President Obama made a rousing speech against religious bigotry at the UN on Wednesday.
He made clear that trends such as those developing in Malaysia, where non-Muslims are being increasingly treated as unequal and liberal thinkers as enemies of society by leading figures, provides a dangerous source of instability in a world trying to fight off violent extremist organisations, which feed off such attitudes.
And the President made the point that such intolerance is not provoked by genuine religious teaching, but by political motives:
The following extract from Obama’s speech contains the strongest possible indictment of the kind of rabble rousing currently being indulged by BN/UMNO politicians and Malaysian government funded extremist NGOS:
“It is no exaggeration to say that humanity’s future depends on us uniting against those who would divide us along fault lines of tribe or sect; race or religion.
…It is the task of all great religions to accommodate devout faith with a modern, multicultural world. No children – anywhere – should be educated to hate other people. There should be no more tolerance of so-called clerics who call upon people to harm innocents because they are Jewish, Christian or Muslim. It is time for a new compact among the civilized peoples of this world to eradicate war at its most fundamental source: the corruption of young minds by violent ideology.
That means cutting off the funding that fuels this hate. It’s time to end the hypocrisy of those who accumulate wealth through the global economy, and then siphon funds to those who teach children to tear it down.
…listen to the Imam who said, “Politics try to divide the religious in our country, but religion shouldn’t be a cause of hate, war, or strife.” [Barak Obama UN Speech 24/09]
Yet, Mr Obama, who had received Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah o in Washington, is currently ignoring the fact that this Malaysian PM and people close to him in government are openly descending to these very same divisive tactics for their own political reasons in Malaysia.
Najib can talk about progressive liberalism, the US Embassy in KL cannot ignore the dash for repression being undertaken by his failing regime, which has decided to stir up the very religious and sectarian hatred that Obama rightly deplores.
All this. in a politically motivated attempt to brand his opponents as anti-Muslim or anti-Malay supremacist, in order to claw back support based on nationalism and hate.
Despite these blatant tactics by the ruling political party, condemned by human rights and civil society organisations across the world, Obama in this very same UN speech
attempted to put forward Malaysia as a progressive Muslim state, rather than one which is moving backwards towards oppression and violence.
Even so, the President chose an interesting positive quality to link with Malaysia. He avoided referring to matters of religious and racial harmony, but instead praised Malaysia’s “vibrant entrepreneurship”:
Such carefully chosen praise may well indicate that the democratic deficit and Malaysia’s plummeting religious and racial harmony has indeed registered in Washington after all.
Obama fundraiser’s link with 1MDB
Mr Obama should be wary of being linked to 1MDB, either directly or indirectly, or appearing to praise Malaysia’s “vibrant entrepreneurship” while being so linked.
Because, 1MDB does not represent the kind of entrepreneurship that is approved of in democratic and law abiding circles associated with Mr Obama.
Full article source: malaysia-chronicle.com/
How different is one politician over another? They all try to outdo each other in spouting rhetorics that can be interpreted any way the interpreter wants it to go,
Obama or Najib,they are the same political animals of same ilk.,masters of innuendo and never firmly commiting to anything..
although one may be purportedly leader of the most powerful influential nation on earth whereaas the other leads a small developing country but nonetheless, what they practice and preach are identical..
At same token,the US does have an embassy in Malaysia and they will know exactly what s going on enuff to brief their president.
on the perceived abuses of freedom ,injustices suffered on the people.
But , it is for the alleged leader of the free world,
and champion of democracy and free speech , to choose his nation’s stand on the issues briefed to him on the Malaysian situation.
And it is for him to choose to continue merely on rhetorical posturing and not say a word in concern and risk being accused of hypocrisy by cynics everywhere,who probably are more worldly wise
and ever watchful on the US president’s views.The detractors ready to pounce on his rhetoric on world affairs at the slightest weak link.
Afterall Obama did come to Malaysia not long ago, and heard first hand the voices of a concerned segment of the Malaysian society,represented by the high profile NGOs ,which had members from very credible professionals, from the legal fraternity, social workers for equality and justice ,and concerned public over the Malaysian Goverment’s position regarding some controversial
and debatable sensitive volatile issues that challenges freedom of speech and religion.,and practises discrimination under the guise of affirmative action.
And upholding the sanctity of a secular constitution based on a Westminster Parlimentary democracy, under siege.
And how Obama interprets it will be based also on feedback from his embassy officials ,so he cannot feign ignorance or that
he doesn’t have enough to have a position /opinion on the issues.
But nonetheless , when Obama was in Malaysia, and at the meeting with the leading NGOs of the country , a marjority consensus was presented to him on the fracturing state of affairs from governance of the multi ethnic ,multi religious composition of Malaysians .
And the picture painted was that of seriously undermined minorities in terms of basic freedoms and peace of mind to be a patriotic loyal citizens
.And expressing concerns that the freedoms and guarantees of a constitution based on a functioning democracy seems to be trampled upon..by a goverment friendly to the US of A
The land of the free who will purportedly give voice to the suppressed voices yearning for freedom of expression without fear or intimidation.
Informed Malaysians with a sense of social justice yearn for..
Freedom for all the communities to get tertiary education , earn livelihoods and employment on equal and level playing field ,
more emphasized on merit and qualifications,creativity ,innovativeness or dilligence for forging ahead.
Favor,preference or discrimination for any quarter is not welcomed. so that healthy competitiveness can breed a more robust economy.
Social equality and justice for all is the norm ,not for the selected few.
Law and enforcement applies across the board, no fear nor favour to any exclusivity or privilidged and powerful.
Basically,to create an national environment where all can thrive and live well and content.
with out friction but acceptance of all across ethnicities of our diverse communities.
But will Obama take heed or onto advisement what he heard from the Malaysian NGOs in person when he was in the country meeting with them..he would surely have cross referenced the allegations with facts from his own intel assets and determined some conclusion.
Whether the Malaysian discriminative policies are factual and how much truth is there on the religious extremism and racial bigotry that is transpiring in the country as it is ..
And which is compounded by the governing establishment that is accused of being party accomplice by their perpetual state of denial that the discriminatory ,bigoted and extreme racism even exists.
Realistically,nobody will expect the US goverment to come out openly to criticise the Malaysians over the allegations,
maintaining the two sides of a coin opinions.
And all will expect Obama to take the diplomatic tactful approach of course , of friendly goverments ,still ,stronger wordings reflecting his goverment’s tacit acknowledgment and concern may be able to make some difference.
Sending a message of hopefulness that the US is aware of the situation and emphatize in a note of concern to the Malaysian people and establishment .
Since the Malaysian goverment chooses to ignore or procrastinate action on the concerns or protestations of its own people , hopefully they may pay attention to a voice that wields a lot more bigger sticks. and a larger treasury house.
Malaysians just want to be heard and see some of their alarming concerns being addressed for a peace of mind. Troubled by what they witnessed developing in the society they live in,coming apart .Not to mention witnessing helplessly as the country they loved being abused and growing stagnant,not advancing but regressing.
Took perhaps 3 generations post merdeka , spanning 5 general elections ,from baby boomers of the 60s to those born in the 80s decade,to forged a fragile malaysian national consciousness that transcended the race barrier
And Malaysians ,sort of learnt to sense it and recognize it and willingly and wholeheartedly embraced it,constantly reminded of it ,
And most importantly,Malaysian mindsets were hitherto ,united in a collective subconscious to forge the country ahead to greater prosperity and progress,
But all it took was just one insecure administration and one generation for things to unravel , and to dismantle and fracture the carefully nurtured sense of nationality across the ethnicities.
Just a few years of spiteful targeted race rhetoric,and it undid what needed few decades to slowly foster and instill , a psyche of a multi racial identity in being malaysian.
When did it all start deteriorating? Think back just few years and backtrack and we see a pattern emerge of a gradual worsening situation becoming more acute and out of proportion.
The rhetoric ,vitriol, venom,decidedly increasing in spite.,as if on a deliberately designed pattern to incite.,in intensity and frequency as we go.
Now resentment ,contempt being bred into mindsets by constant bombarding of racial issues and “Us” Tuan” and “Them”. ingrates, .pendatangs rhetorical messages.
All seemingly designed to wear down the psyche of the nons..2 birds with one stone,at same time ,divide the bumis into a group under siege mentality..
The differences of our diversity that used to unite us in acceptance and understanding , made used of by some as a weapon to polarise the communities.instead.
And if they ever should decide to mend things,,recognizing the damage wreaked, then may hafta start from scratch and expend another few decades to build back,the trust and acceptance that they tried to vapourized in a matter of years.before the whole nation can start to collectively forge ahead as a singular forceful national entity,united in hearts and minds for the advancement of the nation.