Sunday, July 26, 2015

"The Truth About Malaysia Today"

The inimitable Anifah Aman, in an open letter to the Wall Street Journal, ridicules the newspaper editors claim that Malaysia was in danger of becoming a failed state and tells them, in not so many words, to get over their infatuation with Anwar Ibrahim or just admit that they are, in fact, taking sides in Malaysia's internal politics ... 

Anifah dAman
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL takes aim at Malaysia, but once again displays a woeful lack of knowledge and understanding of our country and its history. 
Malaysia has been a democracy since independence in 1957. Elections are fiercely contested, and the opposition won five out of the country’s 13 states in 2008. Political discourse is vibrant and noisy. The “voices of dissent” that the opposition’s former leader, Anwar Ibrahim, claims not to be able to hear are dominant in Malaysia’s online news media, which has far more readers here than the print press. If anyone doubts Malaysians’ “fundamental liberties”, they can easily see for themselves how free anyone is to criticise the government on these news sites. 
Anwar mentions the recent Prevention of Terrorism Act as “encroaching” on those liberties. But he fails to mention that it explicitly states that “No person shall be arrested and detained solely for his political belief or political activity”. POTA in fact further secures the liberties of Malaysians: both their freedom to speak out, and their freedom from extremists who pose a real threat to the country. Anwar may not take this threat seriously, but the Malaysian government does. 
The WSJ gives Anwar the platform to raise false and politically motivated allegations of corruption against our Prime Minister. Perhaps it might have been relevant for the WSJ to mention that Anwar himself was convicted of corruption in 1999. The verdict was not overturned. 
He is currently in jail after a legal process that lasted years. He was first acquitted, then convicted, allowed to appeal, and only when that failed did he go to prison. If he truly believed in his innocence, he could have submitted his own DNA to the court. If the charge had been “trumped up”, as the WSJ falsely says, that would have proven it. But he did not – hardly the action of an innocent man. 
Far from “sowing communal and religious animosity”, the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak early on launched the 1Malaysia policy. This is the greatest attempt in Malaysia’s history to forge a national identity that includes all races and religions, and the Prime Minister regularly attends the festivals of non-Muslims, going to churches and temples to share the celebrations of fellow Malaysians. Anwar and the opposition, however, never supported 1Malaysia. Why not? Was it because Anwar himself had a well-documented history of rabble-rousing and extremism, as well as of spouting anti-Semitic remarks – as the WSJ well knows but again fails to mention.
The suggestion that Malaysia is in danger of becoming a “failed state” would be laughable – if it were not for the fact that some people take Anwar seriously and will believe what he says, no matter how wild or imaginary. 
Here is what some other people have said about Malaysia recently: 
Bloomberg rated Malaysia as the world’s 5th most promising emerging market in 2015.
The IMF’s latest report on our country was titled: “Favorable Prospects for Malaysia’s Diversified Economy”
A Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations wrote: “Malaysian political discourse is becoming far more open than it was even a decade ago.”
And the ratings agency Fitch recently upgraded the outlook for Malaysia. 
This is the truth about Malaysia today. It is a pity that the WSJ has fallen for desperate, unfounded allegations by a politician and presented them as facts – thereby taking sides in internal Malaysian politics.

 p.s.  This letter to WSJ follows an earlier one that Anifah wrote to the New York Times last month, after the newspaper had published its interview with Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the eve of the holy Ramadan (NYT and its agenda of making sure the "nasty spat" not only continues but gets nastier in Ramadan, 19 June). 
For the blissfully ignorant, the New York Times early this month ran an article based on unnamed investigator document(s) to say that US$700 million had flowed into PM Najib Razak's personal bank account in 2013.  
Dow Jones & Company, which owns the New York Times, unfortunately, opted for a non-committal and ambiguous position in its response to Najib's formal inquiry into the article through his lawyers [WSJ's article self-explantory, Dow Jones says in reply to Najib's lawyers]. 
The Malaysian PM is reserving his rights to sue the NYT. - the Bru


  1. Anonymous6:51 pm

    "For the blissfully ignorant, the New York Times early this month ran an article based on unnamed investigator document(s) to say that US$700 million had flowed into PM Najib Razak's personal bank account in 2013."

    Latuk, the only one "blissfully ignorant" is you.

    It wasn't the New York Times, it was the the Wall Street Journal.

    Thank god you were never editor of any decent publication.

    "Journalism" you ain't.

  2. Anonymous7:20 pm

    you gotta be kiddin, Anifah...who are you trying to convince?

    We're not buying what Putrajaya is selling to us these days, and looking at how the rest of the educated world is reporting or responding on this issue, neither do they.

    You keep blaming and deflecting the core issue - and what's this?? Blame Anwar yet again??

    Putrajaya has not attended to the most BASIC of question - WHAT WAS THE MONEY DOING INSIDE NAJIB'S account?

    1Malaysia? Well, who allowed racist NGOs and media to spew nonsense and racist diatribes? Who bankrolls some of these outfits?

    Oh, where do we even begin with the fallacies raised in your letter?

  3. Anonymous8:56 pm

    .. my dear anon 6.15, why not you do a search in NYT news by Thomas Fuller dated july 13... it's just a click away in your pc so that you don't make a fool of yourselves before snubbing others... bengap bertingkat2 ada hati nak 'snub' orang lain ... hehehe..


  4. OK. Got it. Agreed. But this is slightly off -tangent - not addressing the elephant in the room.

    Let's focus on Najib. Too much energy already being wasted.

    Najib. What are you doing. Resign aje lah.

  5. Anonymous11:58 pm

    weldone datuk anifah...finally a brave minister standing up for the pm n our country..and u did it the gentlemen way.:)
    pm candidate to be i hope :)

  6. Anonymous12:29 am

    @ 8:56 p.m.

    There's no post made at 6.15 bro, are you dyslexic?

    PS: "NYT news by Thomas Fuller dated July 13?" The WSJ broke the story a full 11 days before that. Fuller's coverage is OF THAT STORY, see? You get it? Otherwise Jibby would sue the NYT and not the WSJ. (If ever.) You get it? Simple, kan?

    Harap maklum. Jgn marah okey.

    You should get some sub-editing work from Rocky, he just wallows in inaccuracy, too.

  7. Anonymous4:10 am

    Dude, please stop copying and pasting stuff before verifying. Not the first time

    It's embrassing. Dow Jones DOES NOT OWN the New York Times. Carlos Slim does.

    I know you guys are working hard on the Yahudi-Rupert Murdoch - CIA -Conspiracy angle.

    Also, why is Anifah getting worked up over an opinion piece in the WSJ. Just ask them to publish his own opinion piece lah. An Opinion piece and the newspapers reporting is not the same, why conflating the two? You as an ex-newspaperman should know that too.

    It is good that Anifah replied

  8. Anonymous5:01 am

    "The Truth About Malaysia Today"

    Malaysians not stupid

    according to the Deputy Prime Minister

    Jangan nak berbodohkan rakyat Malaysia lagi

  9. Anonymous7:42 am

    The Malaysian PM is reserving his rights to sue the NYT. - the Bru...really???

  10. Anonymous8:53 am

    so patethic ! read this :

  11. Anonymous10:11 am

    Since Anifah Aman had written very clearly abt who we are and how things are done about informing Najib Tun Razak to allow for an independent investigation to be done to uncover what went wrong with 1MDB? Ramai yg marah dan tertanya tanya pasai 1MDB. Kalau tak bersalah buatlah apa yg patut. Bak kata DPM, grab the bull by the horn. Tak kan asyik nak 'hide'. Patutnya investigation shud be by an independent team of investigators not by those who are bound to take instructions from he who is being investigated. What a joke. So bila the investigation finds no fault are we the ppl supposed to be happy and cheer ? Rather than getting excited by issuing statements or writting nothings...pls advise Najib Tun Razak to be man enough to address this issue once and for all.

  12. Anonymous12:06 pm

    Apa lu punya komen by TSMY? Mesti lu cakap TSMY pun bodoh?

    Yours days are numbered just like agibjor your paymaster!

  13. Anonymous1:02 pm

    Now Muhyiddin also getting restless and starting to ask think Najib days are numbered..or are we gonna see a new DPM..

    Interesting days ahead..

  14. Anonymous4:12 pm

    Failed state is a non functionable state. Stupid la to csll malaysia a failed state. WSJ shd call Israel a failed state but they will not.

    One guy who loves to refer malaysia as failed state is outsyed the box. That is because he is an anarchist whose hot no positive eye but endlessly cynical.

    Yet he defend all of tun dr mahathir's cronyism n corruption. He failed as a muslim to adhere to teaching of islam and insult the prophet continiously.

  15. Anonymous9:10 pm

    A lawsuit by the PM would be one of the best things to happen - he'd have to be transparent and come up with evidence to disprove what others are saying. If this is the backdoor route to transparency then great!