Democracy is not about toppling the government. If that is the definition, then Malaysia would have learned all the wrong lessons from the French Revolution of 1789.
In the aftermath of the “Storm of the Bastille” that removed the Sun King of France and his mistress Marie Antoinette, both of whom emptied the coffers of the French Empire with lavish spendings, there was one attempt after the other to keep toppling the government of the day. This was known as the Jacobin Terror.
Even Robberspire, one of the original French Revolutionaries. To kill their opponents as quicly as they could be brought down, the Guillotine was used as the fastest method of ending the lives —- literally —- of all other democratic revolutionaries in the original French Revolution. An eye for an eye does make the world go blind. In this case, it was the French.
To divert the people’s attention from perennial turbulence in France, on came Napoleon Bonaparte, who assumed the role of an Emperor by attacking the surrounding empires of France, in order to externalize all the internal aggression and endless madness in France where everyone who was the leader was brought down, with their heads lobbed off. Yet let it be said too the French regretted their anti Monarchical action. Yet Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself as the Emperor a new, the French followed his lead to attack others on the creed of “Liberte, Fraternite and Egalite”. Now what was the result of attacking others, Britain, Austria Hungarian Empire and Russia united against these French advances after a blood bath that ended only in the Congress of Vienna 1815.
That is where Hadi Awang wants Malaysia to be. Chaos. An insidious black psy op to rouse his defeated troops in PAS and his ally Bersatu. Through such phantasm of violence, Hadi will impose ultra strict interpretation of so called Hudud to suggest that only his version of Islam can create order; when in fact PM Anwar Ibrahim is indeed fostering a strong Unity Government that has no dereliction of public duties to all people. Opposing and toppling the government of the day for the sake of pulling the rugs from under the legs of each democratically elected leader that formed the Unity Government at the advice of His Majesty King Abdullah on November 24 2022 is one of the heinous tricks of Hadi.
Sections 124 B to 124 N is a legitimate piece of legislation to arrest those who seek to sabotage and overthrow “a democratically elected government” —- of which the latter is led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and members of the Unity Government. This Malaysian Penal Code was amended in 2012 to introduce new Sections 124B to 124N. These 13 new sections deal with “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” (nine sections) and “sabotage and espionage” (four sections).
Of course the Unity Government won’t resort to such draconian measures. As Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is still a government that is safely ensconced within a parliamentary democracy where there are Anti Hopping Party Laws that are further reinforced by the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Pakatan Harapan, Barisan National, GPS in Sarawak, GRS and Warisan in Sabah.
The combination of all their votes is 2/3 of the majority in the parliamentary; which is 148 seats. A number that can convince the Foreign Direct Investors and the domestic investors already in Malaysia to increase their investment in Malaysia.
However, should Hadi’s antics still continue unabated which can weaken the economic foundation of an economy, which the Deputy Minister of Finance, assures all Malàysian and people of all stripes and gender working in the country, that the economy will register a modest growth of 4.5.percent in 2023, then any further diabolical attempts to topple the government must be seen as a criminal interpretation of what democracy means.
A true democracy is one where the incumbent must willingly hold a free and fair election to allow the people to speak up. The King, the Confidence of Rulers and the people of Malaysia are in favor of the Unity Government.
Yet, in the twisted mind of Hadi, he has affirmed that “there is nothing wrong with the opposition always attempting to topple the government.” Such a statement is dangerous and highly destructive for three reasons.
First and foremost, it goes against the will of the people. It also risks gaslighting one group of Malays to fight against the other. Remember Amanat Hadi. It challenges the wisdom of Islam that speaks badly of always trying to bring calumny (fitnah) and chaos against an established authority. The great scholar Ibn Tammiyah, which Hadi and many Salafists, once affirmed that triggering a systemic state of chaos, is a curse. A government must always be secure to prevent a Hobbesian state of permanent war.
Second, it upends the ideology of conservativism. Edmund Burke who had witnessed the worst of the French Revolution had persistently argued against overthrowing a government just because of the frivolous desire to do so. Burke’s brand of conservativism was about resisting the inner temptation to overthrow the government of the day. Hadi should know better. When something is broken, it ought to be preserved first.
Third, Hadi and thousands of his cult-like members in the party that is now PAS, are now no longer focused on their parliamentary duties. Rather, they are obsessed with the game of kneecapping Malaysia
Given the un-statesman like behavior of Hadi, the key lies in stripping him all is titles. Therefore, his Tan Sriship must be withdrawn and those who support the views of Hadi must be subject to immediate investigation —- where the Royal Malaysian Police does have the right to frisk and seize any discordant and disturbing materials. From that point on if Hadi still persists in this outlandish behavior, Malaysians of class and creed that Hadi is committing a blatant Lèse-majesté of His Highness and the Conference of Malay Rulers, by extension, all institutions that bore their royal imprint. Sembah Derhaka it is!
Dr Rais Hussin is the president and chief executive officer of EMIR Research, a think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research.