The Sunday Star
by Roger Tan
Democracy is about accepting finality through the ballot box and due process of law.
IN the 2000 United States presidential election, despite Al Gore having won the popular vote, he did not get to become President.
He received 266 votes and George W. Bush obtained 271 at the Electoral College due mainly to the vote recount fiasco in the state of Florida. The matter went all the way up to the US Supreme Court, which ruled 5-4 in favour of Bush. This was by far one of the most divisive and controversial US presidential elections, so much so that Bush was described as the President elected by the US Supreme Court.
Even though Gore strongly disagreed with the apex court’s decision, he was nevertheless gracious in defeat. Indeed, it took a big man like him to admit defeat. I remembered his concession speech almost moved me to tears.
Gore said: “Almost a century and a half ago, senator Stephen Douglas told Abraham Lincoln, who had just defeated him for the presidency, ‘Partisan feeling must yield to patriotism. I’m with you, Mr President, and God bless you.’ Well, in that same spirit, I say to president-elect Bush that what remains of partisan rancour must now be put aside, and may God bless his stewardship of this country. Now the US supreme court has spoken. Let there be no doubt, while I strongly disagree with the court’s decision, I accept it. I accept the finality of this outcome ... And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession. I know that many of my supporters are disappointed. I am too. But our disappointment must be overcome by our love of country.”
This is what democracy is all about – accepting finality through the ballot box and due process of law.
Alas, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim refused to do so. He has vowed to move on with a “fierce movement” by holding protest rallies throughout Malaysia to challenge the 13th general election results. This is not democracy. If I may coin a new word for the Oxford’s English dictionary, it is democrazy!
If we want to indulge in an orgy of rhetorics that Barisan Nasional won by massive fraud, then I say Pakatan must have won by massive lies spread over the social media such as that:
> 40,000 foreigners were flown in from east Malaysia to vote in the peninsula;
> a bomb planted by Barisan supporters had exploded at the Johor Baru immigration terminal in order to frighten Malaysians working in Singapore from coming home to vote;
> new ballot boxes were added or exchanged when there was a blackout in Bentong in order to enable Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai to win.