Porous Borders and Democratic Processes

It is a consequence of the electronic age that national borders are not what they once were. Political processes devised within older borders, usually remained there and were not a threat to other countries.


Nowadays, the arrogance of such processes that appear to their owners to be successful, or at least satisfactory to their own citizens, causes various countries to try to export their home-grown governmental systems across national borders to many other countries. Even Malaysia’s “Islam Hadhari” did this, as did the MuslimSuicide Bombings” in their misguided attack on 9/11. So, of course, did the communists.

However, the overwhelming information flow, some say 80%, is from west to east, due to the wealth of media technologies owned by the western countries -– 75% of all the world’s books are published in the USA, not to mention movies and TV shows. Therefore, we must evolve new democratic methods that are NOT vulnerable to our porous borders, and the huge inflow of influence and meddling from foreign sources. All Muslim countries face this challenge.

The recent “BERSIH 2.0” demonstration here in Malaysia is a perfect example of an event that appears to have been influenced by a rather large number of non-local NGOs around the world, for purposes that might have benefited themselves rather more than local Malaysians. And so the government mounted as reasonable a clamp-down as they could, to throttle an event that could not be termed “democratic” in the sense of exclusively representing the will of the Malaysian public.

Of course, some of the Malaysian public, not understanding the dangers of modern porous borders, were critical of this clamp-down. Especially the opposition coalition may have hoped to benefit from the demonstration, without realizing how unpopular they have recently become, precisely for taking advantage of support from outside countries through our porous borders, or adopting attitudes from outside.

This is why it has become so difficult to form a balanced, two-party democracy as used to be the norm (and still is in most western countries). Nowadays, Malaysia’s own attempts to form a credible, dignified, trustworthy opposition has been all but ruined by reliance on outside help.

So now we have mentioned three so-called “democratic” processes” that have been adulterated by the inevitable porous borders of the high-tech age. Large-scale demonstrations, or what the West used to call the “Right of Public Assembly”, do not seem to be a “human right” that is free from unwanted corruption from this vast number of global NGOs that imagine they are promoting democracy and freedom for third-world countries.

What about censorship of the public media? That, too, as the communists finally found out as their empire crumbled, doesn’t work to protect the local public. Internet has spoiled all that. The Malaysian government has been amazingly inept in trying to black out certain parts of an Economist magazine story on the BERSIH 2.0 demonstration. More people than before will now read it online. Blackout of media coverage of opposition events and speeches is also counter-productive. Censorship is simply not possible in the interactive age.

Forming an opposition party without foreign influence has also become very difficult, which fact can be used by the party-in-power to maintain its one-party dominance (or tyranny, if it is that bad). As has been pointed out by sociologists, if local people lose their grip on their proper religious worldview, local cultures and traditional values, the excessive and uncontrolled “culture of high tech” will immediately move in to fill the vacuum, and then we get all the social problems Malaysia now faces – so many babies born of unwed mothers each week (government statistic reported in local newspapers), baby dumping, dangerous drugs coming in every week, and so on.

Malaysia is said to be a “Muslim-majority country“, so where is all this trouble coming from? Most of it is coming from the influence of high-tech countries that are represented here in various ways. As the Chinese have said, “Take the technology, not the culture”, yet that is becoming almost impossible to achieve in the face of ever-weakening traditional values, inept elders and religious guides, peer pressures, single-lifestyles of our university graduates, and, perhaps most of all, porous borders.

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