ALOR STAR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has rapped the United States government for its intervention in the country's troubled financial sector.
He said the US government was practising double standards when it criticised Malaysia for helping out some troubled local firms during the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
"The US ran us down when we wanted to help some of our companies which were hard hit by the financial crisis then.
"Today, the American government is doing the same thing and it is all right, but when we did it, it was wrong," he said after giving Raya gifts to more than 100 poor and needy folk in Kampung Pida 7 in Jerlun near here yesterday.
Present were his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali and Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir. The former prime minister was asked on the US government's bailout plan involving more than US$180 billion (RM615 billion) for a number of American firms facing financial turmoil .
Asked about the government's decision not to re-peg the ringgit, he said the government should consider doing so against the currency of the nation that Malaysia does the most trading with.
Asked if the price of petrol should be further reduced, Dr Mahathir said the government should do so since the price of a barrel of petroleum has gone down substantially.
"I know this would also reduce our petrol earnings but that is something that the government should do to cushion the effects," he said.
A PIECE OF MY MIND
Benar kata Tun. US sentiasa mengutuk Malaysia dan berkata Malaysia tidak demokratik serta mempunyai undang-undang "draconian".
Malah, FTA US-Malaysia kini, mengikut Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin di Jepun, masih dalam perbincangan kerana percanggahan polisi dan ideology antara Amerika dan Malaysia dalam sektor perbankan - "liberalization of the banking sector", "Government procurement policies".
Selepas September 11 2001 di US, kerajaan Amerika Syarikat dan pelbagai agensi keselamatan negara US mula menggunakan undang-undang keselamatan, yang sama seperti ISA di Malaysia.
Beberapa hari yang lepas, kerajaan US mula membawa perancangan sebanyak USD 700 billion untuk menyelamatkan sektor kewangannya. Malah, kerajaan Amerika telahpun membantu dalam kes Fannie Mae dan Freddie Mac.
My Criticisms of The Western Ideologies
The Western countries slam Asian countries and Malaysia for various issues. When we have distortions in Elections or Government machineries in the form of corruption, we are heavily criticised and publicised in the West.
However, do we not realise that the West are as corrupt as Asian countries? The difference is just that they use a better wording - "kickbacks".
Malaysians especially, together with Western leaders and economists from Europe slam Malaysia for supporting Proton and establishing an automobile industry as well as creating automotive jobs that include car dealers, mechanics, automobile engineers, automobile managers, and many others.
Let me remind the Europeans and the many Malaysians who say the West are so great and Malaysia is foolish to support Proton.
With protectionist policies in the form of tariffs on competitors and subsidies to Proton in Malaysia, we are merely making an investment for the future and for our community in the form of automobile knowledge, technology advancement and job opportunities.
Related to the Proton matter, the Europeans are hypocrites too. Yes, the great Western cultures and economies that many Malaysians "adore".
Economists, leaders and citizens of Malaysia as well as the Western powers slam us for our protectionist policies. Now, I need not show you the US case.
Instead, I have always preferred to attack the European Union policies. Allow me to bring to your attention of what could possibly be the world's greatest protectionist policy, The Common Agricultural Policy.
It is a system of agricultural subsidies and programmes that represents 47% of the whole European Union budget. The figures are correct for latest statistics, in year 2006.
Do I even need to bring up the matter of Boeing vs Airbus? Boeing has been heavily criticised for being heavily backed by the US Government with military contracts and NASA projects (another form of protectionism) while it is a known fact that Airbus receives financial aid from the European states and some generalize it as the European Union.
In fact, in 2005, the US and EU had a legal war over Airbus and Boeing with both countries accusing each other of over protecting their national planemakers.
As for China-US relations, textile exports from China are subject to export taxation which is a form of voluntary export restraint.
This was implemented at the request of the US Government because the textile imports to US have caused a big problem to the cotton and textile industry in US.
Also, I remember once being told about the Japanese carmakers who dumped their cars in US and took the market by storm.
For those who don't know what dumping is, it is a strategy of selling goods and services below the market prices or value of the item traded.
That sparked an outrage in US. I am sure many other "dumping cases" occured and the Congress was forced to pass an Anti Dumping Bill where an "anti dumping" fine or tax will be imposed in cases identified by the Commission.
So much for the Western ideologies of - "if you cant compete, let those who can".
4. Value of US economy
It might be a trillion dollar economy and is a country full of opportunities. But ask any financier, economist, or accountant and they can tell you that US is possibly a bankrupt country.US Government heavily depend on their Government bills, Treasury bonds and external debt - be it public or private. US is truly a debt laden country.
5. Human rights
What we do not know, will not hurt the Government. But overtime, due to Intelligence laws in the United States, CIA and FBI files will be released to the public.
These days, we hear and read alot about the "secret detention cells" in various countries. We also read about the quality of human rights of the detainees in the United States.
For the wonderful US record on human rights in Iraq, I surely encourage you to refer to the Perdana 4 Peace Foundation.
A conference was once held when in KL - Expose War Crimes, Criminalize War.
Let me direct you to the accounts of the famous Abu Ghraib former prisoner - Ali Shalah. Some of the excerpts from TheStar - Man in hood recounts torture :“I was cut inside and bled profusely. During this time, when guards walked past me, they would beat me. I had no food for 36 hours,” he said at the Expose War Crimes – Criminalise War Conference.
Ali Shalah, an Islamic education lecturer by profession, spoke of how US soldiers stripped him, tied him to steel bars and threw human waste and urinated on him.
THE WESTERN HYPOCRISY - A PIECE OF MY MIND