PUTRAJAYA: The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) takes aim at Malaysia, but once again displays a woeful lack of knowledge and understanding of our country and its history, said Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.
In an open letter to the New York-based daily reacting on Anwar Ibrahim’s commentary in WSJ, Anifah today said “voices of dissent” that the opposition’s former leader claims not to be able to hear are dominant in Malaysia’s online news media, which has far more readers than the print press.
“If anyone doubts Malaysians’ “fundamental liberties”, they can easily see for themselves how free anyone is to criticise the government on these news sites,” he added.
“It is a pity that the WSJ has fallen for desperate, unfounded allegations by a politician and presented them as facts – thereby taking sides in internal Malaysian politics,” he said.
In fact, Anifah said some other people have said positively about Malaysia recently.
“Bloomberg rated Malaysia as the world’s 5th most promising emerging market in 2015. The International Monetary Fund’s latest report on our country was titled: “Favourable Prospects for Malaysia’s Diversified Economy” A Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations wrote: “Malaysian political discourse is becoming far more open than it was even a decade ago.”
“And the ratings agency Fitch recently upgraded the outlook for Malaysia,” he added.
This is the truth about Malaysia today, the minister said. Anifah said Malaysia has been a democracy since independence in 1957, and the elections are fiercely contested, and the opposition won five out of the country’s 13 states in 2008.
Political discourse is vibrant and noisy, he added.
Two days ago, Anwar in his article published by WSJ had criticised the government for its strict controls on fundamental liberties. – BERNAMA