Malaysiakini Yoursay

A meeting of minds between M’sia and Zimbabwe?

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YOURSAY | ‘Perhaps both Najib and Mugabe still can learn a thing or two from each other.’

'Najib's meeting with one of the world's oldest kleptocrats is troubling'

Kim Quek: The visit of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe to his Malaysian counterpart Najib Abdul Razak is predictably raising a lot of eyebrows, as well as arousing much curiosity.

One is a famous tyrannical kleptocrat whose name is synonymous with the vices he symbolises; and the other, a newly emerging one in the same mould, who has recently acquired world fame through the 1MDB scandals.

Noting that bilateral trade between the two countries is a pittance RM150 million, one can’t help but speculate that personal rather than country-to-country issues would be more earnestly discussed in their bilateral meeting.

Whatever these are, such a historical meeting between these two famous leaders should be wonderful opportunity for the eager political cartoonist to come up with some creative pieces.

Odin Tajué: Honourable Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang, sorry, but the word ‘kleptocrat’ was not coined in the late 1990s. Nor was it, as some people have claimed, coined in 1968 to refer to Congo’s Joseph Mobutu. We are told that according to the OED, the word 'kleptocracy’ was coined in 1819, and that it was used to refer to Spain.

Why has Mugabe gone to our neck of the woods to meet with Najib and why has the latter agreed to host him? Why indeed? Trading to the tune of less than US$40 million wouldn’t need the presidents of banana and durian republics set thousands of miles apart to visit each other.

But if one were to be allowed to speculate, one might offer that the two don’t have much choice as to who to consort or to conspire with. A few of their species are already very dead, while the bare-chested horse rider is too high above their pecking order.

Anticonmen: Zimbabwe was once known as Rhodesia when its vibrant economy then was managed very well by whites led by PM Ian Smith but his regime was branded an apartheid regime and condemned by the world in the last decade.

Mugabe was the great black hope who replaced the white regime and Smith, but Mugabe and his kleptocrats went on to rob and messed the country and economy totally. This is proof why natives of many former colonies are no match to the colonial rulers in terms of competency and leadership. It’s very similar to our situation.

When there is no equality of citizenship, one segment of the people will not be able to check and balance abuse by another segment of the people. There is no true democracy. Only a kleptocracy.

Alunan Ombak: Perhaps both Najib and Mugabe still can learn a thing or two from each other.

Outgoing US envoy responds to DOJ suit and 'MO1'

Vijay47: Restrained as your comments were, US Ambassador Joseph Y Yun, much of what you didn't say says a lot.

It is obvious that you were trying to walk that tightrope between what was diplomatically acceptable and what honesty demanded and in view of a possible conflict, perhaps discretion is always the better option.

It is very enlightening that you explained that only four persons were named in the Department of Justice (DOJ) suit because only those four had property in the United States. Others would have been excluded only on the grounds that they did not own assets in America and not because they were virginal in their innocence.

Malaysians eagerly await the outcome. Regarding the advice you could have given anyone, it would have been useful if you had suggested that he take the Fifth.

However, that may have been interpreted by Umno faithful that you were asking that personality to buy over Fifth Avenue and all that comes with it. Heaven knows that his wife could well afford it with change to spare.

Clever Voter: Ambassadors are taught to be diplomatic as the word suggests. We need to accept that rule of law in US is very more stringent and probably more comprehensive.

Most of us who never live there regard US as the land of Hollywood and Wall Street. Life in mainstream business and politics is tough and competitive.

When Malaysians committed crimes, they will be subjected to law but they have access to assistance before justice. We used to have that but no longer as years of intervention often leave one wonders whether justice has any meaning.

That's the difference. The ambassador is right. Its best he keeps his mouth shut.

Trueglitter: Clearly, an US envoy of such high standing with enviable diplomatic credentials would not wish to breach any standards of diplomatic decorum without valid reasons when required in making those tell-tale remarks pertaining to his imminent departure due to end of his working term.

Admittedly, though his statesman-like rhetoric were both candid and brief and amazingly to the point, we were not all surprised that its hidden meanings were clear indication that MO1 (Malaysian Official 1) who undeniably is also embroiled in the scandalous and shameful saga, will also be legally implicated at later stage along with the four individuals, unambiguously named in the DOJ lawsuit.

NNFC: I think the US has a big role to play in the DOJ prosecution, and I hope for a prompt conclusion.

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These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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