When dictatorship can be kosher…

The former prime minister who ruled Malaysia for 22 long years reportedly asserts that dictatorships can be good for the people.

Dr. Mahathir Mohamed cites Communist China as an example of a country ruled by an authoritarian regime that still manages to deliver material goods — minus, of course, the equally important freedom, liberty and equality.

What he seems to forget, or refuse to acknowledge, is that without freedom, liberty and democracy, the government of the day may not be accountable for its actions, some of which can be detrimental to the interests and concerns of the ordinary citizens.

Under authoritarianism, democratic institutions that can play a vital role in checking excesses of the ruling elite, such as the judiciary and the Press, would lack independence and consequently would be rendered ineffective.  

Besides, progress and quality of life don’t necessarily be measured only in material terms.

Incidentally, one would imagine those academic centres, whose primary objective is to examine and highlight Mahathir’s thoughts, would be on high gear monitoring and studying recent developments in Mahathir’s thinking.

See here and here for full stories.


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