Investigate the New York Times allegations and publish the findings

Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid, MAPIM president | .

Every time the Western media criticises Malaysia’s human rights record, court judgments, corruption and abuse of power, Chandra (Dr Chandra Muzaffar)sees a United States conspiracy to bring about regime change to put Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in power [The Star, 17 February 2015]. If he wants to see real US conspiracies to bring about regime change, he should be looking at Venezuela which last week foiled a coup, Bolivia and Iran but, certainly, not Malaysia.  

We have excellent relations – political, economic, educational, cultural and security- with the US. Our senior police and military officers are trained in the U.S. Since 1976, the US has trained 3,230 Malaysian military personnel. There is a student exchange program connecting the Malaysian Armed Forces Staff College to the US Army Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. Our navy has conducted joint exercises with the US navy’s Pacific Fleet since 1996.  

According to the 2012 CSIS-ISIS report “From Strength to Empowerment”, relations between Malaysia and the US have been at an all-time high since Datuk Seri Najib became the Prime Minister in 2009 CSIS is an American think-tank and ISIS our government think-tank.

On May 17, 2009, President Barack Obama told our Prime Minister: “Our two countries have an excellent relationship, and I know that you have played an important role in developing those ties.” The US assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific, Kurt Campbell, declared in 2010 that “few countries have come as far, in terms of our bilateral relationship, as the one between the United States and Malaysia.”  

Only a lunatic in the White House will entertain any thought of regime change in Malaysia and President Obama is certainly not one. Otherwise he will not be golfing with our Prime Minister, a rare privilege given only to loyal supporters of the US.

The “public intellectual” Chandra should not allow his venomous hatred of Anwar to affect objectivity and intellectual honesty in giving his views. He needs to explain to the public the reasons for his turnaround from being a die-hard supporter to a bitter enemy of Anwar. Is it because he realized, after Anwar was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in Sodomy 1, that there was no hope, even a faint one, of Anwar coming to power?

The New York Times exposure of the relationship between the Prime Minister’s step son and one Jho Low, their purchase of properties in New York worth tens of million US dollars, Low’s link to 1MDB, and the parking of money from our sovereign fund in Cayman Islands, raise very serious issues which require a satisfactory response from the authorities. Not responding to them will seriously tarnish the image of our Prime Minister and our nation.

In the context of the money laundering scandal of HSBC involving the deposit of corrupt money in secret accounts and tax evasion, it is important that there be a fair independent enquiry so that those mentioned in the article can clear their names. We urge the government to set up an independent commission of enquiry to investigate and publish a report of its findings on the NYT allegations.

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