Malott has not addressed the main issue

By Peter Masry

Former US ambassador to Malaysia John Malott’s response (see Malaysiakini / Din Merican or elsewhere in blogosphere) to American blogger Rachel Motte on Feb 14 regarding Anwar Ibrahim deserves a response in return.

Briefly, while Malott may be right that Ms Motte engages in hyperbole, and possibly defamation, (calling Mr Malott “Anwar’s Pet” is not wise at all), nonetheless she brings up the point (though somewhat inarticulately) that Malott is one-sided.

Malott is correct to take offense at Motte’s rudeness; where he is not correct is his assertion that Anwar is misunderstood by the critics who claim that Anwar harbours a latent anti-Semitism. Clearly, Anwar does, Malott’s protestations notwithstanding.

Malott questions Motte’s knowledge of Malaysia, and indeed she seems not to be an “expert” on Malaysia. Malott seems to claim to be an expert and yet seems to know nothing of Anwar’s hyperbole against Malaysian Chinese (primarily) and Jews (secondarily) in his Abim and Umno days?

Is that credible? Anwar was created out of whole cloth in the late 1980s and was never Mahathir’s pet project prior to that? That strains credulity beyond belief.

Anwar did subscribe to Mahathir’s skewed Malaysian nationalism then, and it is fair and reasonable to question whether he still does. Or is Anwar’s current political epiphany only modified with public rhetoric rather than actual substantive change in the intervening 20 or so years? I think so.

By any reading of Malott’s various commentaries, it can be deduced that Malott knows Anwar only since Anwar left Umno.

‘Some of my best friends are Jews’

Malott’s disingenuous strawman of absolving Anwar of bigotry by the latter’s purported friendship with Paul Wolfowitz, George Soros and former Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen due to Wolfowitz’s Jewish background (Soros is barely Jewish; Cohen’s father was Jewish but Cohen was actually raised an Episcopalian) is such a canard that Malott should really know better.  Like the old adage, “Some of my friends are black” (or “Some of my friends are Malays”), the syllogism is immature.

Wolfowitz’s girlfriend is a Libyan World Bank staff and a member of the Libyan elite; so what should I make of Wolfowitz dating an older Libyan Muslim woman rather than a ‘nice’ Jewish girl from New York?

I should think Malott would know better than to try and fob off on intelligent readers the archaic syllogism that one’s associates pre-determines one’s ideology. This is indeed why I have politely asked Malott to state his criteria for claiming Anwar’s purported innumerable attributes rather than (as Motte seems to have done) simply claim that Malott is Anwar’s American mouthpiece.

Frankly, I think Anwar himself is his own primary American mouthpiece (his having spent as much time in Washington DC, New York and Boston as Kuala Lumpur and Penang).

In the end, Malott has not addressed the main issue: We are all well aware of Najib’s (and Umno’s) deficiencies yet why is Malott so willing to defend Anwar and PKR with little apparent criticism?

Anwar’s Apco fixation

Malott’s comments on the international public relations consultant Apco are also unsubstantiated.

[Malott had alleged that according to The Washington Post, “Apco was engaged in a similar effort last year, paid for by the Malaysian government, according to Apco’s official filings”; the effort being “to smear Anwar — a multi-million campaign funded by the Malaysian government”and  implicating Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff.]

Apco lobbies for 50 countries, including Israel and several Muslim countries. Where they’re concerned, it’s just a job. I don’t hear much whining about Apco’s work for Nigeria, Pakistan or the Saudis.  I wonder why?

Finally, Malott should re-examine his comments regarding Umno not with respect to largely justified criticism but with regard to why he seems so keen to not only absolve Anwar of (the court charges against him — still legally unproven and likely incapable of being proven in Malaysia’s byzantine judicial system) but of bigotry, corruption and sophistry, at least two of which have been clearly substantiated over the course of Anwar’s long intrepid political career.


See also:

What’s missing from Malott’s missive

2 Responses to “Malott has not addressed the main issue”
  1. Katharina Sri (ex Noor Aza) says:

    Brilliant article! I really suspect Anwar as of Hussein Obama are Muslim brotherhood AGENTS in a global conquest dream. We can see the continuous eerie pattern – under Hussein Obama, Muslim sociopaths and Islam is on the rise; everywhere Islamic rule is expanding including in oil/mineral-rich once Christian-dominated Africa, such as in Kenya, Nigeria and the Ivory Coast. See – ;
    In –

    Report–Obama quietly appoints Muslim Brotherhood to key posts
    February 15th, 2011 12:56 pm ET

    An ex-CIA agent and counter-intelligence expert has revealed in a special report that Barack Obama has quietly appointed members of the Muslim Brotherhood to key posts within the Administration. Dr. Clare Lopez, professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, wrote a policy paper in December of 2009 which details the systematic appointment of Sharia-friendly advocates within the State Department and other government agencies.
    For example, the Tehran-born Dr. Vali Nasr was appointed to co-direct Obama foreign policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan. Former Saudi Arabian supplicant Charles Freeman was appointed by Obama to chair the Administration’s National Intelligence Council, but withdrew his name when it was revealed he issued a 2-page screed in which he postulated a conspiracy theory claiming he had been ‘victimized’ by American supporters of Israel. In addition, John Limbert was appointed to direct U.S. policy toward the Islamist regime in Iran. Limbert, who was taken hostage during the Iranian upheaval of the late 70s-early 80s, is an Iranian sympathizer who advocates negotiation with one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world…..

  2. Maz says:

    Who’s off the rails, Bernama?
    John Malott | Feb 20, 11 3:56PM
    Malott seems to be in a lather….these Ambassadors
    lah, whether American or Malaysian, really do seem
    to have way way too much free time on their hands.

    Anyway, Amb. Jamaluddin has responded to Malott
    in the Wall Street Journal Asia pretty much defending
    Najib and the 1Malaysia party-line. Malott, again, is
    half-right about UMNO and Najib but yet (**YAWN**)
    to apprise us of the bases for Anwar’s and PKR’s
    omnipotence and omniscience (and, NO, that
    does not mean that anti-PKR=pro-UMNO !!!!).

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