Democratisation and Reforms in Singapore and Malaysia - Research Paper Example

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Title: Democratisation and Reforms in Singapore and Malaysia Insert Name Tutor Course Date Introduction With talks of there being a power shift in global politics and power from the West to East, studying the Southeast Asia has become not only an exciting experience, but a necessary expedient…
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Democratisation and Reforms in Singapore and Malaysia
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Download file to see previous pages This paper therefore is to scrutinise and study the process of democratisation and reform in Singapore and Malaysia. Singapore and Malaysia have an aspect of striking similarity which has shaped their process of democratisation. Both countries enjoy strong authoritarian stability because of the strong state apparatuses they possess. Some strong states such as Taiwan and South Korea had emerged before Malaysia and Singapore became authoritarian in the 1960s and would have been instrumental in helping stabilise national politics in Singapore and Malaysia to democratise. Slater observes that the drawback in this state of affair above is that the same state strength that props up stable transitions to democracy is the very force that enables authoritarian rulers and regimes to forestall democratisation and reforms. This is to mean that the chief reason for Singapore and Malaysia’s democratisation is the main reason democratisation and reforms may not transpire thereto. A case which underscores the need for Malaysia’s democratisation and reforms is epitomised by the move by the Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak of singlehandedly picking a committee to review the country’s electoral system and the Internal Security Act. While the Prime Minister dishonestly explained such a move as a needful exercise in arresting lawlessness, the entire exercise was a response to the Arab Spring (Slater, 30). The need for Singapore and Malaysia to democratize and reform The need for Singapore and Malaysia to undergo democratisation and reforms is premised on the economic gains and developments that are taking place therein. In the case of Singapore, there has been the registration of rapid and gradual economic growth. For this cause, Singapore has come to be the second highest income earner in Asia, immediately after Japan. As a matter of fact, Singapore is being touted by scholars such as Beng-Haut as the largest non-democracy economy in world history. Because of this status, it is expected that Singapore should be setting the standard for democracy and reforms in the Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, much to the chagrin of many, this is not the case, yet the failure to democratise and reform will stunt economic accruals therein (Beng-Haut, 23). The need for Singapore to democratise is also underscored by the fact that Singapore’s political life and commitment to constitutionalism is doing very badly. According to Beng-Haut, with the exception of the Islamic Brunei sultanate, Singapore remains the only ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member which is excluded from the list of countries that are democratising. The exclusion of Singapore from the ASEAN countries that are democratizing is serious, given that other pseudo-democracies such as Indonesia where institutions (such as the electoral commission) are still too weak to withstand the undue influence of the executive, were included in the list (Beng-Haut, 23). Conversely, Singapore has no recourse to democratise and reform, given that it still has strengths that can facilitate democratisation. Singapore parallels other authoritarian regimes by manifesting commitment to human rights and collective goals. Factors That Impede Democratization and Reforms in Singapore and Malaysia Setbacks that inhibit Singapore’s path to democratisation and reforms are: (a) tension between the presence and influence of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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