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CRIT-GEOG-FORUM  October 1998

CRIT-GEOG-FORUM October 1998

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Subject:

Re: The situation in Malaysia and Anwar Ibrahim's detention

From:

David Wood <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

David Wood <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 9 Oct 1998 10:14:13 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (39 lines)

While I am no friend of Mahathir Mohammed (I used to be heavily involved in
protests against the destruction of tribal lands in Sarawak, by his
government), and while I also think the treatment of Anwar Ibrahim is
disgusting, I think it is also dangerous to idolise Ibrahim as some kind of
populist saviour of Malaysia. He has been part of the ruling oligarchy of
Malaysia for some time, and is also a strong and (up until recently) public
supporter of IMF neo-liberal restructuring of the Malaysian economy,
something I find very hard to square with the proposed demands for:

"(1)  the elimination of all forms of abuse of power and corruption; (2)
the strengthening of democratic institutions and the freeing of the media
from executive control; and (3) equitable  distribution of national wealth
and social justice for all."

as reported by his supporters. This opportunist attempt to garner popular
support is more a case of rupture within the ruling class than any path to
a more equitable Malaysian society.

In short, while I will always decry suppression of political opposition, I
don't think this necessarially goes hand in hand with supporting the
programme of the suppressed person, which the poster of the message seems
to be asking us to do.
The two things are seperate.

David.


David Wood
PhD Student ('The Rural Peace Dividend')
Department of Agricultural Economics and Food Marketing
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 222 5305




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