What’s missing from Malott’s missive

Pix courtesy Din Merican’s blog

By Peter Masry

[via e-mail]

In his recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal Asia (February 8, 2011), ‘The Price of Malaysia’s Racism‘, former U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia, John Malott, makes some valid criticisms regarding Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia (One Malaysia) programme and its failure to realistically and adequately reconcile Malaysia’s persistent ethnic and religious disharmony with Umno’s ostensible desire to harmonize Malaysia’s multiculturalism under one coherently unifying banner.

The problem with Mr Malott’s analysis is not so much in how he validly describes the ethnocentrism of Umno and Umno-associated Malay-based nationalistic patriotic organizations, but with what Mr Malott leaves out in what should be an exercise in journalistic full disclosure; that is, that Mr Malott has never found fault with the primary opposition party, PKR and its de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Mr Malott seems to be of the school of diplomacy whereby if you are against one ideological force or particular government of the day, perforce, it means you must then support the opposing party in totality.

One can simply read all of Mr Malott’s commentaries in the WSJA, as well as Malaysian online journals like Malaysiakini, and find no criticism whatsoever of Anwar’s political behaviour since his entry into politics as a youthful activist in Umno.

Let us be clear: Criticisms of the ongoing and seemingly endless sham persecution of Anwar for yet unsubstantiated illicit sexual activities, putative corruption, forensic mismanagement on a monumental scale of legal evidence issued in court, and the obvious misuse and abuse of the Malaysian legal system and judiciary by Umno and its functionaries as a political weapon to wreck vengeance on Anwar for falling out with former Malaysian PM Mahathir bin Mohamad is justified, full stop.

However, in no rational way must responsible criticism of political vengeance taken against Anwar be equated with ideological and political support for Anwar.

Now, if one just happens to support the ambiguous and ever-changing positions taken by Anwar throughout his chameleon-like multiple epiphanies from student activist to Islamic radical to Umno straight-man to global trotter to opposition politician and now to martyr-in-the-making, that is a different matter and I would invite debate on Anwar’s putative political merits apart and aside from his rather obvious maltreatment from the government.

I find Mr Malott’s criticisms of Umno and the Malaysian government generally on mark; I also find, however,  his unfettered support for Anwar which clearly appears to go beyond just criticism of Anwar’s political treatment — certainly allowed in a free and democratic society  although Malaysia is somewhat less so than the United States — without much foundation.

I might also say, in the interest of full disclosure, Mr Malott should state the role that he and his spouse play in any global support groups for Anwar.

Full disclosure certainly does not, and should not, prevent anyone from taking political positions that they choose; however, the context within which we make judgments about individuals we observe, particularly as former U.S. government officials, must be disclosed.

I, for one, do not have any ties whatsoever to any political groupings or ideological frameworks in Malaysia. I only ask that Mr Malott disclose the same for himself and his spouse.

Finally, Anwar has shown himself to be a wily politician with a rather elastic political message, hardly immune to corruptive influences while he benefitted professionally and economically as a long-time former member of Umno’s inner circle, part-time Muslim and semi-secular scholar all concurrently and depending upon the intended audience at any given time.

And (as has been discussed before in WSJA and elsewhere), Anwar remains very much prone to crude anti-Semitic outbursts that are absolutely unjustifiable and not much different from that of former mentor, and current nemesis, ex-PM Mahathir even if Anwar’s bombast is often less frequent and usually less harsh  in content, and notwithstanding the perennial Malaysian conspiracy theories that abound about supposed hidden Israeli/Jewish involvement in Malaysian and broader Islamic affairs.

Good show, Mr Malott, but better transparency and more commentaries on what you believe makes PKR and Datuk Anwar Ibrahim more politically palatable than the long series of rather insipid Umno-led governments are certainly in order.

[Peter Masry is Hartal’s guest writer — shar101]

Comments
6 Responses to “What’s missing from Malott’s missive”
  1. Virus says:

    Bro, both sets are unpalatable. However, it takes a thief to catch a thief and one set of @#@$ to get rid of another set of &^%()!

  2. Crankster says:

    I truly freaking agree here!! Anwar has shown himself to be inconsistent in his party policies and unwise in judgment when it comes to issues revolving around Israel.

  3. charleskiwi says:

    This lusty AI is nothing but the grand mother of all liars, not to mention that he is an Umno trained politician. Every bit of him is still Umno, his lies, his actions and above all the promiscuity of a greedy Umno man who would sell his own mother to become the P.M. of Malaysia. His aspiration is only an illusion. Just as much as the millions of you wanting to get a new leader for the country. He is surely not the one we have been waiting for, it may take a bit of time but the day will surely come just like what is happening in the Middle East Umno will have its day.
    I once heard AI’s clarion call, when he was the DPM, in a rally that the Chinese should all go back to China just like a typical Umno member. Plus he became the DPM because of his anti Chinese stance, which was the only reason why the shenanigan Mahathir appointed him to be the DPM and was later kicked out simply because of his impatience to become the P.M.. The shenanigan Mahathir was not about to give up his gravy train to him.
    Also he was waiting to be invited back to Umno when he came out of the prison but when the invitation did not come only then he formed the opposition. He then lied to many of the ‘frogs’ that he was taking over the government so that many M.P. who wanted to be first in the gravy train but it turned out to be only an illusion. There was never ever going to be a gravy train they then started to jump ship on the slightest excuse, hence so many of them are now no longer with the lusty AI. It would be better late than never to look for a better politician to take over the present corrupted regime than to rely on this grand mother of all liars to be the one ! And make sure not to forget to indict the shenanigan Mahathir, the grand son of the untouchable pariah from Kerala, for all the atrocities he committed !
    ——————————————————————————————-
    Yo Charleskiwi, we all know that AI is getting on in age but … grand mother? Dun lah be sexist, bro – shar101.

  4. Thomas says:

    Peter,

    Your imaginary statement that Mr Mallot is supportive to Anwar just by implying his silence as such is to say the least surprising and showed your own state of bias. As it is, this article is devoid of the very value you have criticised Mr Mallot of.. full disclosure.
    If you have proof of this relationship, in the name of full disclosure as you state, write your own piece !

    • Maz says:

      Perhaps you might actually READ Malott’s articles FIRST before
      issuing an inane response. Malott easily discloses his support
      for Anwar; I only ask that Malott DEFINE why he supports Anwar
      and I make no criticism of Malott’s right to support Anwar.
      The reason I wrote the article is to ask Malott to explain the basis
      for his support of Anwar; his declared support I do not think is much
      open to debate-Malott states as much.

      You state I have a bias without any substantiation. Unlike your
      response, I state clearly that I do not support Anwar ideologically
      and I state why (I also state I do NOT support the persecution of Anwar
      by UMNO). What bias do I have ? I neither support UMNO nor PKR
      or any current party in Malaysia.

      Read FIRST before you comment, please.

  5. Katharina Sri (ex Noor Aza) says:

    Spot on such brave comment! The Islamic party PAS, which cunningly joins in the Opposition People’s Alliance Party (PR) as headed by the (falsely) ‘moderate’ but very anti-Jew Anwar Ibrahim (he’s a Muslim Brotherhood AGENT I much suspect, like Hussein Obama –both are being championed by the usual idiots from the Western left), were able to deceive the frustrated non-Muslims to vote for them in the last election – and here’s what they get! But we have many non-Muslim Malaysian leaders especially, whether from the ruling or opposition parties, who are willing to submit like SLAVES to Islam because they regard themselves as untouchable by Islamic laws – maybe right now because it’s not complete yet like in Saudi or until PAS gets into complete power (look at the primitive East Coast especially K’tan and T’gganu) such as the barbaric arrest on ‘deviant’ Muslims on Valentine day. Thus, where are the non-Muslims’ concern for the oppressed ‘deviant’ Muslims who want to be free?!

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