Will Obama’s govt stand by Malaysian democracy?

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In anticipation of the Anwar Ibrahim sex trial verdict expected today, the Washington Post made a half-hearted attempt at pressuring the United States to punish the Najib Razak government if it thwarts Malaysia’s growth towards greater democracy.

But the Post’s editorial is unlikely to have much impact on the US establishment.

When push comes to shove, the lofty ideals of “truth, justice and the American way” will get short shrift from a US government that, like any other government elsewhere, will be more concerned with its own interests.

And an America that is retreating into self-protection, as announced in Barack Obama’s new defence strategy, is more likely to be concerned with safe passage through the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca than with safe passage of Malaysian democracy or Anwar Ibrahim’s dire straits.

Malaysians must keep in mind that throughout his two decades of persecution Anwar was continually labelled an American agent bent on Malaysia’s destruction — but that it was his chief persecutor Mahathir Mohamad who secretly opened the doors to the US military (including SEALS, Marines and the Seventh Fleet).

The America that called on the Iraqis to rise against Saddam Hussein also stood by idly watching the Kurds rise and die. The America that toppled Saddam Hussein (with Malaysia quietly on its side) was also the same America that propped up tyrannical regimes across North Africa until nearly the end, as it did with Suharto and Marcos. And Malaysian governments, then as now, have remained on close terms with tyrannies everywhere.

Whose democracy will they defend?

When political change swept through North Africa, as with the Philippines and in Indonesia, change came through the efforts of the people themselves, not through ruling elites. Malaysians should keep that firmly in mind when the High Court delivers its verdict this morning on Anwar Ibrahim, the so-called secret American agent, persecuted for two decades by America’s secret clients, Mahathir Mohamad and now Najib Tun Razak.

When push comes to shove, political leaders and their bureaucrats everywhere have one common characteristic: they seek out someone they can do business with. And democracy (for us, the people) isn’t a profit centre for them.

From the Washington Post editorial on Sunday
A ‘test’ of democracy Malaysia might fail
Mr. Anwar has been persecuted before … and spent six years in prison before being exonerated. Since then he has become one of the best-known advocates for liberal democracy in the Muslim world. The coalition he has fashioned … could make Malaysia the second majority-Muslim country in Asia, after Indonesia, to become a working democracy.So far, the Obama administration’s stance has been weak … there has been little overt pressure; when President Obama met with Mr. Najib in November, he said nothing publicly about human rights or democracy. Instead he heaped praise on the prime minister for “the extraordinary cooperation that we’ve received on a whole range of issues.”In fact Malaysia has been a modest help on terrorism cases, and it forms part of the administration’s strategy for bolstering its position in Asia. That, however, is not a rationale to step aside as Mr. Anwar, and the country’s hopes for democracy, are crushed. The State Department has said that the Anwar case is “a test of Malaysia’s commitment to democracy and the rule of law.” If the verdict fails that test, there should be consequences for Mr. Najib’s relations with Washington.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for such consequences.

Malaysians must look to ourselves to secure our freedoms, not to the leader of the free world or to the gnomes in the bureaucracies in the land of the free. They’re usually too busy looking after their own business, and our freedom is but a bargaining chip for securing their own freedom.

That is why, contrary to the WashPost headline, it will not be Malaysia but the US government that will probably fail the test of democracy after today’s court verdict.

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One thought on “Will Obama’s govt stand by Malaysian democracy?

  1. America has never practiced democracy really, they always look after their own interest, their export market and their own security and all these in the name of protecting democracy.
    What did they do after the May 13 incident ? Nothing even though the Malaysian police and armed forces killed hundreds if not thousands of innocent non Malays if the true figures were ever revealed. Not a single Malay was even shot at ,in the name of keeping peace, if the Americans were truly practicing democracy. I was very much involved in it personally and will never forget what had happened ! So do not expect the American to do anything or even to lift a finger about the incident especially now that they are in a bloody shamble themselves. It will take them decades to dig themselves out of it, if ever they can.
    They are blaming everybody for they the dire situation they are in but never look at what hd got them into the shambles they are presently in. Besides who are we to say Anwar is innocent or the deceitful and corrupted Umnoputras are not behind all these ? The people will never know.
    Not only under Najib, politics in Malaysia has lost all sense of decency and sensibility for decades now Malaysia under the watch of the deceitful and corrupted Umnoputras have been doing them. The only way out of these bloody shambles is to have them kicked out of Putrajaya and stop them from the political dominance that gave them the right to do what they want without question. Including the right to call themselves the sons of the soil, when the real sons of the soil are the Orang Asli, that is why they are called the original people and the Head Hunters of west Malaysia. And who call them Orang Asli ? Certainly it was the Chinese or the other non Malays communities !
    Also because they now have the political dominance they are now trying to twist and turn the real history of Malaysia plus the thousand of other deceits the Malaysians have to endure. Again the sure way out of all these is to vote them of the political dominance they now have in the coming GE !

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