KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today told political party leaders in democratic countries to uphold the concept of democracy by also willing to accept defeat.
The former prime minister said democracy required a lot of patience and tolerance.
“Now, if we truly believe in democracy, if the majority of the people choose somebody else and not our candidates, we have to accept. We have to stay calm and accept the rule of this cycle until the next election.
“But, if we take to the street and overthrow the government, you can be sure, if you become the government, the other will take this to the street and try to overthrow you,” he said during a luncheon talk at the Umno International Forum 2013 here, today.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak opened the two-day forum held in conjunction with the 2013 Umno General Assembly.
Dr Mahathir, who is also former Umno president, said if the situation happened, there would be no stability and peace, and the people would suffer.
Admitting that democracy was ‘not perfect’, he said the essence of the democracy was not all about winning an election, but also, the willingness to accept any possibilities.
Dr Mahathir hoped the developing countries would learn the mistakes of the developed countries.
“If we are facing a lot of problems, such as civil wars, killings and bombings, we are not great kings.
“We must know where the blame lies, then we can work out the solution for the problem.
“But if we refuse, if we are in the state of denial or blaming others for the problem, there is nothing we can do to overcome the problem,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also expressed his sadness over the situation in some places where people were killed by their own siblings and race.
“Even though Malaysia’s democracy is imperfect, but it is better, than to take it to the streets and kill each other,” he said. — Bernama-