From Malott to Prime Minister Najib

July 31, 2011

From Former US Ambassador to Malaysia John Malott to Prime Minister Najib

Dear PM Najib,

As a result of the developments on July 9, the world is now paying increased attention to Malaysia.

In particular, we now wonder how free and fair your nation’s elections are. We have learned that some of your country’s citizens believe that Malaysia needs electoral reform. On July 9, they marched with a coalition called Bersih 2.0, and they called for free and fair elections.

You responded by declaring Bersih illegal and suppressing the ‘Walk for Democracy’ with overwhelming Police force. The world noticed your heavy-handed reaction, and it wondered why a peaceful demonstration calling for fair elections bothered you so much – so much so that you were willing to risk Malaysia’s international reputation – and give your country and yourself a major black eye.

When you returned from your visit to Europe, you declared that Malaysia’s elections truly are free and fair, and that UMNO has never cheated in any election.

I am glad to hear that. Because it means that in Malaysia’s next general elections, you have nothing to hide.

Governments that manipulate elections have lots to cover up. But you say that your elections are free and fair, so that means you have nothing to be afraid of showing to all of us in the outside world, not to mention your own people.

Therefore, I am sure that you are willing to readily agree to the following proposals:

1) Allow international groups to observe your elections. Based on your assertions, they will find nothing amiss, and their reports will give credibility to Malaysia’s election results.

2) Allow observers from all political parties to witness the postal balloting that takes place on military bases. For years, the opposition has said that something is amiss. But since you say that UMNO never cheats, I am sure that they will find nothing wrong, and you will be vindicated.

3) Let’s put an end to all the accusations about phantom voters by using a simple, effective and cheap solution – indelible ink.

Your Elections Commission wants a super-sophisticated biometric system, but there is no way it can be in place by then – and many people worry that it can be manipulated. Indelible ink works – just ask the world’s largest democracy, India. I don’t think anyone has ever disputed the results of India’s elections in over 60 years.

4) Finally, let RTM be truly independent, like the BBC and NHK and the public broadcasting systems in Australia, France, Germany, and elsewhere in the world. RTM does not belong to UMNO. It belongs to the people.

As long as RTM – funded by all the people of Malaysia – acts as the propaganda arm of the 25 percent of Malaysians who voted for UMNO, no one can believe that Malaysia’s elections are fair and free.

So, my dear Prime Minister, it’s all very simple. You say that Malaysia’s elections are free and fair. Now you have a chance to prove it to the outside world and remove all doubts. And if your party wins, then the Malaysian people – and the world – might finally be convinced.

If you refuse these suggestions, then the doubts will linger, and your assertions about the honesty of Malaysia’s election will continue to be questioned.

John Malott*

*John Malott was former Ambassador of the United States of America to Malaysia

22 thoughts on “From Malott to Prime Minister Najib

  1. Good try, Ambassador. Your appeal will fall on deaf ears. Najib lacks integrity. He opens his mouth without thinking. Forget about electoral reforms for now. He will not allow election observers from abroad to observe our elections. He wants to– and will– cheat and that is the only way he can win. He does not given a damn what the world thinks of him and he is willing to sell his country short. His wife acts with impunity and he has not guts to put a stop to her interference in the affairs of state.

  2. Thank you Mr. Malott, for taking the trouble on behalf of us. I doubt any one UMNO politician will take advice from anyone, on top of that from a foreigner; they will say you have jewish background.They wouldn’t be sitting in the throne for half a century if not for the massive cheating. They have been living in denial mode for so long that they believe it themselves.

  3. Mat dulu UMNO,

    You do not realise that Ambassador Malott puts the onus on Najib to undertake electoral reforms, although he knows that we cannot expect much in the way of substantial and meaningful changes in the processes and rules to facilitate free and fair elections. For example,if RTM is privatised, it will be owned by parties that are pro-UMNO. A change in ownership is not enough. So, it is not that simple. Selamat Berpuasa to you.

  4. Thank you, ambassador. It would be the dream of many Malaysians for this country to have a fair election, but would certainly hope that this will happen one day. But looking at how our dear pm speaks and acts over the past two years, his flip flop actions on so many issues, it would not be hard for anyone of us not to be skeptical of a fair election.

  5. Ambassador Malott,

    Terima Kaseh for showing your concern for our country and the people despite having left your post in Kuala Lumpur for a while. Thank you for remaining our friend.

    I doubt Malaysia (notice I didn’t mention Najib Razak by name here) will ever have the likes of President Jimmy Carter or anyone to monitor the general elections in the country simply because the elections are all rigged!

    I didn’t mention Najib Razak because I personally think he will not be the PM by the time the elections come around. Once the Scorpene Submarine Trial starts in September in Paris, it will be time for Putrajaya to look for lorry transporters to truck the personal belongings of the sitting PM out… public opinion alone will force them out.

  6. I doubt Najib & co will even read this open letter. They don’t care, period.
    Nothing will change in this country. Malaysians, especially the Malays will only wake up once this country goes totally broke. Only then we have no one else to blame will we effect the change. For now, the convenient enemies are the Christians, Chinese, Jews, Communists etc. Mahathir, the rabid anti-Semite, and our education system have brainwashed the majority race here in this country.

    When the country is broke only then we will come to our senses that UMNO is the cause of our downfall. When the economy goes to the gutter and there are no jobs to go around, then we will have the masses waking up from their deep slumber.

  7. Good one, dian.

    Unfortunately, Amb Malott’s open letter will be taken lightly, as one from Monty Python, by the Imbeciles. All it does is that it gives the goons more opportunity to tighten their circle of embattled wagons.

    GE 13 will be held asap, perhaps by Oct. – and there is NO mechanism whatsoever to get rid of Jibbo before then. So wishful thinking like magical mushrooms, are quite out of order.

  8. I agree with you Gobala. Change of ownership wouldn’t change a thing if it’s owned by UMNO’s cronies. Case in point would be TV3.

  9. About RTM — I was not advocating that it should be sold. I meant that it should be like BBC, NHK, PBS and all other publicly, government-owned broadcast networks. The news should be reported impartially. All political parties should be treated equally. It should not be a propaganda arm of one party, because it belongs to all the people.

    Ditto for Bernama, which also is owned by the people and paid for by everyone’s taxes.

  10. As long as Najib cannot give an unqualified “NO” to this simple question: “Does any of the 8-point demands by Bersih antithetical to a clean and fair electoral system?”, Najib (of the “you help me and I help you” infamy) is only beating around the bush and offering roundabout excuses and denials. He knows that he would be dead as a dodo if all the mechanism of a clean and fair election are in place.

  11. “If you refuse these suggestions, then the doubts will linger, and your assertions about the honesty of Malaysia’s election will continue to be questioned.” Ambassador Malott

    He will say, it is in the nature of doubts that they linger.

  12. We, right thinking Malaysians are thankful to Mr John Malott for taking the trouble to voice out what we Malaysians esp those working in government sectors don’t dare to say for fear of retribution by the head of departments who are affliated with the ruling government.
    We hope that many other foreign ambassadors/expats of other nations would be daring enough to do the same. This is becausewhat they say would carry more weight and their views would be picked up by the foreign media whose reporting are not censored and given a voiceover like the media in Malaysia.
    God bless all the John Malotts out there who carry the torch for the true Malaysians.

  13. There aren’t too many rigtht thinking Malaysians at the top of our totem pole and that is why we as a nation are not quite center. Sad, and we have only ourselves to blame. We allowed ourselves to be conned by our leaders.–Din Merican

  14. Outsiders giving more advice and suggestions to our country’s leaders. Malaysia has a lot wrong with it, but we shall solve our own problems sir – so to anyone else so concerned with our sorry state…. please leave us alone.

  15. Oh yeah, the elections are not free and fair but apparently selangor, perak, kedah and kelantan are won by Pakatan Rakyat.

    For me, the only reason I can’t vote for PR is they are lacking in leadership. I cant trust Anwar lim kit siang, Azmin Ali, haji Abdul hafiz. Whose gonna lead us? Tell me one good leader with grit on the opposition side. The goods one all have left us, or died young.

  16. Malaysia will become another Tunisia, Egypt and Libya if there are Malaysians who are willing to be puppets and gave space to notorious mat saleh like this pseudo ‘free election preacher’. Anyone in his country knows him?

    He should be preaching that UN must be a truly democratic organization – strip the veto power; World Bank is not monopolised by americans and IMF by europeans. His fellow country men won’t be listening to him coz he has no credibility! Then why is he being entertained here?

    His first and second suggestions are outdated; his third – is his country doing it? Any developed democratic country practising it? His fourth – what about TV Selangor?

    In managing the country, especially its economy, DS Najib is a much more better leader as compared to that of Obama, Sarkozy, Brown, Cameron, etc. Compare their respective records. Be proud of our leader.

    Lets fight our won battle on our own strengths.

    Terima kasih for giving me your space.

  17. lets give this Mallot guy a Malaysian citizen since he is so fond of Malaysia, then we get him to run in Kelantan or in any Malay seat, since Malaysia is still a Malay majority country, and if he wins he can be the next PM of Malaysia. Then all will be happy since we have a very experienced and learned white man, albeit now a Malaysian PM.Since most Malaysia adore and like white man, it will be great for us for a change rather than the brown skin Malay.Even Nik Aziz is not proud to be a Malay
    He will be bi partisan racially since he is not Malay, not Chinese, not Indian.What about it???

  18. Who is Malott? He was an ambassador but now just an ordinary American.

    I personally don’t think highly of most Americans. They are bigots and too opinionated. They should look at their own country before meddling in affairs of others.

  19. from my point of view, he is just a ‘has-been’ who have a great imagination that his opinion is still valid in this country. sure, i have to admit that this country is not perfect. please tell me which country is? i think this guy should look after his own backyard first. how many trillions does the US of A owes to the world now?

  20. Plenty of younger good leaders in Pakatan Rakyat, Xoom.

    To name a few: YB Fuziah Salleh, YB Liew Chin Tong,
    YB Hannah Yeoh, YB Tony Pua, YB Khalid Samad etc.

  21. Yes, PR has sufficient political material but what is lacking is direction in leadership. If they had only seen this in 2008 and done something about it we would have had a different scene today.

    But it is not too late though. That is why the recent apparent change in direction within PAS is so promising. But with any organisation based on religion, one can never be sure. One must hope that it is not a lull of the moderates before the storm of the conservatives.

    BN has been made to look more impressive than it is by the fumbling within PR. A serious PAS/DAP alliance can give BN a good run for their money.

  22. The best part is “YOU ARE NOT EVEN A MALAYSIAN” If another May 13 happened, you are just sitting and enjoying you ‘puffs” but we MALAYSIANS are facing the RATH. Mat Salleh is NOT ALWAYS RIGHT

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