— Ali Kadir
The Malaysian Insider
May 08, 2012
MAY 8 — No matter who finally rules Putrajaya, one principle must remain sacred: that foreigners should not interfere with the internal affairs of this country.
This rule would apply to the United States, Australia, Singapore, China and even Saudi Arabia.
It is a most natural part of international relations that countries want to have leverage over each other, mostly through trade, financial aid, access to markets, visas, etc. Some try and interfere in more subtle ways like cutting down scholarships and quotas.
According to Jamil Khir (the same chap who used zakat money for his legal expenses), a Saudi Arabian diplomat in KL said that his government was considering cutting haj visas because of disturbance caused by Bersih 3.0. That is the prerogative of the kingdom and it would be perfectly understandable because Saudi Arabia opposes any expression of freedom of assembly or for that matter any other democratic right.
These are the people who shudder at the thought of the Arab Spring. So we should expect the Saudi government to react in this threatening manner.
But nevertheless it is disappointing. Did we ban Saudi citizens from entering Malaysia on the basis that some of their citizens played a major role in 9/11?
In any case, instead of standing up to any bullying by Riyadh, we can expect the government and its media to use the threat of haj restrictions to whip up anti-Bersih 3.0 sentiment. After all, the government capitulated a few months ago and allowed the Saudis to boss us around in the small matter involving the blogger on the run to New Zealand.
I repeat once again: anyone who occupies Putrajaya can never be a lackey for a foreign power.