As with all of the much hypes and publicity, it is understandable why Malaysia was very much anticipated the arrival of the American President, Barack Hussein Obama to Malaysia as the last visit by an American President was approximately 40 years ago by President Lyndon B. Johnson when he made trip to South East Asian countries to send out subtle warnings against the idealism of communism which was very rampant in the late 1960s. Nevertheless, it should be an interesting step by an American President, given the fact that a planned visit was cancelled last year and due to the MH370 fiasco (where America’s involvement was inevitably speculated by the public!); that a visit to Malaysia was inserted in the Asian Tour Visit this year, although the America’s known political ally, Singapore is merely a stone-throw away from Malaysia, geographically.
The arrival with Air Force One. I knew the name was Air Force One from the movie starred by Harrison Ford as the President. Oh, well. (,”)
From South Korea, President Barack Obama reached Malaysia on 26th April 2014 for a three days visit on The Air Force One, of course. Upon his arrival, there were a lot of information splurged in the Internet about him as well as his “Men In Black” entourage comprising the CIAs and the official car, which reportedly shipped a month ago from America, namely The Beast. If one drove along the entrance of Putrajaya (as I always frequent there!), you could see welcoming flags as well as banners with flower garlands erected at the Sepang entrance of Putrajaya.
With His Royal Highness The Yang Dipertuan Agong and Her Royal Highness, Raja Permaisuri Agong. I like Raja Permaisuri Agong’s new Hijab donning. She looks beautiful now than before.
Well, I am not going to write about what he did and all the formal tentative in his 3-days-visit. I am more interested to highlight on the controversial bits which somehow became a big question mark despite the political diplomacy shown. When quizzed about races and religions inequality in Malaysia, it was reported that President Obama quoted :-
“Malaysia won’t succeed if the non-Muslims do not have the same opportunity; “Expect your government to treat everybody with respect and you’re going to be okay.”
This was a reference to the Bumiputera privileges which favours the Malays, Orang Asli and other Borneoan Bumiputras in certain aspects. Well, of course as a Westerner, President Obama would parade to a developed country and talked with pride; after all he is the America’s President and America rules the world, remember? With the uprising vocal issues on taboo and sensitive aspects, it is already expected that some quarters of Malaysians would resort to seek solace from the ‘Ruler Of The World’ in voicing out their dissatisfaction, especially when the ‘King’ was here, isn’t it?
I also understand that the present generation shun the “Jus Soli” and “Social Contract” agreements signed by their forefathers simply because now that everyone is having good lives, history is forgotten. And not to forget Americans themselves. They talk about races & religions equality, but the segregation based on skin-colours & religions (especially black and Arabs!) are still predominant in America and still put Caucasians in the highest hierarchy! Funny (,”). I think the response by ex-Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed was a brilliant retaliation that answers Obama’s ignorant remarks & he suggested people to read “The Price of Inequality”, a book written by Novel laureate on economics, Joseph Stiglitz to see the instability Americans themselves are experiencing while busy to safeguard other countries’ affairs :
“The one percent, controls the wealth in America and the rest are poor. That is the why there is a group in the US who call themselves ’99′ who want to occupy Wall Street. In Malaysia despite our policies, do you see the Chinese as the poorest people? Indians have become lawyers and doctors. You see, those who didn’t come to Malaysia are not so fortunate”
The MAN. Loathed by the haters; loved by the fans. I am happened to be the fan. It is prerogative, OK? Haters may call him “Madey Kutty”, “Mahathirisme”, etc – up to you; but I adore & respect and in awe with this man. Haha!
Next, it was the reluctance to meet Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim although it was reported that Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, was scheduled to meet Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in regards of “rights inequality” – much affiliated with the alleged sodomy accusations, etc. On this note, I would say it was a good diplomatic way for Obama to not to meet Datuk Seri Anwar, who is an opposition leader; at least not publicly when he was in the formal official visit, acquainted with the present Prime Minister of Malaysia. In a way, it was an understandable communication of “saving face” move although we know America’s stance in this particular issue.
A no case? We never know. We, the plain Rakyat know nothing the real affair.
On top of that from the reviews written by American journalists, I was amused to find that some American political honchos disagreed with Obama’s decision to demonstrate warmth and respectful courtesy as opposed to ‘high-and-mighty arrogance’ persona as an American President should have demonstrated. According to an article in Washington Times, it was said that former Vice President, Dick Cheney felt that Obama demonstrated ‘weak signs’ when he bowed to Emperor Akihito in 2009 (REFER to : http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/29/editorial-the-presidential-grovel/). This comment was pointed out as Obama was being ‘too kind’ in the answer for “Malaysians inequality” question as abovementioned. The article also questioned Obama’s political warmth act towards Japanese Emperor, Saudi Arabian King Abdullah & Cuban ruler, Raul Castro :-
“He lowered himself before Emperor Akihito last week in Japan. He even bowed to a Japanese mechanical robot. He once prostrated himself before Saudi King Abdullah and the president of China. He cozied up as an equal to Cuban dictator Raul Castro in South Africa. Obsequiousness isn’t a virtue – ever – in the leader of the free world.”
Well if you asked me, I think Obama has played his demure act in a very good diplomatically correct. Having the experience growing up in Indonesia, he knew if he could coil a bit of cultural similarity to the Asian people, his presence might be not saturated with anti-Americanism. It is a mental strategy one must applause. His remarks on “Batik” being one of his mother’s favourite in Malaysia Asian Tour was clearly to bridge the gap; and to bow to Emperor Akihito was a cultural sign of filial which is embedded in Japanese culture. I guess being a coloured American, Obama depicts a more humane approach in comparison to the other White American Presidents which mostly exhibited the “White Men’s Burden” egos – perhaps except for Abraham Lincoln!
Obama’s “Selfie” with Datuk Seri Najib, Malaysia Prime Minister. Wow, Datuk Seri Najib’s skin is pinkish and Obama’s teeth are nicely arranged! Haha!
On whole, despite much speculations on the real motives of why Malaysia was included in the Asia Tour leg (apart from the scandalous Trans-Pacific Partnership!), Barack Hussein Obama’s visit to Malaysia was indeed a historical one- at least for Malaysia.
Well, this is my Selfie with Barack Obama. Only he stood up and I sat down. Hahahha! This was at Hong Kong’s Madame Tussauds back in November 2012 (Refer to : https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/hong-kong-the-melting-pot-of-asians-caucasians-estuary-of-races-religions/)