Soros regrets calling for PM's ouster
LONDON: International financier George Soros said he regrets calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad because such remarks could be counter-productive.
Soros, lambasted by Dr Mahathir as a speculator driving Asian economies to ruin, last week accused the Malaysian Prime Minister of cronyism and abuse of power and told a US university audience he should be removed from office.
"Had I known I was going to be quoted I would have moderated myself because I do think that's counter-productive," he told a news conference in London for the launch of his latest book.
"If I oblige him by attacking him I'm serving his purposes." -- Reuters
LETTERS AND OPINION TO THE EDITOR
Letter To The Editor
Leave us alone so we can be Malaysians
Peter Yew of Seremban writes (via e-mail):
I HAVE just finished reading Dr Matthew C. Carroll's letter, "Please be patient with Americans" (The Star, Dec 7) on his 12 years' experience in our country and I know that I have to respond from my heart.
Dr Carroll, I thank you for giving us an objective and even self-afflicting viewpoint of your people.
I thank you, too, that your faith has made you a kindly person that elicits the type of good response you received from my countrymen.
I have always said that you get kindness when you are kind to others; and you have confirmed it. I pray that kindness will be the overall response and attitude of my fellowmen to all criticisms hurled at us.
True, the Malaysian people are not the targets of verbal and editorial abuses we read in newspapers, magazines, and on the Internet. The targets are the present government leaders.
Of course, it is not the people's jealousy against one another. I do not believe Dr Carroll is jealous of our growth.
In fact, he has shown much admiration for our sociological advancement -- even over the Americans -- that we Malaysians often take to be the reverse, due (in no small measure) to the display of technical advancement in the entertainment and electronic industries from the more developed nations.
Therefore, the issues we see today are being played out aggressively not among the citizens of nations but rather among their leaders.
Time and time again we have implored leaders of other nations not to interfere in our internal affairs, but such appeals have been ignored.
Why do we have to be moulded into Americans or Australians or British? Why can't we be left alone to be Malaysians?
Do the smaller and lesser developed nations impose their wills on their bigger and more advanced brother nations?
Where is the leadership? Is it not democratic to allow growth to take place in the unique environment we are being brought up?
The leaders of developed nations should, instead, learn to lead and guide in love. Love for our countrymen, especially the poor and the handicapped; and love for the poorer and less-endowed nations.
Dr Carroll, I believe we (as a nation) have loved and respected you and your family over the years you were here. We also love you because we are a non-violent people and our religions and moral upbringing bring out our best.
And we respect you because you are an American. We respect people from other lands, more so if they have given us Hollywood and Disneyland that thrilled us in our youth.
While it is true that our leadership has erred in some of the policies and the way they have been implemented, which nations have been perfect and true at all times?
Civilisation is more from our heart, less from our head.
And I am proud that we are strong today, defending what we believe to be the right way to heal our nation's woes through due process of the law, however imperfect that may be.
Like a teenager growing up into manhood and telling his father: "Let me grow up to be what I am. I thank you for your help all these years, but I cannot be you because God has made me unique, special, and different."
So we ask the leaders of our better developed brother nations, let us be and let us grow. We can't be you, we may be lesser, or we may be better.
Lead by example. Otherwise a new political order will surely emerge wherein leadership comes not through size or population-wise; not by the technological advancement of a particular society; not by its military might; not by its cash reserves -- and certainly not by its leaders who do not show us the better way.
A new leadership will come by, and through nations which humbly grow from within; which have set and firm social values that respect one another; and which expect nothing in return.
Therefore, may I ask the bigger (but certainly not necessarily better) nations not to use the whip and crack on us.
It will backlash on these nations one day because justice belongs to God -- not to man.
And to my fellow Malaysians, those who love peace and joy of watching their children grow up in harmony with one another, the greatest honour that you can display now is not to respond to what is uncouth and unhelpful.
Let us smile and maintain our dignity. To rebut on something that splits our national unity is both a waste of time as well as playing into the hands of those who want to agitate us and cause division.
Let us rise up instead and display our inner strength which is that we shall overcome our adversities and our adversaries.
To my reformasi brothers and sisters, please work constructively for change. Your style is neither Malaysian nor effective because the majority of us disagree with your approach.
Be Malaysians and take reformative actions by the due process of law. This episode of our national development has driven us into greater maturity than our 41 years of independence.
Letter To The Editor
Ignore Soros' remarks
David Heah of Penang writes:
EVEN before the public can let their anger and heated emotions settle down as a result of the uncalled for and insensitive comments by Al Gore recently, their emotions have been stirred up again by George Soros.
If the recent response by the public on Gore's statement is any indication of the public's feelings and views, then we can expect another round of mass anger from Malaysians.
Like most loyal Malaysians, I am very angry with the comments by Soros and share the view of most Malaysians that he has no right at all to meddle in our affairs -- much less to incite people to overthrow our elected government.
But if we analyse this issue at a deeper level, we should not pay any attention to Soros' comment at all -- let it be a non-issue and not give him the satisfaction of any response or reaction.
We might be playing into Soros' hand. Maybe, this is his intention all along.
He knows we are a sensitive people and that his comments will generate international media publicity, resulting from our response.
There will be no end to this as we know that there are many foreigners who are jealous of us, or have their own vested interest to cause trouble here.
We should follow our Prime Minister's example and act calmly, coolly, and not allow ourselves to give a comment and react. This will give people like Soros the satisfaction of seeing us all fired up.
If we completely ignore it, it will die a natural death. After all, it takes two to tango.
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