Whether you vote or not shouldn’t determine your right to complain, according to political analysts.
They were referring to Raja Sara Petra’s recent claim that eligible voters who refused to cast their ballots did not care about Malaysia and had no right to complain about the country.
Speaking to FMT, Universiti Malaya Associate Prof Awang Azman Awang Pawi pointed out that freedom of expression was embedded in the Federal Constitution.
“Anyone can complain, that’s the right they have under the Federal Constitution as well as their basic human right,” he said.
He pointed out that citizens had no say in choosing who their prime minister was in the current system even if they voted.
“As long as all the division leaders and Umno supreme council members support the prime minister, that prime minister will remain in power.”
He claimed that many eligible voters chose not to vote because they were not satisfied with the situation in the country and believed voting would not change that.
“They protest against the ruling party but at the same time are not confident in the existing alternative parties.”
He, however, conceded that the first step in changing the current system was through voting in the general election.
“People need to unite if they want to change the existing system into one that is more democratic and the way to do this is to vote.”
Meanwhile, Associate Prof Dr Jeniri Amir of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak slammed Raja Sara for her statement, saying that no one had the right to stop people from complaining.
“Whether whoever is complaining is right or wrong, as long as the opinion given is not against any law – including the Sedition Act – then no one has the right to stop people from complaining.
“Freedom of expression is guaranteed under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution and every citizen has the right to voice out their complaints on whatever issues and problems related to the country.”
He said that complaints from the public were the only way to ensure that there was check and balance in the country.
“This is the only way forward for us as a nation and it ensures that the country is on the right path.”
Sheith Khidhir Bin Abu Bakar@FMT Reporters Online