Friday, May 02, 2014

After the Obama Euphoria

 by Azly Rahman

We need to move beyond the Obama episode; “beyond those presidential selfies and we-fies”.

US President Barack Obama left Malaysia, and was greeted by protests in the Philippines unwelcoming any attempt to have the American empire reincarnate its military bases ala Subik Bay and Clark that became a rallying point to bring the Marcos dictatorship down, forcing even Imelda Marcos to flee with some of her shoes.

But for Malaysia, the nation has to do a quick assessment of what it saw in the president of seemingly the most powerful president on Earth - what the visit was about, beyond the charm and the great oratorical skills of the man. Obama left for the Philippines to ensure that the US military presence is made more prominent.

Obama’s visit to Malaysian was to twist the arm of Najib Abdul Razak to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) in order for the new trade block or ‘Nafta on steroids’ to be emerge as the most comprehensive trade pact and tool of domination in the history of modern global economics.

The beneficiaries will of course be the US Chamber of Commerce (600 corporations) behind it, containing the influence of China in the region. The ‘fast-track’ nature of the TPPA (by-passing Congressional deliberation) makes it a globally dangerous deal of a mission to enslave nations.

Beyond the charm, the ‘selfies’ or rather the ‘we-fies’ with Prime Minister Najib; a selfie-wefie of a pathology of global elites getting in tune with popular culture of cyber-punkism, because it is the “in thing” to do - like hash-tagging, un-friending, and hacking amongst nations.

Beyond these one must again go back to the history of America as a military-industrial complex, a Ben Franklin-America gone globally berserk to dominate the world, and to further push the agenda left by George W Bush for a Newer American Century of drone attacks, national security surveillance, continued toppling of democratically-elected regimes, protection of the state of Israel, denying vote for a Palestinian state, US involvement in Syria vis-a viz al-Qaeda, continuing refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol, and a host of other hypocritical act that confuses the world what actually America is as inscribed in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Obama, as any other president be they from the either-or oligopolic regime of Democrats or Republicans only serve one group: the one percent of the corporate ruling elite who finances politicians who then, given proper funding via campaign financing, become the president that will further carry of the agenda of America the Oligopoly, America the Global Corporate Entity who uses realpolitik, soft and raw power to dominate nations such as Malaysia.

I think these are what Malaysians need to come back to, by way of understanding the empire they are dealing with, when the Obama euphoria is over.

Unfortunately, Malaysian students given the chance to ask questions in a ‘town hall-styled meeting’ in Universiti Malaya did not know how to ask questions that will make them understand what the US wants to achieve via the TPPA, its policy in the Middle East, the Egyptian quagmire, drones killing innocents in Pakistan, the Palestinian need for more help, etc.

Unfortunately we only hear of, perhaps, questions such as, “Can I have a selfie with you?’

Asking the right questions is crucial for these moments with the president - because the questions are more important than the answers, as they will reveal what we know about the policies that will either liberate - or enslave us.

We must not forget the American drone attacks that kill civilians in Pakistan.

One good statement, nonetheless

“Malaysia cannot succeed unless equal opportunity is not given to non-Muslims” the American president said, which I think embodies the ethos of Americanism. This has to be taken heed by Malaysians not because it is spoken by the leader of an empire feared for its military might but because it is a good statement of fundamental human rights.

That is a good one I have been writing about for seven years, not just a reminder for Malaysian policy-makers, but also a way to pave for the demise of all race-based and religious-based political parties that are doing more harm than good to the progress of this lovely Malaysian nation.

There were criticisms of Obama’s statement on reversing discrimination.

I wrote this on my Facebook status, on what has angered a government official on the question of fairness to all Malaysians:

“ ...No you are not and have not been fair, Mr Minister. You have designed an apartheid system, especially in education and thereby... wasting national talent. Your system of equal opportunity is nowhere near that practised in secular and civilised countries. Your survival as a political entity and coalition rests on that discriminatory policy. How are you going to change that and tell the world that your system does not oppress non-Malays, non-bumiputras, and non-Muslims - with facts, sound narratives, policy documents, how do you prove Obama wrong...? - ar”

In a nutshell, take one and leave the other one.

Take the good advice of dismantling systems of discrimination Let Obama leave without a Malaysian signature of the TPPA or any other binding legal instrument of international slavery.

After the Obama euphoria, we are back in business, Malaysians. Of dealing with a multitude of problems not even Obama can help resolve. Or why should he?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dr Adly,

I understand that the Malaysian government intends to eventually sign the TPPA after certain issues such as intellectual property, etc. are ironed out.

Malaysia under Najib is moving closer into the U.S. orbit and this must be stopped.

Zaharuddin Abdullah said...

I gave up on Najib. But i dont gave up on my children. Ill hope they will survive.

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