Sunday, June 20, 2010

An Open Reply to Than Tai Hing’s Letter in the Wall Street Journal

Reply to Than Tai Hing
Undersecretary of Information and Public Diplomacy,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia
RE: Your Letter in the Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2010


As an American ex-patriate living for several years as a guest in your country I have allowed myself the vanity of believing that perhaps I am in a position to understand Malaysia and Malaysian foreign policy better than the average world citizen. In the case of Malaysia’s condemnation of Israel’s heavy handed dealing of the flotilla, itself intent on breaking the Israeli blockade of Gaza, I share some of the concerns of many Malaysians and many people around the world. However, I believe the consistent bias of Malaysia’s condemnation of Israel and criticism of the USA has been so clearly one-sided that it is obvious to any observer where the bias lies. If Malaysia’s government is truly peace loving and truly committed to human rights it must first adopt the language of that position consistently. For example, when the Taliban execute a seven year old boy, such as occurred recently, where is the outrage of your government and its citizens? You seem to have been too pre-occupied with condeming Israel to even take notice. It is also perplexing to me that when Malaysian citizens wish to demonstrate against U.S. policy at our emabassy, there are no police to secure the area, and the demonstration is allowed to continue. When Malaysian citizens wish to demonstrate against their own government’s policies there is no restraint on the part of the authorities in dispatching police and soldiers to quell the disturbance. As long as these contradictions are so apparent, Malaysia will be understood by Americans to have actually little to do with championing fair, just, and humane ideology, which embrace universal ideals, and more to do with the double standards reflecting its anti-western bias. You must bridge this gap if you are to succeed in addressing the American people who contend with multiple examples of double standards each and very day in a much more public forum than that exists in Malaysia.
Gary Davis


Anonymous said...


Thanks for the open reply. Its a good alternative views for me as a laymen Malaysian citizen.

But if I may, I noticed you didn't answer whether is it right or otherwise Malaysia's stance against the violent shown by the Israeli commandos against the Freedom Flotilla and the biasness by the Government of Israel against the Palestinians at large.

Hope you can give some thoughts on this. Thanks.


"Simplifried" said...

Thank you Encik Faisal, you ask a fair question and perhaps in my response to Tai Hing I should have been more clear. I felt that Israel should have chosen a different tactic to enforce their embargo. I do not think that Israel's strong arm is the wisest of choices in all cases. This was certainly one of them and they demonstrated very poor judgement in my opinion. As to a general bias towards Palestinians, I condemn the notion of "general biases" in the first. We live in a world that is far too fragmented and conflicting in our respective philosophies and personal screeds, to not have tolerance for those that differ. I think that both Palestine and Israel (and Islam & Judaism for that matter), largely fail to the extreme here. However, we have to note that this is just one example of religious intolerance in the world today where there are many such examples. When discussing this we need to understand better this most human of all traits (i.e. intolerance)if we have any hope of changing what clearly must change or resign ourselves to the violent world we have become.May I suggest that you review the essay at the following link. I would be interested in your views are regarding the article. Thanks very much for commenting and I very much hope to hear back from you.

"Simplifried" said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
"Simplifried" said...

I failed too post the link I mention in my last comment. Here it is:

Copy and paste into your browser.