The associate law professor from Universiti Malaya told a forum today he understood why Malaysians were cynical when it came to putting a former Umno man back in power.
“I am not saying not to vote for the opposition, I am not saying they made a mistake in choosing Dr Mahathir, but I am still going to vote for them, because if you want change, you cannot have the current government,” he said after the “Post 1MDB and Malaysia: what future can we have”, forum in Kuala Lumpur today.
Azmi was invited with former Bersih chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan and Dr Wong Chin Huat from the Penang Institute to voice their thoughts on the future.
“If you want to vote for the government then of course it is your right, but if you want change then you have no choice, no matter what you (or I) might think of Dr Mahathir,” Azmi said.
Recalling the Indonesian elections of the late 1990s, Azmi said the Indonesians had voted for same party of the man (Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie) which they had kicked out.
“But now Indonesia is the only viable democracy in Southeast Asia. Their democracy survived … to make a first step to choose a government of their choice.
“We have never made that first step because we have never changed anything.
“So yes it is like swallowing glass, but what alternative do we have if we don’t swallow this? We are going to be stuck with the same old, same old.
“There is no reform at Barisan Nasional at all,” he said.
He added there needs to be a change in the educational system to not oppress future generations into submission.
“This is a key thing to move forward as a country, to have a population that is truly educated. To have universities that have complete academic freedom.
“Politicians are politicians and the only thing that keeps them in check are us,” he said.
The Forum was organised by Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) as part of its 8th anniversary fund raising event. There were 200 guests.
GBM raised about RM266,000 which will be used to fund its programmes and operation for the next two years. – January 21, 2018.
~ The Malaysian Insight