Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad argued that providing citizens with the right to vote would also lead to corruption because voters could coerce the government with wide range of demands.
He said this was especially apparent when the ruling government was weak.
“Making the people have voting rights can also be corruption, because the people can exercise that right every five years. Now they become sophisticated and know the power of their votes, they could make demands.
“The government must heed their demands, or else risk losing their votes. When the voters see the government is weak, therefore they make lots of demands,” he said.
Mahathir was speaking on the topic “The Future of Malaysia Politics” at a fundraising dinner organised by the Imperial College London alumnus in Malaysia last night.
In his hour-long speech, Mahathir took potshots at his handpicked successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, describing him as a weak leader that had caused BN to lose its customary two-third majority in the last general election.
He said when the government was weak, racial problems would “crop out” and “be discussed widely”.
“Now we see one party condemning an individual and another individual condemning a party, the country is much more split than the past 50 years of so.
“If the 13th general election returns a weak government, racial issues would be a problem for the government to manage. There would be instability in the country. Moreover, races would draw apart,” he said
The former strongman also trained his gun at the two-party system, saying that competition between two parties does not produce positive impart to a nation.
Citing the United States as an example, he said the Democrats and Republicans had nearly brought the country to a fiscal cliff due to their stubborn stance along party line.
“On one hand you have the Democrats who want to reduce the government expenditure and increase the medicare allocation, on the other hand you have the Republicans who is against any type of austerity measures, they can’t reach an agreement,” he said.
BN to win GE 13
He praised the BN as being a strange “coalition of 14 parties which had done relatively well” in governing the nation and able to deliver much of its promises.
Mahathir said sophisticated and younger voters considered regime change as the only real change to the nation, but they failed to understand a change might not necessarily lead to positive outcome.
He said in the case of Africa nation Uganda, Milton Obote was said to be the dictator in the 1960s but Idi Amin who staged a coup later turned out to be even worse.
Amin’s rule was marred by human rights abuse, political repression and ethnic persecution which caused more than 100,000 to die.
On the country’s political outlook, Mahathir predicted that the BN government could retain power in the coming polls but doubted if it could form a strong government.