TTDI, 211019: Don't blame Malaysians if they choose to take their Prime Minister's latest remarks [re Mahathir warns of possible trade sanctions on Malaysia amid US-China trade war] with a pinch of salt*. Many have grown so skeptical of the Government. They feel they've been lied to too often these last few months and they are getting really tired of it.
But sanctions are a serious business and if they are imposed on a country by the US (because China don't make it a practice to sanction others), all of us will be in great trouble. Rather than sanctions, I'd rather we be lied to by the Government because with a lying Government we will at least, over time, be the wiser. There's no getting wiser from sanctions! All countries that have been subject of American sanctions have suffered tremendously. Depending on the severity of sanctions, Malaysia could see a sudden drop in investor flow, capital flight, rising unemployment, runaway inflation, etc. Don't expect tourists to make us their destination (which means our VTAMY 2020 campaign would be screwed). Trade barriers would usually follow sanctions to further cripple the countries that are being sanctioned. South Africa when it was under Apartheid, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Iraq all suffered greatly as a result of some kind of sanctions or other [go h e r e for more examples].
So if there's any truth in what Dr Mahathir is saying, the Government must tell us what exactly is the reason for the sanction (because we are a kleptocracy, anti-Semitic, or for discriminating the Chinese and other minorities in the country?) and how it plans to save all of us.
The people need to know their role. Do they defend the country and leadership or do they back the sanctions? If anyone thinks that's a dumb thing to ask of Malaysians, just look at the response of some of these Malaysians to their country's current predicament, where India is threatening a trade war against Malaysia to retaliate Putrajaya's support for Pakistan over the Kashmir issue.
Not all Malaysians are backing their Prime Minister - or their own country - on this issue against India.
On the contrary, there are Malaysians blaming Mahathir for New Delhi's boycott of our palm oil and they are going about it openly on their social media accounts. Sad, but that's the new truth about us.