Niqnaq

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Bersih 3.0: Politicizing the Apolitical in Malaysia
Nile Bowie, Apr 29 2012 (Photos at original URL – RB)

Protests rocked the streets of the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday Apr 28 as an estimated 25,000 people took to the streets in support of Bersih [1], an organization fighting to reform the nation’s electoral system. The organization refers to itself as ‘The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections’, comprised of 84 Malaysian NGOs that form a ‘coalition of like-minded civil society organizations unaffiliated to any political party’ [2]. The recent rally follows two previous mass demonstrations in Nov 2007 and Jul 2011, as organizers renew their demands for the Malaysian Election Commission to resign before the 13th General Elections scheduled for Jun 2012 [3]. Although the coalition claims to be devoid of political affiliation, the movement is fully endorsed by Malaysia’s main opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim and the Pakatan Rakyat political coalition he oversees.

Following documented cases of US-based organizations funding pro-opposition civil society groups associated with civil unrest in Russia [4] and the Middle East [5], Chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan acknowledged that the Bersih coalition received financial support from the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and George Soros’ Open Society Institute (OSI) [6]. An article published in the NYT entitled “US Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings” reveals organizations such as the National Democratic Institute receive funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a recipient of funds directly from the US Congress [7]. The Bersih Coalition has also received support from the US-based Freedom House [8], an NGO that receives direct funding from the US State Dept [9]. While concern over electoral corruption and the various legitimate grievances of Bersih supporters may be entirely justified, the coalition’s association with opposition Political parties and groups financed by the US government suggests subversion.

Malaysia’s former PM Mahathir Mohammed has warned that the ruling Barisan Nasional party is targeted for regime change due to its stance on Israel and criticism of US policy, while condemning Anwar Ibrahim for his close ties to Paul Wolfowitz and other adherents of PNAC [10]. Furthermore, Mahathir has accused the US of using currency manipulation and US-funded NGOs to orchestrate the kind of destabilization needed to install a compliant proxy government [11]. William Robinson explains the subversive methods of conducting regime change through “democracy promotion” in his book, ‘Promoting Polyarchy’ [12]:

In Latin America, in Eastern Europe with the Velvet Revolutions, in Africa, in the Middle East, really all over the world, the US set up these different mechanisms now for penetrating these civil societies in the political systems of countries that are going to be intervened and to assure the outcome is going to be pleasing to Washington’s foreign policy objectives.

Eva Golinger, a researcher who has been investigating the democracy promotion efforts of the US, offers [13]:

Millions and millions of US taxpayer dollars go every year into funding for political organizations and campaigns in different countries in the world that promote US agenda. Most US citizens are unaware of the fact that that is how their money is being spent, to meddle, and to influence and to interfere in other nation’s affairs.

While the demands of the Bersih coalition appear to be coherent and apolitical, the convergence of its leadership with the opposition political establishment provides Anwar Ibrahim and Malaysia’s opposition front Pakatan Rakyat with the means to mobilize demonstrators under the benign common cause of “clean and fair elections.” The initial Bersih demonstration in 2007 has become widely credited for Pakatan Rakyat’s record gains in the 2008 Malaysian elections, where the opposition coalition usurped power in five states and won 82 parliamentary seats [14]. Anwar Ibrahim served as Deputy PM from 1993 to 1998 under Mahathir Mohamad; the pair disagreed on the utilization of recovery methods during the 1997 Asian Economic Crisis, leading to Ibrahim’s dismissal. While Mahathir introduced sovereign currency controls on the Malaysian ringgit to prevent currency speculation, Ibrahim denounced Mahathir’s economic policies and portrayed himself as a freedom fighter for the free market [15]. Following his stint as Deputy PM, Ibrahim served as Chairman of the Development Committee of the World Bank and IMF in 1998, while appearing on the payroll of Dick Cheney’s Foundation for the Future and George Soros’ International Crisis Group [16]. Furthermore, Anwar Ibrahim served as a panelist at the National Endowment for Democracy’s “Democracy Award” [17].

The Bersih coalition has rejected a raft of reforms announced by Malaysian PM Najib Razak, including the establishment of parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms and amendments to the Peaceful Assembly Act following widespread condemnation of Putrajaya’s crack down on Jul 2011’s Bersih 2.0 rally from the international press [18]. The heavy-handed conduct of Malaysian security officials has worked to further strengthen international condemnation of Malaysia’s nationalist regime, as well as alienating the well-intentioned participants of Bersih rallies. Unlike the Bersih rally in Jul 2011, the recent demonstrations provoked armed clashes between protestors and police with cases of violence on both sides. Although police barricaded the area surrounding Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) where the rally was scheduled to take place, violence was not used until demonstrators attempted to cross police barricades into the Square. The security situation deteriorated as defiant protesters refused to disperse, prompting demonstrators to overturn a police vehicle [19]. Protesters and black-shirted police officials threw broken bottles, pieces of metal and concrete slabs towards each other, prompting police to fire tear gas and water cannons at demonstrators, causing hundreds to disperse into side streets [20]. While footage of the recent police crackdown circulates throughout international media, Malaysia’s ruling Barisan Nasional party is again the subject of international criticism. As public discontent grows with the administration of PM Najib Razak, the unpopularity of the Malaysian ruling party has set the stage for the victory of Anwar Ibrahim’s Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition. As the US shifts its military focus to the Pacific Region, Anwar Ibrahim’s adherence to western political institutions will likely warrant the continued nurturing of unrest in Malaysia until the opposition successively usurps power.

Notes:
[1] Police violence marks Malaysia reform rally, Al Jazeera, Apr 28 2012
[2] Bersih About, BERSIH 2.0 [OFFICIAL] Facebook
[3] Ibid
[4] Emails expose watchdog’s dollar deals, Russia Today, Dec 9 2011
[5] US Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings, NYT, Apr 14 2011
[6] Bersih repudiates foreign Christian funding claim, Malaysian Insider, Jun 27 2011
[7] US Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings, NYT, Apr 14 2011
[8] Freedom House Calls on Malaysian Authorities to Allow Free Assembly, Freedom House, 2012
[9] Freedom House: Frequently Asked Questions, Freedom House, 2012
[10] REGIME CHANGE, CheDet, Feb 13 2012
[11] CURRENCY WARS, CheDet, Mar 29 2012
[12] Democracy promotion: USAia’s new regime change formula, Russia Today, Nov 18 2010
[13] Ibid
[14] Bersih repudiates foreign Christian funding claim, Malaysian Insider, Jun 27 2011
[15] The Case of Malaysia, EIR, Jul 4 2008
[16] British Empire Tool to Recolonize Malaysia, EIR, Sep 12 2008
[17] 2007 NED Annual Report, National Endowment for Democracy, 2007
[18] Bersih tarnishes Najib’s reform credentials; say foreign press, Malaysian Insider, Apr 29 2012
[19] Larger Bersih turnout, but violence may play into Umno’s hands, Malaysian Insider, Apr 29 2012
[20] Ibid

Wall Street Fills Malaysian Streets With Unrest
Tony Cartalucci, Land Destroyer, Apr 29 2012

NED and Soros organized mobs clamor around Malaysia’s embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, with SEAPA executive director Gayathry Venkiteswaran explaining to a crowd why Western proxy Anwar Ibrahim and his opposition’s involvement in Bersih should not be condemned and for Bersih supporters to vigorously deny that the movement is “opposition-run.” SEAPA is funded by convicted criminal George Soros, and the US State Dept’s warmongering, corporate financier-lined National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House. Both within Malaysia and beyond, the Bersih mobs are demonstratively led by Western proxies insidiously manipulating impressionable, youthful crowds.

In a repeat of last summer’s protests, yellow-shirted mobs calling themselves “Bersih” have taken once again to the streets in Malaysia demanding “clean elections.” Their tactics and demands mirror similar movements that have come out into the streets in Russia and across the Middle East, and just like in Russia and across the Middle East, they are entirely funded, directed by, and working for the interests of Wall Street and London. Bersih’s rank and file are responding to legitimate concerns regarding inequities that exist across Malaysia’s diverse population. Ethnic Malaysians are perceived to be receiving more benefits and upward social mobility than Malaysia’s large groups of ethnic minorities. Likewise it is perceived that Malaysia’s ruling government has an unfair advantage come election time. However, the movement’s demands and tactics seek simply to destabilize Malaysia politically and return known Western collaborators, and in particular Wall Street proxy and IMF functionary Anwar Ibrahim, back into power. To understand why, it helps to understand just who is financially and politically supporting Bersih’s leadership in the first place. The Malaysian Insider reported on Jun 27, 2011:

Bersih leader Ambiga Sreenevassan admitted to Bersih receiving some money from two US organisations, the National Democratic Institute and Open Society Institute, for other projects, which she stressed were unrelated to the Jul 9 march.

A visit to the NDI website revealed indeed that funding and training had been provided by the US organization, before NDI took down the information and replaced it with a more benign version purged entirely of any mention of Bersih. For funding Ambiga claims is innocuous, the NDI’s rushed obfuscation of any ties to her organization suggests something more sinister at play. Bersih is indisputably serving as a political vehicle for Anwar Ibrahim and Malaysia’s opposition front “Pakatan Rakyat,” to return to power. That Anwar Ibrahim himself was Chairman of the Development Committee of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1998, held lecturing positions at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, was a consultant to the World Bank, and a panelist at the Neo-Con lined National Endowment for Democracy’s “Democracy Award” and a panelist at a NED donation ceremony – the very same US organization whose subsidiaries are funding and supporting Bersih – casts irrefutable doubt on their official agenda for “clean and fair elections.” Claims by Bersih members that Anwar Ibrahim is “hijacking” their movement ring especially hollow when looking at both his and Bersih’s entwined foreign financial and political backers.

Unlike during their 2011 protests, Bersih is now taking to the streets with the full knowledge of what “pro-democracy” protests have yielded in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Syria: chaos, destabilization, violence, and the inevitable installation of overt client regimes bent in service to Wall Street and London. They are now openly the recipients of convicted criminal George Soros’ Open Society Institute, which is quickly losing its luster as its vast global ties are exposed by an ever-expanding alternative media.

In Tunisia we see the rise of one of Anwar Ibrahim’s National Endowment for Democracy contemporaries, Moncef Marzouki who was declared “president” after US-backed mobs took to Tunisia’s streets in early 2011 and overthrew the government there. Since Marzouki’s installation into power, he has promptly backed Western policy in regards to Libya and now Syria, most recently severing ties with Damascus to help bolster the West’s campaign of isolating and eventually topping Syria’s government.

In Libya, promises of a democratic utopia have been lost amidst perpetual infighting, genocidal death squads roving the country committing widespread atrocities, entire regions of Libya peeling away from the government based in Tripoli, which itself is nothing more than a Western client regime. Led by long-time US resident Abdurrahim el-Keib, formally of the Petroleum Institute, sponsored by British Petroleum (BP), Shell, France’s Total, the Japan Oil Development Company, and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, it has done nothing to restore order or to preserve Libya’s territorial integrity, and has instead spent its time brokering deals to sell Libya’s once nationalized resources to foreign contractors.

Clearly it is not “democracy” that the US through its National Endowment for Democracy and criminal Wall Street speculator George Soros’ Open Society are spreading, but rather corporate-financier hegemony by destabilizing nationalist regimes and replacing them with client proxies. The recent wave of “pro-democracy” uprisings worldwide are a carefully orchestrated geopolitical gambit, neo-imperialism through 4th generation warfare. Given that the leaders of Bersih are demonstratively recipients of both the US State Dept’s National Endowment for Democracy and Soros’ Open Society, and with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim being a functionary of the IMF, it is certain that no matter how genuine Bersih’s rank and file may be, the fruits of their efforts will be the destabilization and neo-recolonization of of their nation, which has fought long and hard to work its way out from under Western imperialism in the past.

Written by niqnaq

April 29, 2012 at 7:48 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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