I dream of speaking with DSAI, former D.P.M. of Malaysia

I dream of

speaking with

DSAI, former D.P.M. of Malaysia  


I was trying to get a chance to have an interview with the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim (many Malaysians affectionately referred him in a short form as DSAI) also since last year.

Burma Digest Chief Editor was eager to get this interview as he is famous for his bright ideas, brilliant oratory skills and is known internationally and highly respected for his principled stance against corruption, for his skillful management of the Malaysian economy, as an ardent supporter of democracy and for his authoritative voice bridging the gap between East and West. He is regarded as one of the forefathers of the Asian Renaissance and a leading proponent of greater cooperation among civilizations. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1993-1998. Served as Minister of Finance for Malaysia from 1991-1998. He is an internationally renowned speaker on the subjects of democracy, freedom, good governance, Islam and democracy and the need for accountability.

Strangely, I have this unusual dream of getting a chance to have a face-to-face interview with DSAI. As the dream was like a real life-like and I could recall each and every word answered by DSAI in the dreams, I decided to record all of them in detail here.

I hereby wish to apologize Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim, his family and the political party from the bottom of my heart for dragging DSAI’s name in my dreams and this article.

I hope all of the concerned personalities could kindly understand and forgive me for daring to dream and write about this interview, which never materialized or happened in the real world.

Beware this is just fictional, not real.

BURMA DIGEST: Dear Datuk Sri, thank you very much for allowing us to interview.  His Excellency Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim…You are welcome. Question…As Datuk Seri is well known internationally as an ardent supporter of democracy, we wish to know your views based on democratic principles, regarding Burma’s present and future. 

Answer…Most of the people around the world just uttered the word democracy without knowing the essence of democracy. Let’s focus on the fundamentals of democracy such as human rights, individual freedom, good governance, and rule of law. 

Question…Burmese Military Generals are trying to hook wink the people of Burma, Governments around the world and United Nations with their “Seven Steps Road-map for democracy”. How do you see that road map? 

Answer…Most of the dictators around the world and even the Socialist and Communist leaders used to claim that they are practicing democracy to sugar coat their bitter pills of authoritarian rule of undemocratic governments. 

Question…They had ignored the results of the 1990 election where opposition won 85% of the seats. However, they are now preparing for the referendum and another election. 

Answer… The true cultivation of democracy requires more than simply the introduction of elections. It also requires the establishment of a democratic process and a levelling of the political playing field.

Now they had refused to honour the election they themselves had held because people rejected their Military affiliated party and had given mandate to the opposition. It is a blatant insult to the wisdom of the Burmese people and against the basic concepts of democracy.

If some one is regarded to be unreliable and broken the promise, especially if that person is the leader of a country, how could we trust them again?  If the Burmese people rejected their referendum and or the election, what is the Military Junta going to do?  Do they dare to promise the people of Myanmar and the whole world including the UN that they would just quietly withdraw peacefully to their barracks, like their previous leader General Saw Maung of SLORC had promised before the 1990 elections?The Generals must allow the free and fair competition among political parties.The election authorities and election officials must be independent, impartial, and effective in guaranteeing free and fair elections.

Question…In the Full or true democracy, how should SPDC conduct the referendum and or the election? General Ne Win’s Burmese Socialist Programme Party had legalized his authoritian, dictatorial military rule with the referendum and the elections before.They are trying to hook wink the whole Burma/Myanmar with the “Seven steps of Road map to democracy.” But the catch word of SPDC is “Guided” or “Disciplined” Democracy.  

Answer…I want to stress again my words, Holding the elections regularly is not enough. We need the establishment of a democratic process and a levelling of the political playing field.  The basic characteristics of democratic system must be instituted and followed such as:

  1. There must be plurality

  2. We must allow multi-political parties even if based on different races and religions

  3. There must be no intimidation of the candidates.

  4. There must be no intimidation of the oppositions; there must be no threats or restrictions on all the candidates and parties.

  5. All the citizens must be allowed to participate in the election process, voting as well as standing as a candidate or people’s representative.

  6. There must be an independent unbiased Election Commission.

  7. I strongly recommend a UN Election Watch Dog.

  8. The opposition must be given a free hand to campaign.

  9. The opposition must be allowed access and usage of mass media even if it is controlled by the military government.

  10. And all must accept the result of the elections whether any one win or loss.

  11. Voters must be able to freely choose their preferred candidates/parties without interference

Question…Just look at the Seven steps of Democratization of SPDC Junta. Are they conforming to the fundamentals of democracies? 

Answer… The most important thing in the democracy is to respect and recognize each and every person’s rights, minority races, minority religions, workers, women, children including handicapped persons etc.  

  1. And those minorities’ rights must be protected from the “bullies” of the majority.

  2. The National Convention should have been conducted in a more meaningful way and a more inclusive or all-inclusive process.

  3. All the people of Myanmar/Burma must be allowed to be participated by representation.   

  4. NLD, all the oppositions, civil society, ethnic minorities and minority religious groups must be allowed to be participated or allowed to present an open official stands, give suggestions, requests or objections.

  5. I heard that anyone commenting about the National Convention could be prosecuted.

Then only it could be called democratic and could be accepted by the people of Burma and the   International Community.  

Question… Delegates to the Convention were chosen by the SPDC and the Fundamental human rights and democratic requirements of the delegates are fulfilled in the convention. There were no sign of a genuine process of political transition to a real democracy. 

Answer… Yes the delegates to the Convention should be freely chosen and it should proportionally reflect the results of the 1990 elections.Some of the delegates were arrested for the activities carried out in relation to the Convention. Moreover, some were expelled or barred from the Convention for what they say or advocate peacefully.  

Question…SPDC Generals accused that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and NLD are stubborn and radical. What is your comment, how do you see them?   

Answer…I think that NLD and Daw Suu are pragmatic.

  1. They keep on saying that they could forgive and forget the past wrong doings and she is especially promoting Loving Kindness. The 1990 election they won is the real fact, no one including SPDC Generals could deny.

  2. Student leaders are also telling that they did not wish to revenge or even mention about their sufferings but asking for true and meaningful dialogue and National Reconciliation.

  3. Re-arresting the student leaders and continued arresting Daw Suu, NLD, opposition members and leaders do not show that the Generals have good faith or that they are sincerely changing towards a real democracy.

 Question…But the whole world leaders especially ASEAN leaders are seems to be believe them and just supporting their claim to give more time. 

Answer…No! The whole world knows that Myanmar Generals are just buying time or procrastinating and giving lame excuses to keep on staying in power.  ASEAN and other world leaders are just trying to be polite and diplomatic only. On the other hand, some neighbours just closed their one eye to continue exploit Burma. No one believes the SPDC Generals. I wish to quote Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels  “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” And the person telling the lies also started to believe that he is telling the truth because that person is also unknowingly trapped in the illusion he had made.So SPDC is saying these over and over and over and over again, and hoping that the Burmese people and the whole world will believe it, and that’s their strategy.This propaganda technique is called “The Big Lie”. 

Question…What are the other facts that may pull down the SPDC’s future Guided or Disciplined democracy to a lower level or to the bottom of the ratings:  

Answer… In the SPDC’s Guided or Disciplined democracy:

  1. The censorship of the print and online media is worse in the world ranking now and there is no indication of relaxation in a near future. All the Media must be free.

  2. The SPDC government policies is currently favoring one race and religion in the Military  and Government ignoring the ethnic minorities and minority religious groups.

  3. There are no signs of freeing the political prisoners and there is no promise of not to continue the practice of re-arresting the freed political prisoners because of their peaceful political activities.

  4. If they want to be recognized as moving towards the true democracy, they must allow individual freedom and especially the political freedoms. SPDC must allow the freer level of democratic development.

  5. SPDC must respect the Civil Rights of all the citizens.

  6. There must be good Governance free of Corruption.

  7. There must be Rule of law not Rule by Law.

  8. Political participation of all citizens must be allowed.

  9. Civil liberties must be allowed by SPDC.

  10. All the restrictions of SPDC on political parties must be stopped. SPDC Junta is not showing any signs or indications of reducing this oppression at the present and because of that, the opposition groups in Burma/Myanmar are fragmented and ineffective.

  11. There must be a legitimate, non-arbitrary, transparent process to amend the constitution and laws.

  12. Burmese People’s rights to demonstrations and assembly must .be recognized.