'Whilst Malaysians on July 9 had shown themselves not to be so submissive, the prevailing conditions would still work against a mass political awakening.'
American view of Malaysia outdated
Joe Lee: Former US ambassador John Malott mentioned the Hofstede's Power Distance Index, which measures the extent to which the less powerful members of organisations and institutions accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.
Malaysia was at top of the table as the most submissive to authority of any people in the world. Whilst Malaysians on July 9 had shown themselves not to be so submissive, the prevailing political-cultural conditions would still work against a mass political awakening as has happened in Indonesia.
The challenges to the progressive forces in the country are still massive, what with self-censorship by the mass media, corrupt colluders to the Umno gangsters, such as the MCA, including its stable of compromised newspapers such as the Star, the royalty, the civil service and the military.
Jiminy Qrikert: John Malott, even if you are the sole American looking in on Malaysia to see the truth of what's happening to our country, please continue to do so and write about the injustices committed by the BN government against its people.
Right now, the Election Commission (EC) is implementing the biometric system to register and legalise two million immigrants in a sweeping amnesty exercise dubbed the 6P plan.
What the rakyat and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat dread is that this exercise is a humongous lie and a desperate last-ditch attempt by the BN government and the EC to rescue BN from imminent defeat in GE13.
The rakyat's 'Walk for Democracy' braving the brutality of the ruling regime will all come to nought as it will be the easiest thing for BN to simply use the software programme to manipulate the digital identities of this massive army of 'new voters' who become Malaysian citizens overnight.
Lexicon: Hofstede's so-called Power Distance Index (PDI) is a rather stupid generalisation. Hofstede believes that worldwide, authoritarianism is highest in Muslim countries and Confucian societies.
Since Malaysia is predominantly Muslim and Confucian, it follows we must be submissive to authority, it seems. There is no empirical support of his PDI on individual countries. The PDI is another pseudo-scientific statistic used to dupe credulous, lazy businessmen looking for quick answers. The PDI shouldn't enter into thoughtful political analyses.
But Hofstede's arguments would make for interesting comparison with those of Orientalist 'scholars' in past centuries.
Otherwise, John Malott's analysis is spot on as always. Although the State Department has its hands full with crises worldwide (as usual), Hillary Clinton ought to take a public stand for Malaysians' freedom of expression and assembly, and against authoritarianism and corruption as Al Gore did in 1998.
Little Han2: Thank you, Malott, for taking an interest in Malaysia and the welfare of its people. It is during such time of difficulty where we hope we can count on friends like you to come and help give us a helping hand to rid this country of its ills and hope to make a better world for our children and their children. Terima kasih!
Hopium: The original article by Malott is titled, ‘Malaysia's Political Awakening: A Call for US Leadership'. With due respect to the ex-ambassador, we do not need the US leadership.
US itself is tainted with colours of human rights violations. As much I would agree to some of Malott's contention, especially to the ignorance of US people and its government on issues surrounding the world, not only Malaysia, I would not want US leadership to intervene Malaysian political foray.
US has interest in oil-generating nations and tends to destabilise the countries for their own gain. Although there are many distinguished human rights activist in the US, but they do not represent the US Congress, which has been tainted by corruption as much as any other countries.
We would prefer support from neutral activists rather than the US government. We do not need US leadership.
Alan Goh: Nowhere in the world, except Zimbabwe, is democracy determined by the jumping of the political ‘frogs' - from one party to another and where millions of dollars changes hand. This frog-jumping season peaks immediately after every general election.
Despite winning the general elections in the most unethical manner, through phantom voters, postal voters, abuse of government, media, gerrymandering, a biased EC beholden to Umno/BN, an uneven playing field, etc, Umno is threatened by Bersih 2.0's call for a clean, free and fair election.
To the corrupt, the end always justify the means. The brutal treatment by the police during the recent Bersih rally is an example how democracy is abused when peaceful rally is guaranteed under the constitution.
BTN: The US has lost its way ever since President Barack Obama took office. They are so obsessed with the China 'threat' that they will jump on any opportunity to exert their military strength to overcome this perceived fear. Look at the Phillippines, which is instigating the US and giving them reason to go at China.
Whatever happens in Malaysia is secondary to the US, as long as the present leaders bow to the US, and that is what the Najib Razak administration is doing. Where is the US that we knew? Lost is the rapid world of changes and globalisation.
Anonymous_40dd: Malaysians have been ranked as "the most submissive to authority". Does that mean we are all cowards?
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