Consolidation of democracy takes time, says analyst

Edmund Terence Gomez cites the Philippines and Indonesia as examples of countries which had to go through a long process of reforms.

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite the peaceful transition of power, the consolidation of democracy is not going to be easy for the country, said political analyst Edmund Terence Gomez.

Gomez, a lecturer at the Department of Administrative Studies and Politics in Universiti Malaya, gave the example of Indonesia and the Philippines, two countries that have taken a long time before they achieved democracy.

He said it was high time for political parties to change in nature and not to be ethnic-based.

“Some leaders from the previous ruling government even admitted that enough is enough for parties of such nature, time to become more Malaysian-based parties,” he said at the forum titled “Malaysian General Election 2018: Towards a New Progressive Malaysia Post GE14?”, yesterday.

The forum was co-organised by UM’s International Institute of Public Policy and Management, UM Faculty of Law and UM Academic Staff Association.

Other panelists were Layang-Layang assemblyman Onn Hafiz Ghazi, Sri Serdang assemblyman Siti Mariah Mahmud, UM law lecturer Azmi Sahrom and the International Movement for a Just World president, Chandra Muzaffar.

Chandra said he hoped that the new government will pay attention to legislation and public policies to address the fundamental issue of integrity.

“They have to address the questions of contracts and projects… this I know the issue on integrity had been raised in the past,” he said.

In the 14th general election, the Pakatan Harapan coalition led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad unseated Barisan Nasional which had been in power for six decades.

Mahathir, 92, made history by becoming the prime minister for the second time, as well as the world’s oldest elected leader.