I refer to Dr Mahathir Mohamad's nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. All I can say is that under Dr M's tenure as prime minister of Malaysia, the country's policy concerning human rights and crimes against humanity was very simple and obvious. Catholics and Protestants can kill each other. Sri Lankan's Sinhalese and Tamils can kill each other. Government-sponsored genocide with Hutus killing Tutsis would elicit no condemnation from the Malaysian government.
These are merely non-Muslims killing non-Muslims. Muslims can also kill Muslims. Like what is happening in Darfur. Will the Sudanese leaders be regarded as war criminals by Dr M? Oh no, that is not genocide. Because that does not fit the equation. The simple equation is that non-Muslims cannot kill Muslims. Any other equation is, if not acceptable, at least not a war crime.
In Aceh, Indonesian soldiers shot and killed civilians. Is that a war crime? Of course not. But Israeli soldiers shooting Palestinians, a ha! That is a war crime. Saddam Hussein can use chemical weapons on the Kurdish people. Did the Malaysian government under the leadership of Dr M, the Nobel Peace Prize nominee, condemn his slaughter of the Kurdish people or consider it a genocide? Of course, not!
An estimated one million people lost their lives in the Iraq-Iran war. Who were the war criminals? No one, according to Dr M because it was a case of Muslims killing Muslims. Like Palestinians killing each other. Somehow, it is not a matter of getting killed but also who is doing the killing. No comments or condemnation from the Malaysian government or Dr M.
Most Malaysians (including yours truly) have not even heard of Chechens and Rohingyas until they were identified as Muslims being victimised by non-Muslims (ie, the Russians and Burmese respectively).
Let us not be hypocritical and call a spade a spade. The only equation that is not acceptable to the likes of Dr M is the killing of Muslims by non-Muslims. Therefore, George Bush is a war criminal, so is Tony Blair or anyone involved in the killing of Muslims. How about Osama bin Laden? Believe it or not, he is regarded by most Muslims in this country as a hero.
Of course, Milosevic is a war criminal. Slobadon Milosevic's 'ethnic cleansing' to rid Bosnia and Kosovo of the Muslim population is outright genocide. However, Saddam Hussein is not a war criminal, not in Dr M's book. Not even when he murdered thousands of Kurdish and Shiites. And what about the late Ayatollah Khomeini who massacred the Bahais? Oh no, he was never a war criminal. He was a holy man.
To get back to the subject of the Bosnians or Albanians in Kosovo, it is the Americans who help end the bloodshed. In 1995, Nato and later the United Nations sent in 60,000 peacekeepers to stop the killings, remove Milosevic, help rebuild the country and keep the peace. The US sent 20,000 troops and in September, 2003, still maintained 5,150 in Bosnia and Kosovo. Let us face up to that.
Without American military muscle, Milosevic and his murdering goons would not have been stopped. Does Dr M know why Bill Clinton is so popular in the Balkans? In Pristina, Kosovo, a five-story picture of the former American president was permanently engraved into the side of the tallest building in the province as a token of gratitude for Clinton's support during the crisis in Kosovo. How come nobody thought of doing something similar to honour Dr M?
In Aceh, they have named roads after Bill Clinton and George Bush. This is because the first helicopters to appear over the sky to deliver much-needed food and water during their desperate hours after the tsunami were American helicopters. Do they have a street or road named after Dr M?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not blindly pro-American. What is happening in Iraq deserves condemnation but not by Dr M or those who have no right to the moral high ground. Only those who would condemn the killing of innocent people regardless of their ethnic origin or religious persuasion can occupy such a moral high ground.