Malaysiakini Yoursay

Obama's nudge for Najib to free Anwar wishful thinking

Yoursay  |  Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY | 'There are two things Najib won't do - release Anwar and resign.'

‘Obama to Najib: Release Anwar’

SusahKes: Former United States ambassador John Malott, the proof of the pudding as they say, is in the eating.

It may be too soon to conclude what sort of response Prime Minister Najib Razak would actually give on US President Barack Obama's call for jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's release.

But, having seen Najib in action - being a man who often reneges on his promises - I doubt much would come out of this.

Najib, as we know, loves to look good in front of an audience; but he loves it better to look good in front of his own Umno party.

Nothing beats his commitment to ensure self-preservation. And it is with this regard that I personally feel that Obama's call would ultimately end up in the lengthy list of dusty, long-forgotten, KIV (keep in view) files stored and racked up on the shelves of the 1Malaysia cabinet.

By then, Obama would have long retired to the lecturing circuits.

Vijay47: I suppose it is very encouraging to again read Malott's comments since they resonate with what we Malaysians ourselves feel and think, and it is always good to know that foreigners share our fears and hopes.

Yes, I do sound cynical but not at the cost of doubting Malott's sincerity. So Obama asked for Anwar's release and we all know that nothing will come out of it.

There is just too much at stake for Najib and Umno for Anwar to walk free and hasten the downfall of this regime - Najib will, as the Americans would say, never play ball.

While I sympathise with Anwar's medical condition, I would rather Obama seek Anwar's freedom on the grounds of the gross abuse of the entire legal process in finding him guilty.

Yet shameful as that whole Anwar trial was, it was not a tough act to follow - 1MDB has set new milestones in cunning, deceit, and machinations.

Kim Quek: Obama’s call on Najib to release Anwar reminds me of ex-President Ronald Reagan’s rescue of Korean opposition leader Kim Dae-jung from the death cell back in 1981.

Reagan did it by a stern warning coupled with an offer of White House reception for the newly installed dictator Chun Doo-hwan who yearned for such hitherto denied recognition.

Kim Dae-Jung later was elected president and led South Korea to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of the Asian Financial Crisis in late 90s by implementing thorough reforms which stamped out corruption and cronyism.

Now that Najib and his family are under investigation by the US Justice Department for corruption and possession of illicit assets in US, for which there is abundance of incriminating evidence, the Obama can use such probe to pressure Najib into performing essential reforms, in addition to setting Anwar free which will enable him to pursue his long overdue medical treatment abroad.

Believe me, the only language Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, recognise is the language of force. Obama would be doing all Malaysians an immense favour if he can induce much-needed reforms to this country through the tactical use of his power.

Legit: There are two things Najib will not do even if god appears before him: release Anwar, and resign from his post.

The US should take more concrete measures like sanctioning Najib and his cohorts, rather than advising him to do something.

In the first place, Malott should advise his president to stop associating himself with a rogue third world leader who has been allegedly robbing from his citizens and abusing his powers to silence his critics.

Leaders like Obama and Australian PM Malcom Turnbull are giving Najib and his rogue regime too much credence.

FellowMalaysian: Since the 1980s when former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad took over the helm of the country, the scourge of the BN government against its very own people has always been there, and they include a multitude of human rights abuses, curtailment of political and press freedom, discrimination of racial and religious minorities and emasculation of the electoral system and governmental agencies.

The BN government has through the past 50 years of an uninterrupted rule of the country, bent and abused its laws and institutions and they have done a hell of a good job out of it so far.

Malott has rightly pointed out that under Najib, the abuse has become worse and now its governance is more autocratic than even the most tyrannical country among all the Asean countries.

Vent: I salute and thank Malott for his unwavering and tireless efforts in exposing Najib's malfeasance.

And while I, like many other Malaysians, condemn Anwar’s unjustified incarceration and demand his immediate and unconditional release particularly now on humanitarian grounds, releasing Anwar is not the solution to our woes. Removing Najib is!

And that’s not going to be easy by a long shot. Despite all the exposés, the man is unconscionable and undeterred in his bid to remain in power, aided and abetted by Umno’s entrenched role in government, his cronies and wife.

For Obama to call for Anwar’s release may signal a possible chink in Najib’s almost impenetrable defences. But it would be naïve to expect a lame duck president to go any further.

Malaysia still remains, in US government’s rhetoric, a friend and a so-called moderate Muslim ally in its war against terror, besides being a useful signatory to the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement).

Meanwhile, the terrifying prospect of enduring Najib for an interminable period looms ahead of all of us.

Anonymous_1430119660: Malott, many Malaysians had pinned hopes on Obama for a miraculous healing of Malaysian democracy.

And as is known, at least now publicly, the US' economic and military interests surpass Malaysian human rights abuses, and thus Obama is no different.

When I read that civil society leaders were meeting with Obama, I was more saddened for Malaysia, as I was embarrassed that these civil leaders had to resort to getting foreign leaders to do something.

They have totally lost hope in Malaysia. Some of these are legal heavyweights and the least they could do is to try through the court systems to bring change. I call upon all Malaysians to stand up and stop the abuse to our institutions.

Obama's primary concerns may be placing his country’s rice bowl ahead of human rights issues, but this does not justify his supine action on Najib's gross abuses of power.

Victor Johan: The results of the last general election showed 52 percent (surely much more if not for the fraudulent voting process and system) of the voters wanted PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim as the Malaysian PM.

However, through fraud and gerrymandering, the Umno-led Najib government continues to rule the nation.

Knowing that there will be bigger support for change come GE14, Najib sees a greater threat in Anwar, and thus he will not be freed.

Anonymous_1377321471: Umno is a party of a million members, but afraid of one an aging man. They really live in fear.

Ash Burn: Malott clearly understands the pulse on the ground. He sees the frustrations and hopelessness we carry in us.

All I can say for this blessed land is we must root out corruption. Thank you Malott, for saying the things you have said, that we now cannot.

Always Praying: Thank you, Malott, for constantly speaking out for us. But the corruption culture is not only in one man.

The whole Malaysian culture is all corrupt. Corruption is everywhere in the government machinery.

There has to be a paradigm shift in our thinking about corruption. My feeling is that Malaysians think it's okay to be corrupt. If this mindset is not thrown out, Malaysia is sure to go in the direction of a failed state.

We should be ashamed of ourselves.

Anonymous_4056: My sincerest thanks to Malott for helping Malaysia in its struggle for change. Indeed, Malott loves Malaysia more than many Malaysians.

I salute you. In our darkest hour, we have found a true friend in you.

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