Lim Kit Siang and his knack of exaggeration, says Azmin Ibrahim
Lim Kit Siang has made a series of outlandish statements in the wake of Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction of sodomy that is doing nothing but misleading the rakyat, writes Free Malaysia Today reader Azmin Ibrahim. Here is what the noise is all about:
First, Lim claimed Malaysia was in the international doghouse, an exaggeration to be sure. However, if this is so, how can he explain the largely muted international response to Anwar’s conviction?
Take the United States, for example. While expressing their perfunctory regret, the US spokesperson was quick to assert the importance of US- Malaysia relations.
The spokesperson also made clear that the US had no intention “to engage in quid pro quo actions but wanted to maintain solid ties with Malaysia.
The fact that Malaysia is the current Chair of ASEAN and a member of the United Nations Security Council is an important deciding factor. It is clear to most that the US has skilfully disengaged itself from the whole issue. Lim, of course, is an exception.
Julie Bishop, the Australian Foreign Minister as well as the opposition leader Bill Shorten while expressing grave concern, were quick to emphasise the importance of the strong ties and friendship between the two countries. Not much different from the US’s stance.
An independent South Australian Senator, who by his own admission is a friend of Anwar, is the only one who is rabble rousing. Calling for the Commonwealth to impose sanctions against Malaysia is idiotic. Nick Xenophon is not even a national Australian leader and has no affiliation to any major Australian political party. His flagrant rants have been completely ignored; in Australia and abroad; except by the Opposition in Malaysia.
The Swiss Foreign Ministry has said the Anwar issue would be discussed at bilateral talks between Malaysia and Switzerland. It must be noted that Switzerland is the lead negotiator in the European Free Trade talks.
The fact that Switzerland has said that Anwar’s conviction would be raised at the UN human rights council was in reply to the Bruno Manser Foundation, which raised the issue.
It must be noted especially by Lim, the Opposition and Anwar’s supporters, no other nation has supported the Swiss move. That Switzerland has not called off the bilateral talks is significant to note. Anwar’s conviction would most probably be discussed under “Other Matters’’ during the trade talks.
Leaders of ASEAN have also not made any statements in support of Anwar Ibrahim. Neither have the leaders of the Middle East.
Human rights activists at the trial were invited by Anwar Ibrahim and gang. Some of them are also funded by Anwar & Co. So naturally “they have to sing loud for their supper”.
World opinion or support for Anwar has been muted. His importance to them is minuscule compared to the advantages of trade and bilateral relations with Malaysia. Moreover, these countries are more concerned with their own problems.
To the general public in America, Europe or Asia Pacific, the name Anwar Ibrahim is unknown. Jihadi John might be better known!
It is only the Opposition that is sounding the war drums and trying to make out as if Anwar is an international icon, which he certainly is not.
The world cares not.
Second, Lim has the gall to ask the Prime Minister’s Office to show him the draft it had prepared in advance in the event of Anwar’s acquittal. To start with, Lim has no idea how the PMO or any diplomatic mission functions.
It is standard procedure to have prepared statements, like in Anwar’s case. Maybe Lim should listen to his old friend John Mallot, former US Ambassador to Malaysia who has clarified that preparing two versions for any forthcoming event of importance is standard procedure.
In this context, Lim should explain if Anwar prepared two versions of his speech from the dock. As Zaid Ibrahim has commented, Anwar’s attack on the judiciary sounded well rehearsed.
Third, Lim is misleading the rakyat by saying that Anwar will be Prime Minister should Pakatan win the next General Election in 2018.
Well, Anwar would still be locked up. And he would need a royal pardon to be set free. Did not PKR say asking for a royal pardon from the Agung was not an option it wants to consider?
Lim, please explain how Anwar will be made prime minister then. Do not hoodwink the rakyat with lies and half truths.
Azmin Ibrahim is an FMT reader.
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