Saturday October 25, 2003

Papua New Guinea PM criticises West,
praises Mahathir

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea: Papua New Guinea’s leader on Friday slammed the United States, Australia and the World Bank for dictating aid terms to poor nations, and praised visiting Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad for standing up to the "big players." "We are told ... to embrace free trade when the big players continue to protect their market from foreign intrusion," said Prime Minister Michael Somare at a state dinner in Mahathir’s honor on Friday.
"The world now lives with a superpower who has demonstrated that it can do what it wants, anywhere it wants, and at any cost," he added. Earlier Friday, Somare greeted Mahathir at the airport, together with dozens of locals dressed in traditional tribal costumes. Somare’s talks with Mahathir, who steps down next week after more than 22 years in power, were expected to focus on trade, but would also likely cover both leaders’ frosty relations with neighboring Australia.
Mahathir has frequently used his acerbic rhetoric against Australia, Papua New Guinea’s former colonial master and biggest aid donor, accusing it of being the United States’ "deputy general" in the region. Meanwhile, Australia has demanded stricter controls over how its millions of dollars in aid is spent in near-bankrupt New Guinea, prompting Somare to threaten cutting diplomatic ties.
On Friday, Somare lauded Mahathir as a "spokesman of the underdogs of the world." "You were, and continue to be, critical of blind imposition of values developed and marketed by the developed countries, particularly the superpowers, to assert their dominance in the world," he said. He blamed Australia for Papua New Guinea’s dependency on foreign aid. Australia doles out 330 million Australian dollars (US$220 million) each year to the Pacific island nation.
"We now know that our dependency on aid has made even the best of us complacent. No aid is free ... you either pay now or you pay later," he said. In response, Mahathir told Somare that there was "common ground for us to increase the scope and depth of our relations and cooperation."
Papua New Guinea, an impoverished yet resource-rich nation of 5 million people, has seen its economy slide backward for years due to corruption and mismanagement. Somare also criticized the World Bank for tying aid with preservation of the country’s forests. About 40 protesters rallied earlier Friday against deforestation, carrying banners that read "Forest crime destroying PNG."
Malaysia has extensive economic interests here, including fishing, forestry, retail operations and a daily newspaper. Demonstrators said they hoped Mahathir would crack down on Malaysian logging companies they say are illegally felling Papua New Guinea’s forests.
"Mahathir and Prime Minister Somare should move beyond rhetoric and pleasantries over the next few days and agree on a joint plan to tackle illegal and destructive logging," said Greenpeace campaigner Dorothy Tekwie. Mahathir was to address Papua New Guinea’s Cabinet, officials said. He returns to Malaysia Saturday. The government has staged a lavish welcome for Mahathir, in contrast to a low-key visit by Australian Prime Minister John Howard last year.

October 25, 2003

Moderate rabble-rouser

By Lee Se-jung

He was a doctor. Born in 1925, he graduated from King Edward VII Medical School in Singapore, which was under Malaysia’s control at the time. Elected as a member of parliament in 1964, his political career began to thrive. He became the Prime Minister of Malaysia in 1981. Immediately after taking office, he advocated a “Look East” policy to benchmark the work ethic of Korea and Japan and transformed the country whose only exports were rubber and tin into a Southeast Asian manufacturing base. After spending 22 years in the top position, he plans to step down from the office voluntarily at the end of October. This is a short biography of Mahathir bin Mohamad, the longest-serving elected leader in the world.
Mr. Mahathir is a well-known vituperator. He has no reserve when speaking ill of the Western world, criticizing international financier George Soros and other Jewish investors for manipulating the Asian financial crisis in 1997. Thanks to his candid speech, he has earned the embarrassing nickname “IBM,” standing for “international big mouth.”
Days before his resignation, he made yet more headlines. When Islamic leaders met last week at the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit, Mr. Mahathir said, “Today, the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.” Naturally, his remarks angered the Western world. The European Union almost adopted a declaration condemning his comment at its summit meeting. Instead, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, among others, held a news conferences denouncing Mr. Mahathir’s controversial remarks. U.S. President George W. Bush was equally displeased, and when the two met at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit days later, he told Mr. Mahathir that the Jewish remark was “wrong and divisive.”
Mr. Mahathir and his record have gotten mixed reviews. The International Herald Tribune recognized his efforts in “fighting religious fundamentalism and preaching tolerance and multiculturalism.” On the other hand, he is criticized as fancying himself to represent Asia and Islam while oppressing freedom of speech and human rights in his country.
But with a clear and consistent vision, he successfully transformed Malaysia into a modern state. As a leader, he might have been more authoritarian than democratic, but his achievements and contributions to the country are undisputable. He has passion and vision.
The writer is a deputy business news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.

Oct 24, 2003

Malaysian Malaise

By Irwin N. Graulich

How did the Prime Minister of Malaysia uncover the great "Jewish" secret? That clandestine operation in the basement of Hebrew Schools worldwide behind double double locked doors, where little Jewish boys and girls are given the course entitled "World Control 101." Jews have been sworn to secrecy for millennia, promising never to disclose this highly classified information. Presently, there is a comprehensive internal investigation now under way to uncover the traitor or collaborator.
"Today, Jews rule the world by proxy. They survived 2000 years of pogroms, not by hitting back, but by thinking," stated Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad quite belligerently. He carefully explained, "The Jews gained control of the most powerful countries and have become a world power." A resounding standing ovation followed from the Organization of Islamic Conference world leaders.
The fact remains that it is quite difficult to explain how a few million Jews have defeated 1.3 billion Muslims intellectually, technologically, financially, religiously, militarily and of course morally. What else is really left to accomplish?
Although the mighty 77 year old leader concluded that "Muslims should unite for a final victory," the actual triumph appears to have already been accomplished by the West's Christians, Jews and Secularists. How embarrassing for a head of state named after the prophet Mohamad.
Criticism of Mahathir's deranged ideas was surprisingly mild throughout the Western world community. After all, this was not some little diplomat comparing Israel to "feces" at a classy dinner party. However, President Bush certainly missed a golden opportunity to virtually insure victory in the 2004 election.
Americans love their heroes to stand up to bad guys. From John Wayne to Dirty Harry to James Bond, love for the physical destruction of evil is a value. When Saddam's sons were on the coroner's table getting plastic surgery for a bizarre media event, there was joy and dancing in Times Square.
Had George W. Bush moseyed over to Prime Minister Mahathir in public instead of private, and given him a good Texas whuppin', Iran, Libya and Syria would have immediately destroyed their WMD plans. When will the decent world leaders stop repeating Chamberlain's mistakes of talking and negotiating? That course of action has no place at an evil table.
This Malaysian impotent potentate ran a 22 year dictatorship and had the chutzpah to criticize America, Australia and Great Britain on a regular basis. His only claim to fame was a brief economic success with the Malaysian economy which ultimately went south. He joins the ranks of progressives like Adolf Hitler who also had short lived economic victories.
Since the world's 1.3 billion Muslims are living with virtual economic failure, it is no wonder that someone who now blames the Jews and the West for all their failures is taken seriously. It must be difficult for over a billion people in the Middle East and Asia to look in the mirror and see the true reasons for their problems. Blaming others for their own shortcomings is a child-like quality of most despicable countries.
Even worse than one dimwit prime minister, is an auditorium filled with 126 comparable heads of state who lead 57 other Muslim nations, all applauding the Malaysian diatribes. Watching respectfully from behind was Kofi Anan, whose silence was certainly deafening. Especially notable was Hamid Karzi, who called the speech "very correct." The American administration should end his Secret Service detail immediately. And we heard noises from the Pharaoh-like Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmed Maher who added his expert analysis of the speech as "a very, very wise assessment."
Although Dr. Mahathir criticized the "damned militant (Muslim) violence in the Middles East as futile because it has not accomplished anything....i.e. for well over half a century we have fought over Palestine...and achieved nothing," the implication is obvious. The militant violence was not wrong morally; it was wrong only because it failed to accomplish its ultimate goal.
As the Prime Minister's voice rose with excitement, he explained through a most brilliant insight that, "Of course the Jews rule the world. Look at America. They control all the companies. The politicians need their money, so they support Israel." How did Mahathir Mohamad find out about Bill Gates' Bar Mitzvah party and Warren Buffet's bris (Jewish circumcision/covenant)?
This is further proof that......

The writer of this piece was not able to complete this article on deadline. He has been called to a meeting with President Bush and has Donald Rumsfeld and Conde Rice on his cell phone asking advice about Afghanistan and Iraq. We apologize for the inconvenience.