22 April, 2011

Reality bites - Majority rule only works if you're also considering individual rights

In an article published a day after the Sarawak polls, Utusan Malaysia's Awang Selamat was of the opinion that greater appreciation should be given to those who supported the BN and as such, a clear message has to be delivered to the Chinese community for rejecting the BN and supporting the DAP.

According to Awang, the state Barisan Nasional government should no longer be too generous in allocating representation in government to the Chinese community.

Awang further opines in his piece that there is now a new reality – that the BN needs to ignore the Chinese and instead focus on the other communities.

What a load of nonsense.

It seems that Awang has conveniently forgotten that it was the Chinese community that overwhelmingly supported the BN in 1999 when over half the Malay vote went to the opposition.

On the back of Anwar's Reformasi movement, the Malay vote swung mainly to PAS and it was Chinese support that dragged BN across the finish line with a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

I do not recall anyone from Utusan Malaysia calling for BN to stop being too generous in allocating government positions to the Malay community after the 1999 General Elections.

I do not recall anyone from Utusan Malaysia at that time calling for the BN government to ignore the Malays and instead focus on the Chinese and Indian communities.

A government is bound to serve every citizen – even those who did not vote for it.

As Larry Flynt once said, "Majority rule only works if you're also considering individual rights. Because you can't have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper."

A government cannot collect income tax from everyone but ignore the interests of the taxpayer that did not vote for it.

The taxpayer that did not vote for the government is not a traitor. He is as much a patriot as the next guy who did.

In fact, the taxpayer that voted for the opposition keeps the government on its toes. He ensures that the government does not rest on its laurels.

Without a credible challenge against the BN government in Sarawak, there would not have been any pressure on Taib Mahmud. The Chief Minister would not have even bothered offering to step down despite being in power longer than Hosni Mubarak.

more here.

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