President Obama, came, saw and left. There must be some substantive issues discussed between him and the government- but because it’s a discussion of a very high quality suited to the 21st century, just like the TPPA, the discussions were shrouded in secrecy.
The way Obama went about doing his visit to Malaysia appears to be an all American affair with little or minimal supervision or control from the PM’s office. He went to meet up NGOs who are critical of the BN government. This could not have been an agreed itinerary by the government. Obama went to visit the national mosque. He went to the University of Malaya where he engaged selected students. The American president does his thing the American way. Malaysians could only look on.
The president even brought his own car. The Malaysian government could not even get the car to fill gas from PETRONAS. Instead the Americans filled up from a brand familiar to Americans- Caltex. A phalanx of special agents and security personnel body-guarded Obama and his entourage. Obama could not trust Malaysian security personnel who may want to allow a security breach by an unidentified entity assumed to be non-hostile.
UMNO has been silent about the visit. Usually the UMNO people and its controlled media will be jumping up and down proclaiming the visit a triumph and endorsement of what Najib is doing. Instead we are hearing counter attacks from UMNO leaders like Zahid. I hope Zahid understood what Obama said when the latter spoke because speaking English to Zahid is a tiring enterprise. The only person who have tons of bragging rights to regal whoever wants to listen to him is Khairy Jamaludin, the minister assigned to chaperon Obama. KJ’s braggadocio will not endear him to the UMNO warlords.
For the former ambassador Jamaludin Jarjis, the visit vindicated his appointment as a special ambassador on a special mission. His tour of duty as ambassador included tasks to cultivate da man Barack and to feed information to media cells and media guerrillas in USA to discredit Anwar. Obama came to Malaysia, Anwar is going to the lockup soon- so in that sense, JJ has succeeded. He can now concentrate making money through PRIMA and other business endeavours. And continue to be a nuisance in parliament.
What has Obama achieved? We know the American president did not come to Malaysia to say good things about Najib. So Dr Mahathir- who’s the America’s man for Malaysia now? Has Najib become America’s man for Malaysia? If it were Anwar, Dr Mahathir would have come into town and label him an American agent.
He has probably come to apply pressure to Najib to sign the TPPA. Democrat Obama is just another spokesman for big businesses who has come to Malaysia to say, open up or else. As consideration, we will slight Anwar by not meeting up with him; we will issue palliatives on the policies of the government and will say the politically correct Sound Bites.
There was one statement from Obama that is causing less than desirable implications. President Obama says Dato Najib has the instincts for unity and moderation. That’s a most diplomatic way of saying- hey man I think you suck. It only serves to confirm that Najib is not a rational leader who believes that the way forward is moderation and unity. Instincts as we already know are associated with animals who don’t think but act on instincts and impulses. So what Obama is saying, Najib’s intelligence is at the same level of animals like chimpanzees and orang utans.
We are really not sure what Obama’s agenda is. It’s not all complimentary on Najib as we all saw. Patting each other is just a show of bonhomie that hides the bitter medicine which may have been communicated to Najib. Maybe it was hey yo jibby, when will yaalls sign the tppa? Hey man- you gotta jive in with the Chinamen.
Obama must have spoken about the sorry state of the rule of law, impingements on rights of the citizens, worsening race relations made by irrational UMNO and pro UMNO elements.
So Obama concedes that Najib does have the instincts but elements within his party and outside are cancelling out what could have blossomed from instincts into rational thoughts and actions.
This is not a visit which Najib can rejoice on. It is more a visit of the college principal coming down to scold the errant student.