Malaysia-US enjoying warmer ties: Nazri

WASHINGTON, Feb 28 — Malaysia and the United States are now enjoying warmer ties following a shift in the Malaysian foreign policy under the administration of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said.

Whoa! If only foreign policy matters between two sovereign nations can be resolved, nay, enhanced by just one visit by a defacto law minister who doesn’t have a real job in the BN cabinet, this world should apply it to the Middle-East for errr .. warmer ties too. Perhaps, if he had announced it on top of KD TAR, like Bush Jr did on board an aircraft carrier about Iraq, the americans may take him seriously. Not.

He said the US government as well as officers, Congress members and senators, whom he met here, were aware of Malaysia’s efforts in enhancing Kuala Lumpur-Washington ties.

Yup. They’re aware of missing jet engines and the Sabah terror threat too.

Nazri, who led a group of Malaysian legislators for a five-day visit to the US from Tuesday, said during the visit he met senior US officials, Congress members and senators where they discussed issues on export control, Malaysia-US Free Trade Agreement and counter-terrorism.

And along the way, he lost a couple who didn’t show up nor speak at a CSIS pre-arranged seminar. But hang on, the seminar was entitled “Governance & Rule of Law in Malaysia & Malaysian Legislative Initiatives”. What has ‘export control, Malaysia-US Free Trade Agreement and counter-terrorism’ got to do with this seminar? Shouldn’t these matters be discussed by the relevant ministries of international trade & industry, and defense instead? The three assigned speakers were all ‘specialists’ on Malaysian Law. Square pegs, round holes meh?

In fact, he said, the atmosphere at a meeting with deputy US trade representative Demetrios Marantis, Senator Kitt Bond and Congress member Eni Faleomavaega who is also the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, “clearly showed that they appreciated our presence here.”

Of course, they did, you dimwit. They are the damn host. And they probably ‘appreciated’ the fact that the BN administration sent a bunch of ‘why-am-I-here’ types who are either totally blur on the purpose or preferred not to speak during a speaking engagement. And why Marantis if your kelantanese colleague didn’t wish to pursue a bi-lateral free trade agreement discussion with the U.S.

He said the efforts to further enhance Malaysia-US relations had already started in collaboration with Congress member Faleomavaega and Malaysian Ambassador to the US Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis.

Hmmm .. that’s JJ’s job in the first place, right? To enhance Malaysia-US relations. Duhhhh!

“God willing, when the prime minister comes here in April, we can re-launch the Malaysia-US Caucus, which has been in existence for over 10 years.

What? NTR going again! He wasn’t that ‘hot’ during last year’s trip, was he. Or his wife needs another handbag?

“The fact that it has not moved speaks volumes of the state of our relations in the past,” he said.

Hot, cold, hot, cold, hot, cold … deal with it. It’s called real-politik in the diplomatic fraternity. Sooo .. will there be a 10 year celebration of nothing-got-done-but-let’s-do-something-in-2010 coz my boss really, really needs a leg up back home?

Nazri said the caucus would serve as a platform to further strengthen the ties between both countries and that through the caucus “we can plan programmes involving US Congress members and Malaysian members of parliament.”

Wahlauweh! More non-speaking, off-the-record engagements ah.

The Malaysian delegation comprised Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Ronald Kiandee who is Beluran MP, Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (Pasir Salak MP), Wee Choo Keong (Wangsa Maju MP) and Parliament chief administrator Datuk Kamaruddin Mohamed Baria.

How come you left out that Penang fler who supposedly became independent-but-not-BN-friendly? Heck, even he said it was a trade thingy despite knowing the speakers’ profile. But how come, he ‘bore witness’ that the AG and the ex-CJ were attending a different session when CSIS announced it’s all in the same on/off-the-record seminar?

Nazri said he had also invited Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and former chief justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamed, who is now the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s Advisory Board chairman, to take part in a seminar here, themed “Governance and Rule of Law and Malaysian Legislative Initiatives”, organised by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Ahhh .. here it is, the law experts who may or may not have said anything during the seminar, depending on what you read. Yer see,  the media were not allowed to quote anyone nor write anything about this high profile talk shop in K street handled by a top-notch international company. So who is wiser to what was said, if it’s said at all. “Chatham House Rule” is hogwash if you can’t get media coverage for a public relations stunt ‘to enhance foreign relations between two nations’ announced originally as ON THE RECORD by CSIS. Yer might as well talk behind close doors like UMNO Baru does and farm out the media job to a class F contractor.

On claims published by blogs in Malaysia alleging that the government paid US$20 million (RM67.3 million) to Washington lobbyists to clear its image following the trial involving Parti Keadilan Rakyat advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Nazri said the claims were baseless.

It’s RM20 million per annum lah, not US$20 million. And of course, you’re telling the equally baseless ‘truth’.

“Where does this US$20 million supposed to have come from? This is a wild allegation and accusation made by the opposition. There is no necessity to clean Malaysia’s image,” he said.

The rakyat pays for it mah. And sure or not about the image part? Did you read the PERC analysis on Malaysia’s deteriorating image in the eyes of foreign investors?

Nazri added that the Anwar issue was not mentioned at all during his meetings with officials, Congress members and senators.

Coz you made sure they couldn’t ask by avoiding the subject.

“The Anwar issue only came about during the seminar and it was raised by a member of a non-governmental organisation.

And that’s apparently wrong in your book of international diplomacy, right?

“I, too, am not interested to talk about the case because it is too small to affect the relations with the US,” he said.

Yeah , yeah, no big deal.

But seriously, what actually happened lah. Plus how much did it cost the taxpayers in monetary and integrity terms?

– Bernama