Democracy died a little bit today

parliament.jpgWhen the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, Tan Sri Pandikar, turned down Lim Kit Siang‘s motion to debate the issue surrounding the racist comments allegedly made by the principals of schools in Johor and Kedah, democracy died a little. 

The issue is a pressing matter, and of significant concern to the people. The Tan Sri Pandikar claims that the issue is closed because action has been taken by the PSD. First of all, what is this action that has been taken by the PSD towards these principals? While it’s not the Speaker’s place to tell us, due to the nature of the incident and also the nature of the emergency request made for this debate, an exception should be made and the Speaker should give us an idea of what action was taken.

Secondly, even if appropriate action has been taken, why shouldn’t the issue be debated in the Dewan Rakyat? The issue of race, racism and how it’s infected our public services (including the waste of public funds otherwise known as BTN), and how it’s affecting our society is THE current topic of the land. Instead of dodging the motion, you would have thought that all attempts to speak about it openly would be encouraged! At least that’s what you would expect in a proper democracy. Refusing to allow debate on the issue will not make it go away, Tan Sri Pandikar. I presume that you understand this fact.

In the end, democracy suffered. I for one, just like many other concerned voters, would have liked to know what the views are of our MPs on this issue. Perhaps, during the course of the debate, some of them will reveal themselves as closet bigots. On a positive side, perhaps, Malay leaders in BN will stand up and echo Nazri’s strong anti-racism position. Either way, or maybe even both could happen — its important for the electorate to know where their leaders stand on the issue because it might just help them make their decision the next time a vote is going to be cast.

I’m disappointed in Tan Sri Pandikar. When he came to the seat of the Speaker, many wondered what type of speaker he would be. I’m sorry to say he’s gone a long way towards providing the answers to that question with his decision today.

Edit: Tan Sri Pandikar also rejected a host of other questions that the people want answers to, on the basis of triviality. Isn’t this supposed to be our Parliament?

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