Sunday, September 7, 2014

AMERICAN PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA CAME TO MALAYSIA, BUT HE DID NOT SEE MUCH OR CONQUER ANYTHING.

…HOPEFULLY MANY MALAYSIANS MAY SOON GET TO VISIT AMERICA WITHOUT A VISA SOON AN ISSUE WHICH CONCERNS MOSTLY THOSE WHO HAD PROBLEMS OF NOT BEING ABLE TO ENTER THE COUNTRY BECAUSE OF THE TIGHT VISA REGULATIONS IMPOSED BY THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AFTER 911.
By Mansor Puteh


Going to America may not be much of an issue to many including the many Malaysians who had the good fortune to study anywhere in the country and being able to get visas that were valid for life, as in my case.

However, after 911 the duration was shortened to ten years, and with a fee of more than three hundred ringgit.

Many Malaysians were not able to get the visas, because they were seen to be suspicious characters, and they are mostly the Chinese-Malaysians who are considered to be high-risks candidates for the visas, because some of them had been known to have reneged on their pledge to return to Malaysia after their brief sojourn in America.

Some of their brethren had been caught by the authorities in Japan and United Kingdom for overstaying, which had caused tremendous hardship to the other Malaysians who are Melayu who did not have such traits and behaviors.

Going to Japan was as easy as going to America before. But not after some Chinese-Malaysians were caught working in restaurants and deported. Some of them claimed to have been cheated by agencies. Can anyone believe that?

American President Barack Obama made a hasty three-day visit to Malaysia, but he did not get to see or do much that he had missed to make a year earlier when his leadership was trusted in some domestic issue that needed his attention.  

It was a low-key visit. No hugging with anyone, a gesture he tried to show but which the Malaysian prime minister, Najib avoided. And no exchange of presents either.

It was so low-key that he did not bother to bring along his family, and also the representatives from the press from America who should have known better not to do so and spend so much to get so little.

The American press knew it was a low-key visit which was not mean to achieve much.

Barack also did not do much on his visit to the other two countries.

The highlight of his visit was perhaps the welcome ceremony held at the Parliament and state dinner given by the King.

But mostly, he was only fit to attend gatherings with children to pose with them, and he had to speak in English in a slow fashion, lest those who were there could not follow him and his American-style of speaking in English and especially for their penchant for using their local slang and other expressions.

It was also to match the speed in which most Malaysians speak in English and the speed of their thinking and intellect.

No wonder, Barack’s first visit to Malaysia which is described as a historic one yet, it was not reported in the media in America; otherwise, it would have also been reported by the media here, which was thrilled that they could quote, Khairy Jamaluddin who said, ‘Selamat datang’ or ‘Welcome’ when greeting Barack as he stepped on Malaysian soil for the first time for which Barack was said to have uttered, ‘Terima kasih’ or ‘Thank you’ in Melayu or Bahasa Indonesia.    

The Malaysian ambassador rushed to return to the country to wait for Barack at the steps of the stairs of Air Force One to greet him.

But the American ambassador in Kuala Lumpur, Joe Yun was nowhere to be seen. He would definitely not want to rush back to Washington DC to greet Malaysian prime minister if he ever visits Washington DC or anywhere in America.

Joe Yun has other things to do. The Malaysian ambassador in Washington DC does not seem to have much else to do.

And despite having lived and studied at a university in Pennsylvania, he would still not know what else that he can do to bring about better relations between the peoples of Malaysia and America, much like his earlier predecessor, Jamaluddin Jarjis who remarked how ‘he knew the thinking of the Americans.’

Yet, after his two-year stint, he is still remembered for having won the baju Melayu to present his credentials to Barack at the Oval Office.

Jamaluddin like Awang Adek, the current Malaysian ambassador, may have lived and studied in America, but they had left the country a while ago, and when they were there they had not been known to be active in student politics or in the Malaysian students associations.

And after immersing themselves in Malaysian politics, they had grown to appreciate how not to be innovative and also brilliant, so that they are not seen to want to step on the toes of those who had caused them to be where they were.

The two are now basically in semi-retirement having spent their early adult lives in active politics, so they can just do whatever they want, being in and out of parliament and getting the post of the ambassador of Malaysia in America, which may be the first choice amongst former politicians and other technocrats and sometimes police officers.

The current Malaysian ambassador to France is a former inspector-general of police and the one in Jakarta is someone who turned coat to support the government after being on the other side of the fence.

Malaysians relations with those in the countries have not been affected with the appointment of the said personalities simply because they are not qualified to do anything because being the ambassadors to foreign countries do not encourage them to do much, just for the same reasons the ambassadors of other countries in Malaysia are also not able to do much for their own countries for the same reason they are also not qualified to be able to do so.  

One is led to wonder why make the trip to Malaysia which did not achieve anything spectacular.


American taxpayers have spent so much to bring all the paraphernalia of the tight security nets to ensure the personal safety of their presents, yet, nothing interesting happened. 

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