I wonder what took our Foreign Minister DS Rais Yatim so long to respond to Al Gore as reported by Bernama (see below) and The Star here
Malaysia Wants US To Stop Meddling In Its Internal Affairs
PUTRAJAYA, Aug 8 (Bernama) — Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim wants the United States to stop meddling in Malaysia’s internal affairs as the country has its own set of laws. He said Malaysian laws were passed by Parliament and there was no need for other countries to look down on Malaysia over the administration of its laws…….
But I wouldn’t call Al’s comments as US meddling really but as overt posturing of Friends of Anwar (FoA), an exclusive club that has thus far not been obvious. My only concern is what this show of support has to do with a man who claims himself to be our “Prime Minister in Waiting”. While Rais was dithering about the response to Al, more FoAs have emerged in a show of support, this time a joint comment from Sandra Day O’Connor and Abdurrahman Wahid that appeared in Financial Times. An excerpt says:
To defend Anwar is to defend Malaysian democracy
By Sandra Day O’Connor and Abdurrahman Wahid
Published: August 7 2008 19:30 | Last updated: August 7 2008 19:30
We know Anwar Ibrahim well and have the highest regard for him. For that reason, we are very concerned about recent developments in Malaysia that seem aimed at defaming him and threatening him with imprisonment in a manner reminiscent of the campaign to defame him in 1998.
The power to prosecute is one of the most awesome powers of the state. Without proper checks and balances it can easily be abused by those in power to humiliate and discredit innocent people. Even when the injustice is corrected, its victims are often left with their reputations permanently damaged. In Malaysia, the power to prosecute is being used to try to discredit Mr Anwar, the remarkable leader of the opposition, victim of a similar attack 10 years ago. If this effort were to succeed it would be a tragedy for Mr Anwar personally, for the people of Malaysia and for the world…….(Read rest of article here)
In case you didn’t know Sandy (as it says in Wiki) “served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1981 until her retirement from the bench in 2005. The first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, she was a crucial swing vote on the Court for many years because of her case-by-case approach to jurisprudence and her relatively moderate political views. It says that O’Connor was a vigorous defender of the citing of foreign laws in judicial decisions that was widely criticized by conservatives. O’Connor once quoted the constitution of the Middle Eastern nation of Bahrain, which states that “no authority shall prevail over the judgement of a judge, and under no circumstances may the course of justice be interfered with.” Her critics contended that such thinking is contrary to the U.S. Constitution and establishes a rule of man, rather than law.
Caption: Retired Associate Justice O’Connor and her husband John O’Connor take a photo with President George W. Bush after submitting her resignation letter.
What I find even more interesting in the comment published by Financial Times is Gus Dur’s view. Not having been in the news lately, many may have forgotten Indonesia’s former President. Read more about him here in Wiki. Idle searching led to an interesting article written by Gus Dur published in Washington Post in May 2006. With a title “Extremism Isn’t Islamic Law“, he questions the interpretation of the Koran in justifying imposition of the death penalty for apostasy. His brief bio cites: “The writer is a former president of Indonesia. From 1984 to 1999 he directed the Nadhlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim organization. He serves as senior adviser and board member to LibForAll Foundation, an Indonesian- and U.S.-based nonprofit that works to reduce religious extremism and terrorism.”
Curious, I visited the “LibForAll Foundation” website ( http://www.libforall.org/home.html ) and found some rather unusual information. namely that “The LibForAll Foundation” is a federally-recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit US organization dedicated to promoting the culture of liberty and tolerance worldwide. It was incorporated in North Carolina and operates under its bylaws and board of directors.” The website says Chairman & CEO: C. Holland Taylor was educated at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Princeton University; has studied in Berlin, Germany; and has been involved with the Muslim world for nearly four decades—having spent years in the Middle East and Indonesia. On Gus Dur, the website says Indonesia’s first democratically-elected president and long-time head of the Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim organization, with nearly 40 million members. He was also the recipient of the 2003 Friends of the United Nations Global Tolerance Award. For over thirty years, Gus Dur has used his position to advocate religious tolerance, pluralism and democracy. On many occasions, he has sent members of his Muslim organization to defend Christian churches and congregations—with their lives, if necessary—from attack by radical Islamists.”
I’m not sure what to make of this worrying show of support and leave you to draw your own conclusions!!!
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