Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Anifah Aman’s Open Letter to the NY Times


Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Anifah Aman’s Open Letter to the NY Times Editor

COMMENT: Thomas Fuller’s article and interview with Tun Dr Din MericanXMahathir Mohamad which appeared in the New York Times ( June 17, 2015) have received a response from Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman.

It is a reasonable reaction. Minister Aman is expressing concern about the effects of the article and Dr. Mahathir’s interview on Malaysia’s image and Prime Minister’s reputation at home and abroad. As usual, our government’s response has come a little too late.

Furthermore, the Foreign Minister’s Open letter has not added any new material to what is already in the public domain. He merely rehashed them and attacked the former Prime Minister for raising valid issues about the 1MDB scandal.

Damage done to the Prime Minister in the eyes of Malaysians at home and the international community except for his loyal friend, US President Barack Obama, is irreversible. 1MDB scandal has gone out of control because the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, its Chairman Lodin Wok Kamaruddin and Directors, and its Chief Executive Officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy failed to respond clearly and honestly when the matter came to light.

In stead, the Malaysian public were given a merry-go-round with misleading and contradictory answers about the financial affairs  of this sovereign fund. In their arrogance, they assume that we can accept their version as the gospel truth and that we are timid and stupid.What happened to the RM42 billion loan remains answered.

Our attention is being diverted to the politics of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee headed by MP Nur Jazlan and the Opposition, and the antics and tactics of  Mr. Arul and his associates, the Auditor-General, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Inspector-General of Police with occasional interventions by the Prime Minister, his Deputy Prime Minister and senior ministers in his Cabinet.

In order to put Foreign Minister’s Open Letter in the right context, please read this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/18/world/asia/malaysia-prime-minister-najib-razak-mahathir-mohamad.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/18/world/asia/interview-mahathir-mohamad-former-prime-minister-malaysia.html?action=click&contentCollection=Asia%20Pacific&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

Tun Dr MahathirWe may disagree with the Tun’s approach, but in fairness to our former Prime Minister, he had raised them with the Prime Minister in private meetings but he never received any satisfactory response. Tun Dr. Mahathir is consummate politician, no doubt; but in this matter many Malaysians share his concern about 1MDB’s huge debt in the event of a taxpayer or GLC funded bailout or loan default with macro implications on the national economy and our financial and banking system.–Din Merican

The Foreign Minister’s Open Letter as reproduced from : http://www.nst.com.my/node/88855

anifah_amanUNMalaysia’s Foreign Minister Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman

It is regrettable to see Tun Mahathir seeking to undermine his own country in the international media as part of a personal political vendetta.

It is irresponsible of any citizen, let alone a former Prime Minister, to spread lies and distortions about state owned companies – saying for example that RM42 bn is missing from 1MDB to create public anxiety, when in fact these are audited debts backed by RM51 billion in assets. These reckless claims have affected market sentiment towards Malaysia.

Furthermore, it is telling that he continues to mount his attacks, rather than wait for the findings of the enquiries currently being undertaken by Malaysia’s central bank, Auditor General, and parliament’s bipartisan Public Accounts Committee. This shows that Tun Mahathir is not interested in answers from the appropriate lawful authorities. Rather, he is just using 1MDB as an excuse to topple the serving prime minister, Najib Tun Razak.

And all because his personal demands, as Tun Mahathir himself has acknowledged, are not being met. Prime Minister Najib, as Malaysia’s democratically elected leader, will do what he thinks is right for the nation, and will not allow rule by proxy.

Tun Mahathir told the New York Times that UMNO “lacks vision and talented people”, that it “has become a repository of patronage-seeking politicians”, and that members “try to keep out people who are more intelligent than themselves”. But it is Tun Mahathir who led the party for 22 years.

It was he that, during his time, worked to cultivate ‘yes men’ and entrench his position – even introducing a quota system for the UMNO presidency to prevent challengers – rather than bringing in talent and strengthening the party. It is Prime Minister Najib who democratised the party constitution to make it far easier to challenge him for his job.‎

For Tun Mahathir to accuse Prime Minister Najib of acts “verging on criminal” is simply outrageous, and entirely false. It is a measure of the reforms put in place under Prime Minister Najib’s administration that Tun Mahathir has the freedom to be so vocally critical of the party and government he once led.‎

But Tun Mahathir is abusing that freedom, and his privileged standing as a former Prime Minister, to indulge in reckless and baseless personal smears against Prime Minister Najib and his family. Most Malaysians would rather see Tun Mahathir retire gracefully than continue to damage the standing of his own country for personal political gain.

Y.B. Dato’ Sri Anifah bin Haji Aman
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia

27 thoughts on “Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Anifah Aman’s Open Letter to the NY Times

  1. “in fairness to our former…” amnesic charlata!!.Din this man the root cause of our ills together with we Malaysians who should have acted earlier ARE CULPABLE.
    I hope gutless Jibby will use all his rabid wild dogs to rip into this vile venous vermin MAHATHIRUDEN aka MAHATHIEF.
    Have you forgotten Senator Syed Hussin Ali,Karpal singh,LKS,LGE, and many others who this despicable depraved despot put away. Why sudden TOTAL RECALL, TBH, Mongolian,Salleh Abbas, etc. etc the list goes on and on.
    So Din please do not plead on behalf of your fellow Kedahan and mamak brother.

    So Najis ole boy go the whole HOG me and many others will ensure your bugis sailing vessel will not becalmed.

    So keep firm hands on the tiller (not the till) and stay the course and be assured you also have bugis vessels as escorts from a southern state, get my drift ?

  2. “….get my drift ?”

    Actually no Commander (Rtd) Thayaparan.

    Also I don’t see how Mr. Merican is pleading on “behalf of your fellow Kedahan and mamak brother.”

    I realize that some people despise Mahathir as they should, but the Najib administration is causing damage in real time. While I do not think that Mahathir has any grounds to comment on this issue, I do think that having him hasten the demise of the Najib administration and with that, UMNO Baru is beneficial to the political eco system here in Malaysia.

    As long as Najib is allowed to commander the UMNO ship, the average citizen in Malaysia , will continue to suffer. When Najib falls and he should be encouraged to fall quickly, perhaps new power structures would be created instead of the diseased UMNO spreading its filth around.

    I don’t see how encouraging this battle in UMNO to continue simply because some people despise Mahathir while the country continues in a downward spiral is a good tactical move.

    Which each passing day, Najib could do more harm to the country by making alliances or introducing legislation that would undermine civil rights even further. I would not risk such things just because people have a hate on for Mahathir.

    Mahathir created UMNO Baru so it is only fitting that he destroys it. Nothing last forever . Honestly, I am surprised that someone like you Commander, whose writing always deconstructed issues perfectly would make such comments.

    Perhaps it may have something to do with the air in Timor Leste.

  3. Indeed Commander, the man created the system and did it so that he could rule without any opposition from his party and his political adversaries. Now in the winter of his years, he can witness what he has done to our body politic. Let him have his day to give vent to his frustrations of being a politician without any power.

    Justice and retribution come in different ways. For him, it is seeing the wanton destruction of everything he inherited from those on whose shoulders he stood. He wanted to be better but ended up being worse in terms of choosing his successors. Maybe Najib is right to think he wants to rule by proxy. –Din Merican

  4. 1. Vision 2020 turning into Nightmare 2020 (bankrupt nation misruled by
    morally bankrupt UMNO Baru-BN politicians).

    2. Compare and contrast PAP’s vision in the British colony of Singapore versus UMNO’s vision in the British colony of Malaya (and even worse later on, Mahathir’s UMNO Baru vision)

  5. “It is irresponsible of any citizen, let alone a former Prime Minister, to spread lies and distortions about state owned companies – saying for example that RM42 bn is missing from 1MDB to create public anxiety, when in fact these are audited debts backed by RM51 billion in assets. These reckless claims have affected market sentiment towards Malaysia.
    Furthermore, it is telling that he continues to mount his attacks, rather than wait for the findings of the enquiries currently being undertaken by Malaysia’s central bank, Auditor General, and parliament’s bipartisan Public Accounts Committee. This shows that Tun Mahathir is not interested in answers from the appropriate lawful authorities. Rather, he is just using 1MDB as an excuse to topple the serving prime minister, Najib Tun Razak”.

    COMMENT: Hmm … no arrest for sedition or even a lawsuit for libel ??

    ” And all because his personal demands, as Tun Mahathir himself has acknowledged, are not being met. Prime Minister Najib, as Malaysia’s democratically elected leader, will do what he thinks is right for the nation, and will not allow rule by proxy”.

    COMMENT: Elected by 47% in a heavily gerrymandered electoral system, one of the worst in the world. And from a political party where members do not select the leader directly but only through Division Heads? 47% is a dubious figure too.

    “For Tun Mahathir to accuse Prime Minister Najib of acts “verging on criminal” is simply outrageous, and entirely false. It is a measure of the reforms put in place under Prime Minister Najib’s administration that Tun Mahathir has the freedom to be so vocally critical of the party and government he once led”.

    COMMENT: If so, why no criminal libel lawsuit? No courage to discuss/debate the issue face-to-face or even to sue for criminal libel? ‎

    “But Tun Mahathir is abusing that freedom, and his privileged standing as a former Prime Minister, to indulge in reckless and baseless personal smears against Prime Minister Najib and his family. Most Malaysians would rather see Tun Mahathir retire gracefully than continue to damage the standing of his own country for personal political gain”.

    COMMENT: Most Malaysians are happy to see see Tun Mahathir relentless pursuing the “Case of the Missing Billions”! What “personal gain”? He is trying to save UMNO Baru from self-destruction because of the insatiable greed of its top leaders.

  6. Dato, for a change I am in total agreement with the Mamak Kuti however my memory is much better than his. I, and am sure many other Malaysians remember the many injustices, too many to enumerate this Kuti did in in his “reign”.
    Kuti please retire, you have done enough for Malaysia good & bad.

  7. That bit about the 51 b assets not very clever. Any good junior analyst will ask what are they, when and how were they valued. Then the sand castle wiĺl crumble. That bit about AG,BNM, PAC too not very clever. Now the whole world is waiting for the output and will be scrutinizing it carefully. No longer just Malaysian public. So it better be good. As for Mahathir its almost divine for him to see the fruits of his labor before he closes his eyes. Not many have been that unlucky. Again he asked for it.

  8. In the 60s, 70s, and 80s we were doing ok. The reason, the Global Main Stream Media did not find us interesting. I have said this a number of times and I wish to say it again – Get off the Global Main Stream Media.

  9. What Mahathir did and has been doing goes beyond the pale. It is the unspoken rule in the US that no former presidents should attack or criticize sitting presidents in public. I guess most countries also don’t have ex-premier bringing down sitting premiers.

  10. Let’s separate the issues. Mamak Kutty’s wrong doing is one issue which the citizens of the country will (and must) deal with it at the appropriate time and hopefully when he’s still alive. But the most urgent issue at the moment is how are we to mobilise and galvanise our strengths to deal with Jibby. We keep on hearing spin after spin but we are nowhere getting close to getting the main answer to “Where is the money?”. Anifah is not getting to the point and none of the cabinet minister seems to care and want to know and reveal to the rakyat the actual financial position of 1MDB.

  11. A Loser always dwells in the past, forgets the present and ignores the future.
    The Way of a Realist is to remember the past, concentrate on the present and hope for the future.

    Jibros, has brought a new dimension to the corruption and plundering – pure, unadulterated greed and ostentation. The desire for celebrity and cult adoration needed to be subdued. He is done in by his-her own Hubris.

    As for Octo’s ‘unseeming’ behavior, he is the master of all Machiavellian Technic – and he serves as the Lightning Rod for all he had created, except that no One dares touch him. That’s ‘Entitlement’ justice for you.

    Have i got it right Conrad? Or do i have to migrate to Johor, if not Timor Leste?

  12. Simply put, Mahathir failed to make Najib heel in their many private discussions. So, Mahathir, used to getting his ways & wishes complied to during his 22 years as the ‘dictator PM’, is going public, both domestically and internationally, in his effort to get his ‘my way’ demands satisfied – the crooked bridge is one of them. He used to imply that Anwar Ibrahim would not have cared what could happen to the country’s image as long as he got his objectives fulfilled – now Mahathir is no different and perhaps worse on all counts. He is even willing to place ‘responsibility’ on a deceased monarch for his action on the judiciary – as an example of him parrying accountability. For Mahathir, there is no limit to getting his wishes fulfilled by using excuses like the 1MDB. He failed to get the then sitting PM, Pak Lah, to comply to his wishes and away Pak Lah went as a result of Mahathir’s pressure. Now he is trying his level best to get another sitting PM, Najib, to act as his proxy, his puppet. Many people look upon Najib as without a backbone, weak and even gutless – yet he is resisting Mahathir like no others have tried – is he now stubborn? Recalcitrant? Or what? But be assured, if Mahathir were to die while Najib still is serving as the PM, I am certain the grave site would be still at the National Mosque for the Heros of Malaysia as THE RESPECT FOR HIS ELDERS IS STRONG WITHIN NAJIB. Hence, say what you like, but do not expect Najib to accept Mahathir’s public challenge to participate in the face-to-face live debate on TV. Anyway, who is Mahathir now, if not at best, an old dying tiger without any authoritative power over the herd? Let his coarse roar sooth his ego and in time, everyone around will get used to it,

  13. “Perhaps it may have something to do with the air in Timor Leste.”

    This last sentence was uncalled for. I apologize unreservedly.

  14. Quote:- “…..Anyway, who is Mahathir now, if not at best, an old dying tiger without any authoritative power over the herd? Let his coarse roar sooth his ego and in time, everyone around will get used to it”

    So, therefore, if I understand your drift correctly, we should just let Najib carry on and rob the country blind simply because the person pursuing it is just as “bad”, or even worse, and therefore has no moral right to do so?

    If Naijb has all the evidence of whatever crimes, wrongs against the “dying tiger” Mahathir, then by all means arrest him and prove it in court and send him to jail. I and quite a lot of Malaysians won’t shed a tear for him.

    But the cogent point we must not lose sight is Najib or any of his ministers or bangangs are wrong to say Mahathir cannot criticize him by saying he has committed worse crimes. This is a red herring tailored for the Kampong folks.

    One criminal can give evidence against another criminal in our criminal justice system, if not many criminals will go free. It is for the court to weight its cogency.

    My point is both, yes, both Mahathir and Najib have the moral and indeed legal right to criticize each other and expose each others wrong doings and both can go to jail, if found guilty, and form a happy, cozy “Triumvirate” of criminals with Anwar Ibrahim.

  15. Wayne,
    That feline may refer to hadi awang. I got a hunch he would be dying soon and hence such erratic behavour. Perhaps, we should clarify with alie the feline

  16. It is the job of Anafah to defend Malaysia if our interests are at stake. But please do a good job. This FM hasn’t shed anything new, anything convincing. In his little brain he thinks Americans are like the Bajaus or Suluks, easily flattened by officialdom.
    We all know that Mamak Kutty has sinned. We are not protecting and if the BN government thinks he should answer for his sins please lay it out in the open, in the courts, don’t keep it to themselves. But Kutty, as far as the 1MDB issue is concern, is doing a good job and many Malays who might have overlooked chicken Najib’s sins are now getting to know what UMNO has and is doing to the country.
    So we are not supporting Kutty, but rather if his attempt to floor the chicken works, we applause him.

  17. /// shaipudin shah harun June 19, 2015 at 9:38 am
    That bit about the 51 b assets not very clever. ///

    As I said in the previous post, why are they harping only on assets? Even Najib claimed that 1MDB has enough asset. For a Finance Minister, it is unbelievable that he thinks only of the balance sheet, and not the P&L, and more importantly, the flow of funds. Example:

    My company has RM101 billion in assets amd RM42 billion in liabilities. I stole RM50 billion in cash, leaving RM51 billion in assets. Now, the company’s asset is reduced to RM51 billion, but still higher than the liabilities. Therefore all is fine and hunky dory with the company.

  18. “Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Anifah Aman’s Open Letter to the NY Times”

    Just to share this…

    Jun 18, 2015 – Malaysia Gets a Dose of Real Talk – http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-06-18/malaysia-gets-a-dose-of-real-talk

    June 20, 2015 Pemandu Lies…? – http://malaysiansmustknowthetruth.blogspot.com/2015/06/idris-jala-picks-apart-bloomberg-article.html

    The whole world is aware of the scandals of PEEM & Malaysia’s “Genius” Economic Hit man ? – Jho Low…

    How come there was no “Open Letter” to NYT on this one…

    FEB. 8, 2015 – http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/09/nyregion/jho-low-young-malaysian-has-an-appetite-for-new-york.html?_r=0

    Btw bencana, “…but do we know who wrote it ?”

    Feb 13, 2015 – http://www.theantdaily.com/Main/Najib-s-publicity-team-is-only-giving-him-a-litany-of-PR-disasters

    May 12 2015 – http://www.sarawakreport.org/2015/05/more-smear-tactics-and-black-ops-by-najibs-pr-hit-team-anwar-and-dr-m-both-targets-exclusive/

    May 22 2015 – http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=517041:the-work-of-najibs-new-tycoon-pr-chief?-obnoxious-bn-cyber-troopers-backfire-on-najib&Itemid=2#axzz3dXMYZXjk

    You be the judge.

  19. Conrad I get your drift me friend and NO offense taken.Have always enjoyed your perspicacious observations and comments, and your direct approach.

    As to Timor Leste I was hoping that you might want to visit this small country which I believe which will play an important role in the near future with regards to what is unveiling in the South CHINA Sea. If you are interested I could send a list of books about this fascinating country the world ignored and the people suffered for 25 years under the boots of the Indon military led by General Prawobo son in law of Suharto.December 1975 when FORD and KISSINGER gave the go ahead to attack this tiny country. And UK,FRANCE and other western countries supplied arms to Indonesia

    As to Dato Din I feel sad that he is not in one of our universities and have learnt a lot from his blog and ah! the music of his weekend entertainment. Thank you,Obrigadu from Dili,

    I will give some inputs on the other thread re amnesic mamakkutty
    _________________
    Commander, I was in Dili some years ago with MIER delegation for a conference on ASEAN.It was at the time when PDRM personnel were there under the UN Peacekeeping Mission. Please send me the list of books on Timor Leste via e-mail. I am glad you are helping out there. Like me, you are not appreciated at home. Abrigadu from Phnom Penh.–Din Merican.

  20. Commander (Rtd) S. Thayaparan,

    Thanks for the kind words and I too admire your candour and intellectual precision which is reflected in your writing for Malaysiakini. I think your compilation of articles ‘No Country For Righteous Men” is one the best books on the Malaysian political landscape.

    It is a pity you have not written for some time now for Mkini but I understand that you are busy and the vitriol you get when pointing out some unpleasant truths or facts is something one could do without.

    Please send the list of books to Mr. Merican. I have always been intrigued by your vast sources of literary references, sprinkled in your articles. It would be interesting dipping into that pool.

    As one former comrade of yours told me, “Thaya is the person you want beside you in the trench during war, ”

    It is a pity people like you and Mr. Merican find your abilities wanted in other parts of the World but not in your own country.

    Cheers.

  21. WE need someone from outside the circle to go into details the problems inherited from the former Prime Minister whose vision had good and bad political points. He changed the federal constitution many times to suit his style of managing the country that gave him 22 years premiership. That was the result of a complete change when UMNO founded by Dato Onn helmed by Tengku Abdual Rahman in 1957 with the support of MCA and MIC to achieve Independence with full consultation behind closed doors over racial issues under Alliance government at that time There was excellent rapport between the partners in government between MCA and MIC.. Needless to say that when the old UMNO was deregistered due to some other technical reasons, new UMNO baru was formed under the draconian leadership of Dr. Mahathir who held complete control of the government administration and other agencies. When bumiputraism was coined to give the majority of Malays from the rural folks a better opportunities, he made Bahasa Melayu as a national language in all national schools and reduced passing marks in order produce more local graduates. Racism , meritocracy,cronyism,favouritism, special privileges cropped up daily that caused people to migrate to other countries. When the former finance minister was sacked in 1969, Dr,Mahathir took over the finance ministry under PMO. Najib inherited the legacy that brought down from the former prime minister to Najib as PM cum finance minister with his power of the pen that caused havoc of the finance ministry that almost flattened the government coffers
    old UMNO was deregistered due to technical reasons

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