A K Azad: Singapore achieved independence from Britain in 1959, just 12 years before Bangladesh bagged independence from Pakistan. Since then, only a political party, the People’s Action Party (PAP), led by a unique family is governing the country. None else, but Lee Kuan Yew of the family led the People’s party and the Singapore government directly or indirectly from the very beginning of the country till his last breath in early 2015. Currently his son is ruling the country’s government.
Not only that, the opposition party of the country did not get more than five per cent of parliamentary seats in its general election. The government following different legal process curbed the opposition party and controlled the country’s media. There is no democracy in Singapore, according to well-known democracy indexes of the world like Freedom House, Polity and Economist Intelligence Unit.
But in case of demolishing corruptions and achieving per capita income, the country lifts itself in top ten countries and holds the position for a long time, according to United Nations Human Development Index.
Alongside, there is no question over its law and order situation. Though there is no democracy, these characters legitimise the People’s Action Party in ruling Singapore. Nationals of the country are very much happy with these characters. International community is also happy with the government.
Though United States (US) always raises its voice protesting the lacking of democracy in the whole world, the country is maintaining free trades with Singapore for many years. Even the superpower of the world never utters a single world over the political situation in Singapore.
Bangladesh is a country that always faces internal and external conspiracies. At the eve of its independence, it had to face many world powers including US as the countries opposed to recognise Bangladesh in 1971. But Bangladesh has overcome all the conspiracies and currently become a role model for the development. This time, international community is badly using the "democracy weapon" to suppress Bangladesh. They frequently are trying to make it an issue and asked the ruling Awami League government to hold a free, fair and participative general election. The country should also overcome it wisely and be cautious of the conspirators.
The incumbent Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, can easily overcome the situation. She should make happy the people of the country who are the owners of the land. She should assure them that Bangladesh will also be a developed country like Singapore in a few years if they assist her government. Of course, country’s people started to assist Awami League silently through the January 5, 2014 election. When many of the opposition parties waged a strong movement against the government to restore the caretaker government system, common people did not support them and not take part in any demonstration. Though most of the people do not dare to cast their votes in January 5 election for security reasons, they did not oppose Awami League to form government again. Even they did not bring out any single procession protesting the Awami League move of forming government. This is obviously a silent support to Awami League.
It is historically true that plotters always wait for right scopes to show their real faces. Such plotters are still lying in ambush to topple the government who are very much jealous with the development of Bangladesh. They always seek for situational scopes. For example, when Bangladesh achieved independence in 1971, the plotters realized if Bangabandhu is alive, the country would make unbelievable progress within a short time. Then, they plotted to kill Bangabandhu along with his entire family and stop the country's development in nipped in the bud.
At that time, the killers took privileges of the country's deteriorating law and order situation, corruption, downward socio-economic status and the introduction of one-party system. Now the situation is not as that was in '75. It is now totally different. We are now on way to come out of the list of lower income countries. Law and order situation is also under control thoroughly. Conspirators are now trying to create new crisis in Bangladesh through militant attacks. Though recent spate of terror attacks embarrassed the government, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina resolved it with her brilliant experience of politics. She easily understood the conspiracies behind it and took right steps to rule out militancy from the domain of the country. By dint of her political merit, she has become able to create awareness among people against militancy. Nobody blames her for the recent militant attacks in the country. Rather, everybody praises her for her stern action against militancy.
Now the incumbent prime minister should keep her eyes to the development of the country. As the president of the ruling party, she should take a plan, make an outline for the further development and present it to people ahead of the next general election.
I believe that now majority people demand country's development to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. For this, if she needs to hang on to power for several tenures like Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, Bangladesh's people obviously will support her. But for this, she must make the people understand her necessity to build the country as developed as Singapore.
risingbd/DHAKA/Jan 11, 2017/A K Azad/Augustin Sujan