Sanusi likens Soros to Adolf Hitler
KUALA LUMPUR: International financier George Soros came under another round of fire for his remarks calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the release of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Kedah Mentri Besar Tan Sri Sanusi Junid, when asked for his comments, compared Soros to Adolf Hitler.
"What Soros did to the Asian economies was as cruel as what Adolf Hitler did in Europe and like Hitler he would face the same fate," he said.
Sanusi also told foreign representatives here to give a correct picture of Malaysia to their governments to avoid unfair criticism.
"Malaysians are living in peace and there are no disturbances which can lead to problems," he said after launching a French book-reading festival in Langkawi yesterday.
Despite Soros' ill-mannered remarks, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Affifuddin Omar said foreign investments would continue to come in.
Describing the remarks as an attempt to scare away investors, he said Malaysia had proven that it can manage its economy despite unfavourable comments from outsiders on Government's policies.
He added that positive changes could be seen on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange's composite index and this reflected investor confidence towards the economy.
"Despite one negative remark after another, what we can do is to prove that we can manage our economy despite sabotage from external sources. We urge investors to give us a chance.
"Our economy is on its way to recovery and this indicates that they still have confidence in us despite such unfavourable comments," he told reporters after meeting Pulai Umno members yesterday.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Wira Mohamed Ali Rustam accused Soros of trying to get back at Dr Mahathir for exposing "his dirty works."
"Soros feels cornered and so he gets back at Dr Mahathir for exposing to the world his activities," he told reporters in Ipoh yesterday.
Mohamed Ali said Soros and US Vice-President Al Gore appeared to be "working" together in interfering in the internal affairs of Malaysia.
Deputy Energy, Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Chan Kong Choy said Soros' remarks only lends credence to talks that there was an international conspiracy to destroy Malaysia economically and politically.
The people behind this conspiracy, he said, were frustrated that Malaysians had given their undivided support to Dr Mahathir.
"First it was Al Gore and now it is Soros. Obviously they are frustrated with our stabilising economy because this is not what they want to see," Chan said.
He said Malaysians knew what to do and did not require foreign intervention.
MTUC president Zainal Rampak said Soros had no right to say who should and should not lead the country.
"Who the hell is Soros? He's not a Malaysian and has no right to talk about Malaysia," he said yesterday.
Soros remarks a setback for PAS
KOTA BARU: George Soros' call for Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad's ouster has made it more difficult for PAS and other Opposition parties to garner the people's support, said Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.
He said the international financier's interference in Malaysia's domestic affairs would make the people wrongly assume that the Oppositions were working with foreigners.
"Soros has no understanding of psychology and he should keep his mouth shut if he really wants to see Dr Mahathir and the Barisan Nasional Government toppled," said Nik Abdul Aziz, who is also Kelantan PAS Commissioner.
He was speaking to reporters here yesterday after opening a seminar on social ills, which was organised by the Ex-Police Association with help of penghulus (village headmen).
"Our struggles against Umno and the Barisan Government have seen some success, but Soros' interference has caused us problems.
"Since we have also been calling for Dr Mahathir to step down, it is as if we are are bowing to or following the demands of Soros," he said.
Rafidah: Don't be readily influenced by foreigners
PENANG: International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz yesterday slammed Malaysians who allow themselves to be influenced against Government's efforts to improve the economic situation.
She said Malaysians should realise that the country's economy must not be compared to situations in other countries as each country's problems were unique.
"Therefore, measures by our Government should be lauded as they have been carefully scrutinised to effectively address the current economic situation," she said when launching the Malay Economic Shift Through Business Opportunities forum.
She said Malaysians should not be readily influenced by others, namely the foreigners, as "measures taken by them may not necessarily apply in our situation."
"Measures taken by the Government, including stabilising the ringgit, reducing interest rates and the easing of credit facilities had shown significant results," she added.
She said the Government had given plenty of leeway for bumiputras.
Under the Industrial Technical Aid Fund (ITAF) grant, the Government had approved 1,913 grants worth RM42.13mil where 32% or 612 applications worth RM17.1mil were for bumiputras.
In Penang alone, a total of 617 ITAF grant applications or 8.7% of total grant value (not quoted) had been approved.
As for the medium and small scale industries easy loan scheme for bumiputras, 148 applications worth RM74.4mil were approved with 14 from Penang.
Under the scheme for modernisation and automation of facilities, 176 loans worth RM82.3mil was approved with 29% of the total value or 49 loan applications from bumiputras.
Razaleigh: IMF just another loan shark with its policies
KOTA KINABALU: Former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said yesterday the International Monetary Fund is just another loan shark.
He said the IMF's stiff financial policies and high interest rates "are like a loan shark forcing a father to sell everything in the house, his car and to stop feeding the children so that the money is paid back to him," he said.
In presenting a paper at the colloquium for Sabah Umno division information officers, Tengku Razaleigh said IMF's economic liberalisation could be compared with opening doors and windows to thieves and robbers.
Malaysia was lucky because its leaders acted quickly and took drastic measures, including controlling capital flow and fixing the exchange rates, he said.
Later when asked about his view on measures adopted to overcome the economic and political downturn in the country, Tengku Razaleigh said confidence must be restored and this might take time because of the confusion the changes have caused.
"I think people will accept these changes very soon. I think everything will be normal soon."
Pak Lah: I'm not going on a witch-hunt
By Zarinah Daud
BUKIT MERTAJAM: Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday he will not go on a witch-hunt or isolate any division after taking over as Penang Umno liaison committee chairman.
He said what was more important was to continue Umno's struggle in the state.
He said party unity was his priority, adding that Umno would be an effective coalition member in the Penang Barisan Nasional.
"I am not going to get rid of anyone because every member has a role to contribute.
"I will also give my attention to all the problems highlighted by the divisions and I will fulfil my responsibility," he said at the meet-the-people session with Permatang Pauh Umno division members yesterday.
Abdullah took over the Penang Umno liaison committee leadership from Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after the latter was sacked from the party.
He said opposition parties were now taking advantage of the current political situation and wanted to test support from Umno members.
Speaking to reporters later, Abdullah said Umno could not stop members from joining the opposition parties but said members should be given some time to accept the facts.
"Some of them are too emotional and as such cannot think straight. As time goes by, they will realise that the party's struggle should be above everything," he added.
LETTERS AND OPINIONS TO THE EDITOR
LETTERS AND OPINIONS TO THE EDITOR
Letter To The Editor
Please be patient with Americans
Matthew C. Carroll, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, writes:
THIS is our last month in Malaysia. I am an associate professor of engineering (and also an avid Star reader!).
Twelve years ago, your Government invited me to come to Malaysia to help develop higher education programmes in computers and engineering.
I have served at three institutions, the most recent one being Universiti Sains Malaysia.
I am happy to say that we are leaving for a good reason -- our work here is done. A fully qualified Malaysian has now replaced me and is doing an excellent job.
Thus the spirit and intent of Malaysian immigration laws have been fulfilled.
My wife and I came here shortly after being married. All of our possessions then were sent in two large cardboard boxes.
As of this date we have two cars, four computers, several hundred books and a huge house full of furniture.
I'm not sure we could fit everything on a ship, much less two boxes. More importantly, we now have five healthy, happy children, all buatan Malaysia. So add five active noisy anak putih to your fascinating mix of cultures and races!
Only three times in the entire 12 years that I have been here has any Malaysian been rude to me.
Two involved traffic incidents, and even then the language used was relatively halus. I don't even think your national language had equivalents for some of the words we use in the United States when we get mad.
Only once was a Malaysian rude to my wife. A young schoolboy once remarked to his friends in the national language that my wife should be shot because she was an orang putih.
Being a professor, I gave him a brief lecture about how he should be more polite to foreigners. He was surprised that I knew Malay, and after I bought dessert for him and his friends he decided that orang putih were not so bad after all.
It is incredible that we could live in a nation 12 years and count the times things like this have happened on one hand!
I, on the other hand, have been kurang ajar at times. I took a diploma course in Bahasa Malaysia at Universiti Malaya and remember an argument with one of my lecturers there about a poem written by one of Malaysia's leading poets, who was writing under a pen name I didn't recognise.
After I insisted that the author of the poem intended a certain meaning, he replied softly, "Well, I wrote that poem, and . . ." Oops!
Nearly all of the students I have taught have had a strong desire to learn. They have been intelligent, co-operative, responsible and a real joy to teach.
The university administrations have been very supportive of my work. The personnel and administrative units at Universiti Sains Malaysia are the best I have seen in any university, here or overseas.
I have never been cheated by any Malaysian merchant or businessman. In one case, wages from a Muslim businessman for my last month of work were withheld so that the Inland Revenue Board could take their share.
Nearly a year later, without any reminder on my part, a cheque for over RM5,000 arrived in the mail, drawn from this businessman's personal account.
No Malaysian official has ever solicited a bribe from me. I did notice, at a distance, another gentleman offer an official what may have been several times her monthly salary for a "special favour."
Not only did she refuse, but within seconds the "special gentleman" was politely and firmly sent out of her "special office."
I experienced no mistreatment by the government bureaucracy. Your Immigration Department was especially helpful in processing the huge number of passes needed for our large family.
In one instance we waited until the last day, and because the official concerned was on leave, we did not have our renewals by the end of the work day.
We did what any law-respecting family would do -- jumped in the car, kids and all, and headed for the Singapore border.
By midnight we were safely over the bridge. Whew! By the next day, the Immigration officials learned what had happened and personally invited us through my employer to return to Malaysia. In two days I was back at work with all passes approved.
Some people tell me Tenaga Nasional Berhad provides lousy service. Huh? We have had two main interactions with them.
In one case, I wrote a letter complaining about our faulty power meter. Within days a response was sent and the meter was replaced.
In the other case the transformer supplying power to our house broke down.
They sent a team of people over in the middle of the night and promptly fixed it. How come major mistakes and problems receive wide publicity and things like this never get mentioned?
I am a Christian and I have felt a complete freedom to attend a local Baptist church and fully practice my faith. The entire time I was here, no Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or other Malaysian has ever attacked, threatened and even said an unkind word to me because of my faith.
I think that your readers are intelligent enough to draw their own conclusions from this. Living and working in Malaysia has been one of the best experiences of my life.
I would like to end this letter with a request. Please be patient and forgiving with Americans, from our vice-president on down.
In many ways we are technically advanced, but socially quite backward. Keep in mind that our American civilisation is only about 300 years old -- yours is well over 1,000 years old.
In our early days many of us lived miles from our nearest neighbour, and the ability to shoot wild animals was more important to us than relating to others in a mannerly fashion.
Most of us do not want to be isolated from and condemned by the rest of the world. We see a need to learn, and we will learn.
With my own children you have been a great help in this. On a recent trip to America many commented that they were well-mannered. My favourite response to this is that I have been given the privilege of raising them in a socially advanced civilisation.
Letter To The Editor
We have had enough of your nonsense, Soros
Bulbir Singh of Seremban writes (via e-mail):
WE had enough of Al Gore and we now have the ruthless money trader Soros after us and our leadership.
His call for the ouster of duly-elected Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad is simply uncalled for and thoughtless.
This is intolerable. We, the people of Malaysia, should act in unison and send a clear message that we do not want others poking into our affairs.
It is we, the Malaysian rakyat, who decide on who should lead us and for how long. No one else!
When we know we do not want certain leaders, it is we who decide who should replace them. No one else.
Soros, is that clear? We cannot stomach your nonsense! You have gone too far by getting involved in our internal affairs and we are angry.
It is our stand that no one must be allowed to meddle in our affairs be it the United States or its agents. We do not like to get involved in affairs of others, so we expect a status quo here.
And no one tells us what to do in deploying economic measures which will put us on a good footing. We know what is good for us, others can only speculate.
We see their agenda, and we know what is on their minds, and much of it is not good for us. We cannot bite the bullet! We see their ways of colonising us, and we detest that.
As a sovereign nation, we decide our fate. If ruthless financiers do not want to assist us, well and good, but get out of our affairs.
We know best what is good for us.
The recent protest by Malaysians, the putting of names in advertisements and other vehement protests against foreign intervention are clear messages and testimony that we do not want anyone to tell us what to do in our country. To all these characters we say, "Get lost."
We are quite capable of running this nation as we see fit. We are doing it our way and we are slowly but surely seeing signs that things are going well and all should be okay soon.
Why should others, the likes of Soros, dictate terms to us? We don't need you.
Soros, you have caused the world and us enough sorrow! Don't make it bad!
Links to other sites on the Web
Back to News Center
© 1997 email@example.com