The best message I got for 2017. Keep those UMNO goons out of our lives. They are playing the politics of race, religion and hatred. We Malaysians must not allow them to manipulate us for their personal gain, Malaysia be damned.–Din Merican
Original intentions are usually captured in words, symbols, photographs and recordings, plus scripts of any event; whether intended by the co-organisers or not. Truth matters are recorded and captured in history of time; and such matters do tell the different truths of related observers.
If such a spirit of truth of those moments is missing in later life; the original actors and players, as witnessing observers,will revert to those words and phrases implying the original intentions!
Therefore recently, the Deputy President of UPKO and a minister in the current government of Sabah stated that they are not obliged to blindly follow all federal laws, especially those that do not accord with the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 (MA63).
I posted that news on Facebook and I received some legitimate views and opinions of objection about such a non-compliance with Federal Laws. They are valid concerns, but do not the jurisdiction of all such laws and practices involved, have a right to revert to the unconditional historical truths of both; the spirit of those laws, and also the actual words in legal documents?
One case study of our ‘Jalur Gemilang’
Does the flag of our federation therefore reflect such an arrangement of the three (formerly four) colonies of the British Commonwealth into one united nation-state? Those three constituents include the original federation (of 11 Malay states) plus two new states; to make the nation-state we now call Malaysia.
Our federation is also a full member of the United Nations of global nation-states with even some non-nation-states; but all considered entities within some legal but qualified recognition for membership. This includes Taiwan.
Now, let us review the flag of the Federation of Malaysia:
The flag of Malaysia, also known as the Jalur Gemilang (Malay for ‘Stripes of Glory’), is composed of a field of 14 alternating red and white stripes along the fly and a blue canton bearing a crescent and a 14-point star known as the Bintang Persekutuan (Federal Star).
What was the original logic of 14 alternating stripes with 14 points of the star? Can I proffer one logical guesstimate? The constituent member states (the composition with three original others) plus 11 members of the Federation of Malaya made for 14 states. But, today, about 54 years later, we have differing views about whether it should have been only three colonial states and cannot agree to reconstitute them as 14 equal states, per se. Some argue there are only three colonial states; never 14
I have now also heard this argument taught in schools that 14 include (the thirteen plus Federal Territory, to replace Singapore as the fourteenth). But as a rationalist and believer of all human logic systems, I would argue that it could never have been 14; if we understand mathematics of numerals with a base of 10.
Why thus I stopped flying the flag
Some years ago, at the height of federal abuse of Sabah and Sarawak, when most everyone came to full knowledge about the shenanigans of the federal government’s abuse of “Federal Constitution-ordained state rights”, it became obvious to me that Malaysia should have been called ‘Melayusia’ instead.
In my lexicon and language, Melayusia is the real and original Malay word that would have been framed if the original framers wanted to make the ‘Orang Melayu’ the Tuan or Master of all aspects of Malaysian life and therefore conditioning us to be coloured by Malay-Muslim logic systems.
That did not happen, and in fact, Sabah and Sarawak explicitly stated that they are not Muslim and will not accept Islam as their official religion. These views are well-documented.
Therefore, some years ago, I first met a Sabahan minister who challenged my “peninsular Malayan thinking” when he said to me, “We are not part and parcel of your social contract; we have a clear and legitimate membership directly as a result of the Malaysia Agreement 1963”. It only then dawned upon me the full meaning of what he meant about their real independence.
When the truths about that statement and their one-third state argument finally drove into my heart, I realised that as a neo-colonial Malayan, I had genuinely treated my brothers and sisters from Sabah and Sarawak with a post-colonial attitude and a subjugation mindset.
That very year, I wrote a column in Malaysiakini that explained why I could not honestly fly the Jalur Gemilang any more in my home. I have since stopped flying the flag which I had always saluted in the Royal Military College (RMC). I even explained my reasons to my children who grew up being taught to equally respect this symbol of our nation-state.
Integration with integrity
Some Old Puteras, or the alumni of the RMC, recently decided to launch a movement we call OPs4A; or OPs for Accountability on January 15, 2017. We hosted an event of OPs, by OPs, and for OPs plus their guests. We had some notable and a credible group friends and guests, including the Group of 25 (G25) members.
National Monument–Of Any Significance to Sarawakians and Sabahan?
Our theme for the next three events also remains the same: ‘National Integration with Constitutional Integrity’. I was therefore rather amused when some formidable members of the alumni could not decipher this essential meaning of our theme.
Integrity is the adjective and integration is the verb, right? What then is the storyline we are creating or starting for our movement for change? Our honest and legitimate question to every member of our audience is therefore: Is Malaysia moving in the right direction?
Can the current direction and momentum result in our communities being integrated and can we do it clearly and honestly with the sense of integrity found and established in our Federal Constitution? That must be our only legal framing measure of our integrity, right?
Therefore the integrity of the tall and large Flag at the Dataran Merdeka of Malaysia depends on two kinds of constitutional integrity:
Upward integrity of the flag being planted exactly 90 degrees upright and therefore fully aligned to the Federal Constitution of the 1957 and 1963 agreements.
Outward integrity of policies and public positions taken on every issue and concern on behalf of all citizens, and in most cases also; non-citizens who are here with legal work permits in Malaysia.
May God bless Malaysia to move in the right direction. Truth always matters.
The Late Bank Negara Governor Jaffar Hussein –The Fall Guy in the Forex Scandal
COMMENT: The truth will always haunt those who abuse power, even if it can take ages before it is exposed. The Bank Negara forex scandal is just a case in point.
Maybe he can help in the investigations
The government of the day must open investigations to uncover the facts of the case and those behind this scandal including bank officers in the Bank Negara Investment Department which managed the bank’s reserves who were protected by the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad should be asked to testify before a Commission of Inquiry. Those who were entrusted with the management of 1MDB too should be treated in a similar fashion. –Din Merican
Nur Jazlan: Father-in-law quit for ‘someone else’s mistake’
Nur Jazlan Mohamed has claimed that his father-in-law, a former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor, the late Jaffar Hussein, had resigned for “someone else’s mistake”.
The Deputy Home Minister’s remarks came in light of former BNM assistant governor Abdul Murad Khalid’s claims that the central bank had lost US$10 billion in the foreign exchange market during former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s era.
Murad said despite the heavy losses, there was no investigation into the matter. Jaffar, who served as the central bank’s governor from 1985 to 1994, resigned on April 1, 1994. He passed away four years later, in 1998.
His resignation followed his admission that Bank Negara had lost RM5.7 billion the previous year. “After 22 years, my late father-in-law’s story comes out. He resigned to cover someone else’s mistake,” tweeted Nur Jazlan.
The tweet was accompanied with news paper clippings, one on Murad’s revelation last week and an Utusan Malaysia report on the day Jaffar resigned, quoting the former governor as saying he made a mistake, posted side by side.
Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein
Commenting further on his father-in-law’s resignation “to take responsibility for someone else’s mistake”, Nur Jazlan said this was rare in both politics and government in Malaysia, even today.
“Such misdeeds are usually brushed over for unity and stability’s sake to preserve the present order until exposed years later for expediency,” he added
Apart from Murad’s claims that Bank Negara had lost US$10 billion during Mahathir’s tenure as premier, declassified reports by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) suggested that Mahathir’s government was also aware of Bumiputera Malaysia Finance’s (BMF) dubious dealings in the 1980s.
Mahathir had responded to the BMF allegations by accusing the CIA of conspiring against him.He also wrote a blog post to point out differences between the BMF and 1MDB scandals, such as that the CIA report on the BMF scandal did not implicate the Prime Minister.
It seems that the new President of the United States is happiest when he has an enemy to attack. His fans also love this pugilism, perhaps because this is the feeling of being in the thick of it together, us against them.
‘Them’ in this case is the mainstream media in America, mainly the big outlets such as the New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN.
It suits Trump to berate the media, because these news media were quick to point out his inaccuracies, contradictions and falsehoods during his election campaign.
Almost all of Trump’s rallies were an opportunity to attack the media. “I would never kill them, but I do hate them. And some of them are such lying, disgusting people.” This was Trump’s opinion about journalists at one of his campaign rallies.
Yet one of the most interesting discoveries about Trump’s ascent to the Presidency of the USA is that alternative media, not conventional media, played the most important role in his success. The proof of this, according to Fortunemagazine was because the flood of articles and coverage about Trump’s outrageous behaviour, had almost no effect on most of the voters. These were the stories about his falsehoods, his refusal to publish his tax returns, his companies that were ethically challenged, his refusal to place his businesses in a blind trust, and his boasting about sexually groping women.
Trump’s support base simply wasn’t reading or consuming conventional media. This is probably not so much because these supporters couldn’t read, but because they were getting their information from the myriad of new sources that the internet has made available.
“What Trump supporters were listening to was Trump himself on Twitter, and organs of the Trump Nation such as Breitbart News, InfoWars, and other alternative and fringe news sites”.
Also, 44 per cent of Americans had switched to Facebook for their news. News on Facebook consists of the stories that trend the most according to how many other users like them, and according to algorithms which provide more of the stories that you will like.
This is the ‘echo chamber effect’ where people get the news that they like, and which will reinforce their existing opinions, or biases.
The other new, alarming phenomenon has been the rise of fake news sites. Almost anyone with basic internet skills can set up a site with an apparently innocuous name, and then fill it with pictures and attention-grabbing stories, false or otherwise.
These site were simply working on the principle of attracting enough traffic that, in turn, would generate income when the site owners would then place advertising on it for profit.
The genie is out of the bottle and the news as we knew it not so long ago has irrevocably changed. This is particularly in countries such as the USA, where free speech, almost any speech, is protected by the First Amendment.
Alright, so why should Trump bother any more about mainstream media, when mainstream media is no longer central to his success?
The answer, according to Trump’s biographer, Michael D’Antonio, is that Trump is ‘irritated and even enraged by those who check facts and look for evidence to confirm or disprove his claims. He thinks he should just be able to say things, and that those things should be reported and considered uncritically. So he resents it when people fail to do that and instead hold him to some standard, and he takes it personally’.
It appears that Trump wants to be loved and forgiven by the mainstream media, irrespective of his inability to get his facts straight. This need for constant approval seems to indicate a deep-seated insecurity. There’s almost a child-like petulance and rage about his reaction to criticism. This immaturity would be amusing, it Trump wasn’t the President of the United States, with the nuclear codes within reach.
Well, mainstream media just won’t roll over and suddenly ignore the falsehoods and Trump’s ‘alternative reality‘ where the facts just don’t matter any more. American credibility itself is on the block.
Accordingly, the media wars have only just started, and what we’ve seen so far are only the first shots being fired. More brutal combat is on the way.
For the first time in 70 years, the American people have elected a president who disparages the policies, ideas, and institutions at the heart of postwar U.S. foreign policy. No one knows how the foreign policy of the Trump administration will take shape, or how the new president’s priorities and preferences will shift as he encounters the torrent of events and crises ahead. But not since Franklin Roosevelt’s administration has U.S. foreign policy witnessed debates this fundamental.
Since World War II, U.S. grand strategy has been shaped by two major schools of thought, both focused on achieving a stable international system with the United States at the center. Hamiltonians believed that it was in the American interest for the United States to replace the United Kingdom as “the gyroscope of world order,” in the words of President Woodrow Wilson’s adviser Edward House during World War I, putting the financial and security architecture in place for a reviving global economy after World War II—something that would both contain the Soviet Union and advance U.S. interests. When the Soviet Union fell, Hamiltonians responded by doubling down on the creation of a global liberal order, understood primarily in economic terms.
Is Mr. Wilson right?
Wilsonians, meanwhile, also believed that the creation of a global liberal order was a vital U.S. interest, but they conceived of it in terms of values rather than economics. Seeing corrupt and authoritarian regimes abroad as a leading cause of conflict and violence, Wilsonians sought peace through the promotion of human rights, democratic governance, and the rule of law. In the later stages of the Cold War, one branch of this camp, liberal institutionalists, focused on the promotion of international institutions and ever-closer global integration, while another branch, neoconservatives, believed that a liberal agenda could best be advanced through Washington’s unilateral efforts (or in voluntary conjunction with like-minded partners).
The disputes between and among these factions were intense and consequential, but they took place within a common commitment to a common project of global order. As that project came under increasing strain in recent decades, however, the unquestioned grip of the globalists on U.S. foreign policy thinking began to loosen. More nationalist, less globally minded voices began to be heard, and a public increasingly disenchanted with what it saw as the costly failures the global order-building project began to challenge what the foreign policy establishment was preaching. The Jeffersonian and Jacksonian schools of thought, prominent before World War II but out of favor during the heyday of the liberal order, have come back with a vengeance.
Jeffersonians, including today’s so-called realists, argue that reducing the United States’ global profile would reduce the costs and risks of foreign policy. They seek to define U.S. interests narrowly and advance them in the safest and most economical ways. Libertarians take this proposition to its limits and find allies among many on the left who oppose interventionism, want to cut military spending, and favor redeploying the government’s efforts and resources at home. Both Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas seemed to think that they could surf the rising tide of Jeffersonian thinking during the Republican presidential primary. But Donald Trump sensed something that his political rivals failed to grasp: that the truly surging force in American politics wasn’t Jeffersonian minimalism. It was Jacksonian populist nationalism.
IDENTITY POLITICS BITE BACK
The distinctively American populism Trump espouses is rooted in the thought and culture of the country’s first populist president, Andrew Jackson. For Jacksonians—who formed the core of Trump’s passionately supportive base—the United States is not a political entity created and defined by a set of intellectual propositions rooted in the Enlightenment and oriented toward the fulfillment of a universal mission. Rather, it is the nation-state of the American people, and its chief business lies at home. Jacksonians see American exceptionalism not as a function of the universal appeal of American ideas, or even as a function of a unique American vocation to transform the world, but rather as rooted in the country’s singular commitment to the equality and dignity of individual American citizens. The role of the U.S. government, Jacksonians believe, is to fulfill the country’s destiny by looking after the physical security and economic well-being of the American people in their national home—and to do that while interfering as little as possible with the individual freedom that makes the country unique.
Is Mr. Jackson referring to Donald J. Trump?
Jacksonian populism is only intermittently concerned with foreign policy, and indeed it is only intermittently engaged with politics more generally. It took a particular combination of forces and trends to mobilize it this election cycle, and most of those were domestically focused. In seeking to explain the Jacksonian surge, commentators have looked to factors such as wage stagnation, the loss of good jobs for unskilled workers, the hollowing out of civic life, a rise in drug use—conditions many associate with life in blighted inner cities that have spread across much of the country. But this is a partial and incomplete view. Identity and culture have historically played a major role in American politics, and 2016 was no exception. Jacksonian America felt itself to be under siege, with its values under attack and its future under threat. Trump—flawed as many Jacksonians themselves believed him to be—seemed the only candidate willing to help fight for its survival.
For Jacksonian America, certain events galvanize intense interest and political engagement, however brief. One of these is war; when an enemy attacks, Jacksonians spring to the country’s defense. The most powerful driver of Jacksonian political engagement in domestic politics, similarly, is the perception that Jacksonians are being attacked by internal enemies, such as an elite cabal or immigrants from different backgrounds. Jacksonians worry about the U.S. government being taken over by malevolent forces bent on transforming the United States’ essential character. They are not obsessed with corruption, seeing it as an ineradicable part of politics. But they care deeply about what they see as perversion—when politicians try to use the government to oppress the people rather than protect them. And that is what many Jacksonians came to feel was happening in recent years, with powerful forces in the American elite, including the political establishments of both major parties, in cahoots against them.
Many Jacksonians came to believe that the American establishment was no longer reliably patriotic, with “patriotism” defined as an instinctive loyalty to the well-being and values of Jacksonian America. And they were not wholly wrong, by their lights. Many Americans with cosmopolitan sympathies see their main ethical imperative as working for the betterment of humanity in general. Jacksonians locate their moral community closer to home, in fellow citizens who share a common national bond. If the cosmopolitans see Jacksonians as backward and chauvinistic, Jacksonians return the favor by seeing the cosmopolitan elite as near treasonous—people who think it is morally questionable to put their own country, and its citizens, first.
Jacksonian distrust of elite patriotism has been increased by the country’s selective embrace of identity politics in recent decades. The contemporary American scene is filled with civic, political, and academic movements celebrating various ethnic, racial, gender, and religious identities. Elites have gradually welcomed demands for cultural recognition by African Americans, Hispanics, women, the LGBTQ community, Native Americans, Muslim Americans. Yet the situation is more complex for most Jacksonians, who don’t see themselves as fitting neatly into any of those categories.
Whites who organize around their specific European ethnic roots can do so with little pushback; Italian Americans and Irish Americans, for example, have long and storied traditions in the parade of American identity groups. But increasingly, those older ethnic identities have faded, and there are taboos against claiming a generic European American or white identity. Many white Americans thus find themselves in a society that talks constantly about the importance of identity, that values ethnic authenticity, that offers economic benefits and social advantages based on identity—for everybody but them. For Americans of mixed European background or for the millions who think of themselves simply as American, there are few acceptable ways to celebrate or even connect with one’s heritage.
Jacksonians see American exceptionalism not as a function of the universal appeal of American ideas, but as rooted in the country’s singular commitment to the equality and dignity of individual American citizens.
There are many reasons for this, rooted in a complex process of intellectual reflection over U.S. history, but the reasons don’t necessarily make intuitive sense to unemployed former factory workers and their families. The growing resistance among many white voters to what they call “political correctness” and a growing willingness to articulate their own sense of group identity can sometimes reflect racism, but they need not always do so. People constantly told that they are racist for thinking in positive terms about what they see as their identity, however, may decide that racist is what they are, and that they might as well make the best of it. The rise of the so-called alt-right is at least partly rooted in this dynamic.
The emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement and the scattered, sometimes violent expressions of anti-police sentiment displayed in recent years compounded the Jacksonians’ sense of cultural alienation, and again, not simply because of race. Jacksonians instinctively support the police, just as they instinctively support the military. Those on the frontlines protecting society sometimes make mistakes, in this view, but mistakes are inevitable in the heat of combat, or in the face of crime. It is unfair and even immoral, many Jacksonians believe, to ask soldiers or police officers to put their lives on the line and face great risks and stress, only to have their choices second-guessed by armchair critics. Protests that many Americans saw as a quest for justice, therefore, often struck Jacksonians as attacks on law enforcement and public order.
Gun control and immigration were two other issues that crystallized the perception among many voters that the political establishments of both parties had grown hostile to core national values. Non-Jacksonians often find it difficult to grasp the depth of the feelings these issues stir up and how proposals for gun control and immigration reform reinforce suspicions about elite control and cosmopolitanism.
The right to bear arms plays a unique and hallowed role in Jacksonian political culture, and many Jacksonians consider the Second Amendment to be the most important in the Constitution. These Americans see the right of revolution, enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, as the last resort of a free people to defend themselves against tyranny—and see that right as unenforceable without the possibility of bearing arms. They regard a family’s right to protect itself without reliance on the state, meanwhile, as not just a hypothetical ideal but a potential practical necessity—and something that elites don’t care about or even actively oppose. (Jacksonians have become increasingly concerned that Democrats and centrist Republicans will try to disarm them, which is one reason why mass shootings and subsequent calls for gun control spur spikes in gun sales, even as crime more generally has fallen.)
As for immigration, here, too, most non-Jacksonians misread the source and nature of Jacksonian concern. There has been much discussion about the impact of immigration on the wages of low-skilled workers and some talk about xenophobia and Islamophobia. But Jacksonians in 2016 saw immigration as part of a deliberate and conscious attempt to marginalize them in their own country. Hopeful talk among Democrats about an “emerging Democratic majority” based on a secular decline in the percentage of the voting population that is white was heard in Jacksonian America as support for a deliberate transformation of American demographics. When Jacksonians hear elites’ strong support for high levels of immigration and their seeming lack of concern about illegal immigration, they do not immediately think of their pocketbooks. They see an elite out to banish them from power—politically, culturally, demographically. The recent spate of dramatic random terrorist attacks, finally, fused the immigration and personal security issues into a single toxic whole.
In short, in November, many Americans voted their lack of confidence—not in a particular party but in the governing classes more generally and their associated global cosmopolitan ideology. Many Trump voters were less concerned with pushing a specific program than with stopping what appeared to be the inexorable movement of their country toward catastrophe.
THE ROAD AHEAD
What all of this means for U.S. foreign policy remains to be seen. Many previous presidents have had to revise their ideas substantially after reaching the Oval Office; Trump may be no exception. Nor is it clear just what the results would be of trying to put his unorthodox policies into practice. (Jacksonians can become disappointed with failure and turn away from even former heroes they once embraced; this happened to President George W. Bush, and it could happen to Trump, too.)
At the moment, Jacksonians are skeptical about the United States’ policy of global engagement and liberal order building—but more from a lack of trust in the people shaping foreign policy than from a desire for a specific alternative vision. They oppose recent trade agreements not because they understand the details and consequences of those extremely complex agreements’ terms but because they have come to believe that the negotiators of those agreements did not necessarily have the United States’ interests at heart. Most Jacksonians are not foreign policy experts and do not ever expect to become experts. For them, leadership is necessarily a matter of trust. If they believe in a leader or a political movement, they are prepared to accept policies that seem counter-intuitive and difficult.
They no longer have such trust in the American establishment, and unless and until it can be restored, they will keep Washington on a short leash. To paraphrase what the neoconservative intellectual Irving Kristol wrote about Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1952, there is one thing that Jacksonians know about Trump—that he is unequivocally on their side. About their country’s elites, they feel they know no such thing. And their concerns are not all illegitimate, for the United States’ global order-building project is hardly flourishing.
The right to bear arms plays a unique and hallowed role in Jacksonian political culture.
Over the past quarter century, Western policymakers became infatuated with some dangerously oversimplified ideas. They believed capitalism had been tamed and would no longer generate economic, social, or political upheavals. They felt that illiberal ideologies and political emotions had been left in the historical dustbin and were believed only by “bitter” losers—people who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them . . . as a way to explain their frustrations,” as Barack Obama famously put it in 2008. Time and the normal processes of history would solve the problem; constructing a liberal world order was simply a matter of working out the details.
Given such views, many recent developments—from the 9/11 attacks and the war on terrorism to the financial crisis to the recent surge of angry nationalist populism on both sides of the Atlantic—came as a rude surprise. It is increasingly clear that globalization and automation have helped break up the socioeconomic model that undergirded postwar prosperity and domestic social peace, and that the next stage of capitalist development will challenge the very foundations of both the global liberal order and many of its national pillars.
In this new world disorder, the power of identity politics can no longer be denied. Western elites believed that in the twenty-first century, cosmopolitanism and globalism would triumph over atavism and tribal loyalties. They failed to understand the deep roots of identity politics in the human psyche and the necessity for those roots to find political expression in both foreign and domestic policy arenas. And they failed to understand that the very forces of economic and social development that cosmopolitanism and globalization fostered would generate turbulence and eventually resistance, as Gemeinschaft (community) fought back against the onrushing Gesellschaft (market society), in the classic terms sociologists favored a century ago.
The challenge for international politics in the days ahead is therefore less to complete the task of liberal world order building along conventional lines than to find a way to stop the liberal order’s erosion and reground the global system on a more sustainable basis. International order needs to rest not just on elite consensus and balances of power and policy but also on the free choices of national communities—communities that need to feel protected from the outside world as much as they want to benefit from engaging with it.
The George Washington University, Foggy Bottom, Washington DC
Message from GW President Steven Knapp
Dr. Knapp responds to presidential executive order on immigration restrictions.
January 30, 2017
Every year we bring students from around the world to The George Washington University so they can enrich the intellectual life of our campuses and acquire the knowledge and skills that will enable them to build their communities when they return home. They are a vital part of what it means to be a great university in the world we share, and our commitment to their educational and personal welfare is a core value of our institution.
Whatever its intent may be, the presidential executive order banning citizens of seven countries from entering the United States directly threatens the well-being of students as well as of faculty and staff members who come from the affected countries. We are therefore taking the following steps in response to this order.
Currently, the GW International Services Office, the Office of General Counsel and the External Relations division are working to understand exactly how the executive order will affect our students, faculty and staff and for how long. The situation continues to evolve, and there are many questions we cannot answer today. We can say, however, that travel outside the United States for some members of our community is now very risky and may remain so for the foreseeable future. There is the possibility that individuals from the listed countries, including not only foreign nationals on student or scholar non-immigrant visas but also dual citizens and possibly permanent residents (green card holders), will not be readmitted, even if they currently hold a valid visa.
I want to assure you that we will do all we can to obtain answers to your questions and to support the members of our community who are affected by the order. We have invited all affected students whose visas are sponsored by GW to an informational session this Friday. We encourage others who are affected to contact the International Services Office to be included in this event and future communications on this topic.
We are working with other universities and with professional associations to keep up to date on a rapidly changing situation. Meanwhile, in keeping with the statement of principles we issued on December 9, 2016, the university will safeguard student records and provide legal and counseling services to all who need them. Students, faculty members and staff will not be questioned, held or arrested by the George Washington University Police Department (GWPD) on the basis of immigration status alone. University police officers will not participate in joint immigration enforcement efforts with other law enforcement officials unless required by law.
In recent weeks, I have urged GW students and all members of our community to continue to respect our differences, maintain civility and celebrate our diversity. Now I am asking also that we offer our support and friendship to our international students, faculty members and staff who are rightly concerned about their and their families’ future in a nation that, in its proudest moments, has opened its doors to the hopes and aspirations of all people.
DIVISION OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS
2121 Eye Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052