegedly committed a crime of the highest order and betrayed its people, the PM has to respect the law, and not try to impede any investigation. Criminal laws apply here, not democratic principles.

SteveOh: Najib is not infamous as the 'father of spin' for no reason. His comments are ingrained with half-truths.

The polls are when voters decide who forms the government. But under the Westminster system, parliamentary democracy allows the people to pressure the leader to step down, especially when there are allegations of serious wrongdoings anytime between polls.

It is a lie to say people can't do that. Even in the United States, the president can be impeached and forced to resign, for example Richard Nixon.

His snipe at detractors unfairly implying 'violence' in people’s power is a denial of the truth evidenced by Bersih 4 which wanted Najib to go, not the entire BN government. What a spin queen.

The polls of skewed electoral boundaries and gerrymandering and malapportionment reflect stolen results as with the stolen Perak government when politicians were allegedly bribed to be turncoats and alter the elected government.

So much for polls being the only time for change. Sigh!

Slumdog: Where else has one heard such utter rubbish as “people's power to choose the government can only be applied during elections.”

So is he saying that between elections when the PM or his government is involved in scandals or unconscionable behaviour, the rakyat have to keep quiet and wait for the next election to express their disgust.

I get the feeling that whenever Najib makes a speech, he tends to craft his speech to the lowest common denominator, that is, people with simple mindsets and those easily swayed by lies and distortion of facts.

Najib is the master of spin and whatever he spews he never puts into practice or worse, behaves in the complete opposite. Those beholden to him are entirely absorbed by his prattle. He is one person that can claim black is in fact white and many will believe him.

Res Ipsa: I agreed that such power to change the government is vested in the rakyat once in every five years. But in cases of blatant abuse of power and corruption, are the rakyat just expected to sit down and let the five years go by?

The results of GE13 are now considered heavily tainted with excessive money politics and there is a pending legal suit to void the results on this ground.

What comes into the open during that case proceedings may also set the tone for criminal charges. The rakyat is certainly not going to wait for the next polls under such circumstances.

Non Politican: I beg to differ with Najib. If a politician breaks the mandate given by the people when he is elected, he should be able to be removed as a representative of the people at any time by the people by having a referendum against him.

In some nations, there is impeachment. In other nations, a vote of no confidence against the politician concerned is taken to replace him.

In the US, in at least in two states, the voters of a constituent can have a referendum and if more than 50 percent of the voters vote against the said politician, a re-election would be called unless the affected politician challenges the validity of a referendum against him in court and gets the court to support his contention.

Politicians should note that the people are supreme, not the other way around.

Onyourtoes: I can't believe it, the PM is talking crap. He was basically saying that democracy is confined to election once every five years and in between we the people could do or say nothing. Is this his understanding of democracy?

Hello PM, when we, the people went to the poll during the 13th general election, we were not saddled then with 1MDB, massive political donation, and other abuses?

In a democracy, the people, the opposition and even members within your ruling coalition/party have every right to monitor, criticise and sanction the government.

Which parts of these basic elements of democracy you don't understand?

Anonymous_1419570792: Kleptocracy is a government of thieves, by thieves and for thieves. The ruling elite in a kleptocracy governs only to extend its personal wealth and political power by stealing from the state coffers.

Contemporary kleptocracies often maintain a facade of democracy to camouflage their kleptocratic tendencies.

A kleptocracy may have a state constitution, though it is regularly abused to suit the whims and fancies of the ruling elite. Regular elections are also held to enforce the notion of a democratic state.

The elections are rigged and manipulated to provide legitimacy to the kleptocracy.

Oxymoronictendencies: Let me get this right, so it's okay to "buy" an election with questionably sourced funding. It's okay to break your election promises once elected. It's okay to steal from the rakyat.

But a prime minister cannot be replaced for five years. What nonsense! That's not democracy.

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