President Bush has called for elections and democracy in Cuba, now that Fidel Castro’s stepping down. But what would happen? I recently interviewed a founder of Malaysia, a melting pot of culture and races, that’s developed to become an Asian economic tiger. Malaysia’s ruling party has been accused of heavy-handed tactics in controlling the press, judiciary and political dissent, and I asked former prime minister, Dr Mahatir Mohamed, what would have happed if Malaysia had been run with Western-style multi-party democracy.
MAHATIR:- We would see racial fights all the time and destabilization. The country would not grow and people would feel unsafe.
HH:- Does Washington have any idea how to work in the developing world?
MAHATIR:- None at all. They don’t understand anything. They’re messing up this world because of lack of understanding by them who have so much power. They think that everything can be settled by killing people.
HH:- When you see what happened in Iraq, what do you think?
MAHATIR:- Democracy is good, but in order to achieve it you shouldn’t go around killing people. This is what is happening today. You are forced to accept one system – democracy — and if you don’t accept it, it I’ll bomb your country and kill your people.
HH:- How, then, should you govern?
MAHATIR:- Stability is the most important thing. Without it you cannot develop because people do not feel safe.