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The Sadness of Submissive, Quietly Re-Colonized Malaysia
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I am not sure when and how it happened, or even what precisely took place, but suddenly, nothing feels the same, and nothing feels right in Malaysia.

Several years ago, things used to be totally different here. One would land at KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) – in the past one of the most modern and well-run mid-sized airports in the world, located some 70 kilometers from the city – and feel the omnipresent optimism and pride.

Malaysia was on the rise: a fast train was connecting the airport to the sprawling metropolis. It was passing near the famous Formula-1 circuit, the new capital city of Putrajaya, a modern city designed for science and technological research – Cyberjaya – and finally terminating at the modern KL Sentral train station and public transportation hub.

Futuristic Kuala Lumpur also counted with a super modern and elegant concert hall fully dedicated to classical music. It was right under the Petronas Towers, once the tallest building in the world. Modern monorail and driverless trains were transporting people in style to different corners of the city. Bookstores were well stocked (censorship was present, but everyone knew that Malaysian censors were too lazy to read). Extreme, Indonesian-style, misery hardly existed. Malaysia had ‘made it’ – it had landed itself on the list of the highest development index countries (Human Development Index, HDI, measured by UNDP) – together with countries such as Chile and Argentina, Russia and Qatar, as well as the nations of Europe and North America.

Malaysia was manufacturing its own car brand – Proton – and was teaming up with Japan, hoping to co-produce aircraft.

Nightclubs were packed, political humor thriving, and even religions were not immune to criticism, as long as the punches were being delivered in an ‘appropriate’ and secular environment, behind the curtains of bookstores and private events.

In those days, I loved visiting Malaysia. I loved living there, for weeks and months.

Next door, collapsed Indonesia felt like the de-composing carcass of a huge fish: covered by smog, intolerant, intellectually destroyed, racist and at war with itself and its colonies. I used to escape to Kuala Lumpur for weeks; in order to gain perspective, in order to eat well, to visit theaters, concerts, parks, to interact with my Malaysian friends – writers, filmmakers, and academics.

Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur felt as if they were existing on two different planets. A 1 hour and 40 minutes’ flight, and everything would diametrically change. Suddenly it was possible to walk under the trees and on wide sidewalks, to attend great concerts, to read to excited audience from my books, and above all, to be understood.


And yet, yet even then, there was something rotten in the intellectual fabric of Kuala Lumpur. It was hard to detect, to explain, but it was constantly there, right under the surface.

Now I am looking back, and I am trying to comprehend. It is not easy, but not impossible.

I recall a Malaysian filmmaker who made a 2-minute long film, and attended dozens of international film festivals showing it – all expenses paid. It was just a tiny bark, nothing serious. But he was a Malaysian, and therefore worth being pampered and supported. Because Malaysia had very few filmmakers, and the West wanted to make sure that it owns them. It felt obnoxious, even perverse, as I knew several great, brilliant left-wing filmmakers in Chile, Brazil, France, U.K. who made ground-breaking films, but were not supported by anyone, living near-starvation existence.

I remember how, decisively, all Malaysian ‘intellectuals’ were refusing to criticize, or even to acknowledge, the horrors that were taking place in neighboring Indonesia. Why? Because Indonesia, after 1965, became a true Western neo-colony; plundered, brainwashed and looted by both local treasonous and corrupt ‘elites’ and by multi-national corporations and Western governments. Someone was, of course, paying for this silence.

I recall how Malaysian writers were falling over each other to attend a “Writers’ and Readers’ Festival” in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia – an anti “LEKRA” (pre-1965 coup left-wing writer’s organization to which belonged such great novelists as Pramoedya Ananta Toer) event organized by pro-Western institutions and pseudo-intellectual Goenawan Mohamad. All expenses paid, of course (by whom, we could only guess).

Unlike in many Latin American countries, or in China or Russia, for Malaysian and Indonesian intellectuals, there is nothing like “dirty money”. Money is money – always halal.

Malaysian filmmakers, writers and other intellectuals never criticize the West, but diligently support Western propaganda, when it is targeting Russia, but even such far-away countries such as South Africa.

The United Kingdom has been omnipresent, through family ties, ‘education’, through the British Council which has been spreading funding and ideological dogmas, but also through its main propaganda outlets such as the BBC.

I met a writer who had her entire work sponsored by the Western outlets, and who was flown to places as diverse as the Caribbean Islands and Alaska, as a reward for her writing, which has been glorifying both transgender rights and big business construction of motorways. When I confronted her, she replied, simply and honestly: “I have two children to raise”.

Malaysian art festivals have been clearly propagating the Western line of thinking. By mistake, I was invited to one (in old city of Georgetown). But never again. There are certain unwritten rules, including: no open criticism of Western imperialism, and no direct support for countries like China, Russia, Cuba or Venezuela. Local artists and writers are paid to talk and write about sexual habits, such as homosexuality or trans-gender issues, instead of the horrors taking place next-door, like the genocide in West Papua, where Indonesia has managed to murder around 500,000 people on behalf of Western multi-national companies and governments.

Taboo is also touching what made Malaysia relatively wealthy – thorough plunder of its environment through palm oil plantations and mining, as well as mistreatment of indigenous people on the territory of two of its states located on Borneo Island.


Malaysia changed; became unrecognizable. And it happened unbelievably fast.

Kuala Lumpur (as well as Singapore) have been choking on smog from the burning Indonesian islands of Kalimantan (Indonesian part of Borneo, the third largest island in the world) and Sumatra, but no explosion of outrage has been detectable from the Malaysian “thinkers”.

No outrage over US and EU attacks against Afghanistan, Libya or Syria.

Even Malaysian leaders, at times, were more outspoken than the funding-hungry local intellectuals. Prime Minister of Malaysia, according to Reuters, reacted to assassination of Iranian General Soleimani:

Muslim countries should unite to protect themselves against external threats, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday after describing the U.S. killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani as immoral.”

Malaysian ‘educated circles’ have been proving, again and again, that their country is a well-behaved colony. A cowardly, client state.


Suddenly, for people like me, those who were well known but at odds with Western imperialism, it has become near impossible to work (give speeches or to get interviewed) in Malaysia. All the doors have gotten shut. We cannot get any quotes from Malaysian academics, artists or politicians.

Cowardice and self-interest, has become the main driving force. I have never forgotten, how during the conflict between the Philippines and Malaysia, I went to Borneo, and wrote an extremely sarcastic essay about the event. I got powerful quotes from the Filipino people, who even crossed the sea in order to talk to me, on the record. I got a couple of quotes from Malaysians, too. But after my long essay was published, the Malaysians protested: “We did not know you will be so sarcastic in your work”. They were too careful, too disciplined, unwilling to risk anything.

There is no way to get quotes from the Malaysians, about the terror which the West is spreading all over the world, or about the West’s best ally – Wahhabism. Or about the shameless collaboration of the Southeast Asian nations with the West. Not even about that “greatest Malaysian secret”: “Almost all that scientific research, and native production, totally failed: the country basically lives, like Indonesia, although on a much higher level, from the plundering of its natural resources; from irreversibly and brutally ruining of its land by cutting down the native forest and turning both peninsular Malaysia and Borneo into one huge and horrific oil palm plantation, dotted with mining pits. Malaysia also functions as an assembly like, a maquiladora for multi-national companies.”

Those who protest or speak out about what has been done to the native people of Borneo, die. And so, nobody does, anymore.

This is what broke the spine of Malaysia: its unwillingness to risk. Its lack of courage. Its dependence on former and present colonial masters. Its submissiveness. I described this kind of behavior in this part of the world in my political novel Aurora.

The great fiery socialist, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist Indonesian leader, Ahmed Sukarno, knew all this very well. He saw Malaysia as basically a puppet state of the West. He had launched campaign of Konfrontasi against his neighbor and its British handler. And the neighbor – Malaysia – fired back: it later quietly embraced the fascist regime of General Suharto, which overthrew Sukarno and the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), in the bloodiest coup in the history of mankind; a coup which was triggered by the West in 1965.

Since the coup, Malaysia has flatly refused to openly criticize anything about Indonesia: from murdering 2 million people in 1965, to the genocide in East Timor, as well as the on-going genocide in occupied West Papua. And of course, no word about the monstrous destruction of Indonesian nature, as something similar, although not as extreme, has been taking place in Malaysia itself.


Now, Malaysia feels depressed, and looks depressing.

Here, in this essay, on purpose, I do not talk much about the previous political era, and about the return of “Doctor M.” to power. Nor do I write about who used to sponsor Anwar Ibrahim, and who then decided that it is unwise, for now, to sponsor Anwar, shouting that it is time to give “another chance to Doctor M”. Let me just say that almost all these decisions came from abroad.

Let me recall, however, how most of the foreign-sponsored members of the so-called Malaysian opposition were determinedly supporting the totally discredited neo-liberal Anwar Ibrahim, when he was a ‘Washington’s favorite’. And they dropped him precisely when the marching order arrived from far away Europe and the US. Doctor M whom they “fought” so determinedly against, but of course for a fee, suddenly deserved a “second chance”, when they were told that he does, by their “handlers”. It all happened so openly, so shamelessly, and so predictably.

Yes, Malaysia is a sad country. Two of its wide-body passenger jets went down, killing hundreds of people and ruining one of the proudest airlines in Asia, but no one here truly investigates, how and why it occurred. It is not a fully taboo topic, but it is definitely semi-taboo.

Almost no one is investigating the past, either. Things are hushed up, hidden, not unlike in the neighboring Indonesia. Of course, the horrors that have been taking place in Indonesia are incomparably greater in comparison to the ‘mild devilishness’ which happened in Malaysia. But still… It took a Sri Lankan born author, Lloyd Fernando, to describe the religious ‘riots’ in Malaysia; the 1969 killings and wave of torture unleashed against non-Muslims in his powerful novel “Green is The Color”. Locals would never dare.

And who really questions in the open that bizarre, racist arrangement which has been governing Malaysia for so many decades? Here, the slight Muslim majority (bumiputera) has many more rights than the highly productive Chinese group, as well as deeply discriminated against Indians. Bumiputera (children of the land) somehow does not extend to original people living in Borneo.

In Malaysia, there are different laws for Muslims and non-Muslims. Here, a Malay person is “born Muslim”, by definition. He or she cannot change his or her fate. It is a simply grotesque reality.

And try to address it, try to criticize! You would be finished in no time, if you live in Malaysia.


But back to the “sadness of Malaysia”. That’s where I wanted to begin and end this essay.

Things did not go well. Doctor M’s plans never really materialize.

Petronas Towers remained the tallest building only for a few years, and even the fountains in front of them went on an austerity regime and began working only in the evenings.

The concert hall below now feels increasingly small, for such a sprawling city. Now it is also compromising. There are more and more cheap pop shows performed behind its lavish doors; and there are less and less great performances.

The ‘flagship’ KLCC Mall suffers from constantly broken escalators, and its once prestigious art gallery is closed, almost half of the time.

The Formula-1 circuit in Sepang closed down in 2017.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) has become a traveler’s nightmare, with inefficient staff, terrible lines, unnecessary double or even triple security checks, fingerprinting, photographing and other excessive inconveniences to the passengers.

Public transportation has survived only in Kuala Lumpur and its greater area. Elsewhere, there were countless projects, and monstrously costly failed plans to build monorails, trams, and an urban rail: from Malacca, Georgetown, Johor Bahru, to Putrajaya.

Cyberjaya never managed to ‘fly’, or to compete with Singapore. Nothing great came from its research facilities. Only second-rate scientists settled there.

As in the much bigger Indonesia, Malaysia could not give birth to even one single great writer, scientist or thinker.


In smaller towns, the situation is even more pathetic. Kuching was celebrating the fact that the long postponed light rail project will soon start being constructed. But the 2nd era of Dr. M has begun. Countless public works have been stopped. What was already there, like the only existing public railroad in Borneo, which originates in Kota Kinabalu, has been castrated, its service reduced to two runs per day.

Why? So, just as in Indonesia and Thailand, private vehicles could be force-sold to the citizens, so gas could be burned, and corporations could make billions from building new roads, further ruining the natural environment as well as the urban areas.

And those well-funded Malaysian intellectuals? As mentioned earlier in this essay, they began glorifying the highway-builders in their books, even in novels. Coincidence? I will leave it up to you to decide!

Dr. M. torpedoed many grand projects previously signed with China. That was most likely the deal that was made behind the closed doors: the “new” government would enjoy peace with the West. London and Washington will stop trashing the old man and his coalition. Local NGOs and Malaysian artists and ‘intellectuals’ paid by the Western organizations, institutions and governments will scale down or even entirely stop their criticism. In exchange, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will be almost entirely kicked out of Malaysia, or at least, thoroughly castrated.

This is of course an absolutely horrible deal for Malaysia, but it appears that for as long as this government is in place, the trend is here to stay. After all, ‘it is all about China, isn’t it?’ At least for the West and its dependencies.

Everything has somehow failed in Malaysia, but especially those dreams about the building of a great, proud and productive nation.

I filmed in Kota Kinabalu, recently. Two years ago, there was an attempt to build a boardwalk, a public area facing the sea. You know, a small replica of those grand waterfronts that one can see in Latin America, South Africa, Europe, and of course in China, and even in the Gulf. Now, with the new government, even that tiny public space was privatized; rented to some businesswoman from Kuala Lumpur. She fenced it off, put some kitsch figures and a tiny shack with a “horror show” performance, and began charging an entry fee of RM5 (US1.25) per person.

I asked the cashier how she felt about this corporate takeover of a stunning public space?

She did not understand. I asked about savage capitalism in Malaysia; she had no idea what I was talking about.

Later, I asked several of my Malaysian friends about the ruined land, which has been unbearably scarred by the oil palm plantations (almost half of the world’s production), or by mines and other terrible ventures. They refused to comment, at least on the record. Reason: “Too dangerous”. “They all have families”.

I talked to the indigenous people of Borneo, in Sabah and Sarawak. They did talk. About brutality, about being forced to convert, religiously. About people who were killed, who disappeared.

I talked to people in Papua New Guinea and from the Solomon Islands, where the Malaysian logging companies had been committing crimes against humanity, including rapes, torture and sexual abuse of children. I described my finding in my book – Oceania.

But this is just an essay, not an investigative report full of names and numbers, about a country which I used to love, but which has collapsed, sold itself, and reduced itself to a gloomy mediocrity.

Malaysia was set to take off, to fly, to show the way for so many other countries of the world.

But its people, its ‘elites’ and ‘intellectuals’, decided to put their personal interests first. They helped to re-introduce the mentality of a colonized nation.

“Go to hell with your aid!” The Indonesian President Sukarno screamed into the face of the US Ambassador in Jakarta. As a result, Sukarno was overthrown, and 2 million Indonesians were killed – the rest was frightened into insanity, and then brainwashed.

Malaysia never truly rebelled. It never went from one extreme to other, from pride to slavery. Its people never refused the aid (or payment for services provided) from the West. They survived, as a result. But have they ever truly lived?

Malaysia has never really experienced real freedom and exaltation from moving forward, on its own, without looking over its shoulder, and without fear.


[First published by 21 Century Wire]

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Five of his latest books are “China Belt and Road Initiative: Connecting Countries, Saving Millions of Lives”, China and Ecological Cavillation with John B. Cobb, Jr., Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism, a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter. His Patreon

(Republished from 21 Century Wire Exclusive by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Indonesia, Malaysia, Neoliberalism 
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  1. Svevlad says:

    There’s something called the “rayah mentality”

    As defined by Jovan Cvijić:

    The characteristics of rayah personality syndrome are: timidity, fatalism, double-toungedness, malice, untrustworthyness, pragmatism, cunning, egoism, wariness, blind subservience, humility towards the powerful and cruelty towards the weak, as well as moral mimicry.

    I noticed even before that this kind of behavior was present in the Malay for basically it’s entire history.

    It also means that it’s unfixable, as long as there’s nobody that doesn’t have that problem. Sadly, only by settling a minority that doesn’t have those characteristics can the problem be fixed – there is nobody in power do discourage such bullshit, because those countries have a literal 100% rayah mentality rate, making the entire nation probably irredeemable

    Sadly, the west is becoming very much like that, which means that they’re taking a one-way ticket to hell in real life, since literally nobody normal likes such people (and they shouldn’t)

  2. This is so stupid.

    For the author, non-whites only exist to confront “imperialism”.

    Understandably non-whites themselves are less interested in being conscripted t0 fight in Vltchek’s “anti-imperialist” fever dream.

    This amusing exchange sums it all up:

    I asked the cashier how she felt about this corporate takeover of a stunning public space?

    She did not understand. I asked about savage capitalism in Malaysia; she had no idea what I was talking about.


    Why would she give a shit?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Tazzy
  3. @Thorfinnsson

    “Sir, this is a Wendy’s.”

    • LOL: Thorfinnsson
  4. Tazzy says:

    Agree completely , what a terrible article , an offended Marxist spilling his bile because white folks still have some influence in the world. I prefer mad , crazy mixed up Indonesia to staid boring Malaysia .

  5. anon[112] • Disclaimer says:

    Yawn. All of Vltcheks articles read the same, just change the name of the nation in question.

  6. “the genocide in West Papua, where Indonesia has managed to murder around 500,000 people on behalf of Western multi-national companies and governments.”

    Why would Western companies and governments want to do this?

  7. Liza says:

    Nightclubs were packed

    Gee, what a lovely, satisfying sign of a happy population.

  8. @YetAnotherAnon

    I suppose they could support the rebels like they did in East Timor and still get control of the resources. Andre seems to support all the various separatist rebels in Indonesia. It looks like he’d like to see Indonesia break up yet keep China and Russia intact.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  9. @Commentator Mike

    I see, didn’t know there was an ongoing conflict. Seems to be one in most bits of Indonesia. The author could have mentioned that.

    God alone knows why the UN handed it to them when the Dutch left. Indeed, how on earth did they end up with Java and Sumatra PLUS most of Borneo, Sulawesi and half of New Guinea? I guess because that’s what the Dutch had.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  10. @YetAnotherAnon

    What Andre refers to as West Papua is also called Irian Jaya in Indonesia and there has been a long standing conflict there:

    All of Papua island seems to be inhabited by one race of many tribes, distinct from the rest of Indonesia. The other Indonesians are mainly divided by their religions: Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and animist, and by their many local languages, but don’t seem to differ much racially. Andre must know a lot more about it and maybe he’ll enlighten us sometime how all this came about that they all ended up in one country. But breaking up Indonesia would set a bad precedent for many other nations and the UN could eventually end up with thousands of members.

  11. Take a trip to Terranganu and chill out.

    The oil money has shrunk. That is the main problem but as you suggest, Malaysia’s HDI is high. They will sort themselves out despite being the world’s most racist state, informal terms. My brother’s in-laws come from Dong. They still make trips to the UK and New Zealand. You do however have a point. Several of them like reading, one writes. Nevertheless, their culture position is Islam more than anything Malaysian.

  12. Anonymous[321] • Disclaimer says:

    Malaysia is basically ruled by a Chinese minority elite, but I suppose that doesn’t count as imperialism to Vltchek because Chinese aren’t white/Western?

  13. @Anonymous

    How many ethnic Chinese in this painting ?

  14. @YetAnotherAnon

    Can’t say I know the facts of this case mentioned – but it was absolutely done in East Timor for no other reason than geopolitics. You ever read declassified intelligence document..??? Even more than that of ethnic Chinese were killed in Indonesia – supoorted by the CIA… Again that is not conspiracy theory either… Declassified docs. To many in power – including the west – those lives are simply rounding errors. Truly pawns on the board indeed.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  15. @Showmethereal

    The CIA did not support the massacre of ethnic Chinese in Indonesia. What a load of BS.

    That was an internal beef due to crony capitalism supporting an unpopular dictator and completely spontaneous.

    This happens when an alien and contemptuous market dominant minority rules treats their host population like farm animals…whether Chinese Hakkan merchants in Southeast Asia or Koreans in the LA black ghetto.

    Also, unlike Jews, Chinese IQ skews towards left-brained intelligence without the verbal dexterity to control the electronic/press mass media or crouch their profits behind a facade of nationalism. They’re simply callous and rude shopkeeper types who treat Malays like the dim beasts of burden that they are-I use Malay broadly to describe SEA as a race.

    Americans endorse Chinese merchant control over SEA economies. They lower the need for US AID because although the Chinese pay Malays slave wages Malays can at least have some sort of job, however worthless and menial. Southeast Asia does not became a combination Islamic Caliphate slash African famine zone because the locals are so staggeringly stupid and lethargic that they cannot run any sort of economy.

    Also, the money remissions to China keeps Chinese aggression in check. Americans also like that.

    So the idea that the CIA would simply want the Chinese merchant cartels dead for the sheer malice of it is ridiculous.

    Indonesia, of all SEA countries, has no strategic value to the US. If anything, diminished Chinese influence results in more Islamic insurgency.

  16. @Anonymous

    That is false politically as someone else on the thread pointed out to you. Yes – the ethnic Chinese are the wealthiest – but just like in Indonesia – when the natives want to riot amd kill ethnic Chinesd – they do. When the govenrment wants to extort the wealthy Chinese they do (that is why many hid money in Hong Kong when it was under British rule – not sure about now). Colonizers are the ones who do the killing and extorting – so you have it backwards. The only question is why they didnt all leave when Singapore was formed. You do know how Singapore was formed – right..?

    • Replies: @Anon
  17. @Jeff Stryker


    I’m not sure which massacres Showmethereal was referring to. There was the massacre of the million communists during the takeover by Suharto over Sukarno in 1965 (The Year of Living Dangerously movie) and then the later regular pogroms against the Chinese minority (could even be termed anti-capitalist riots as well as ethnic as the Chinese victims were mainly shopkeepers and businessmen and the rioters poor Indos). I don’t know to what extent the communists supporting Sukarno were also Chinese, but in the Malay Emergency (1948-1960) the Brits fought against the Malayan National Liberation Army and the Malayan Communist Party, and although these were multiethnic, I get the impression that the Chinese were disproportionately represented, especially in the leadership.

    I also agree that the CIA would not have been involved in the regular anti-Chinese pogroms but they would have orchestrated the coup against Sukarto which resulted in those huge massacres. Maybe this is what Showmethereal was referring to, although I haven’t read the CIA documents he mentions.

  18. @Commentator Mike

    He seemed to be referring to the 1997 Chinese massacre when Suharto died. A number of American males, marred to Chinese women, were also killed.

    Malays are a pretty screwed group of people. They are not very intelligent on average, with an IQ of about 85. They’re prone to addiction-gambling, alcoholism, drug addiction which has fueled the Philippines drug war. The women are promiscuous and often prostitutes. Single parents are common. They are often dishonest and untrustworthy. They have zero impulse control and so corruption runs rampant.

    Islam suppresses some of this while in the Philippines the Spanish encouraged it.

  19. @Jeff Stryker

    You people are so naive its not even funny. It was supposedly to stop the spread of communism. It was well known in south east asia… Only recently declassified documents show SOME of what went on. material and intelligence support was given.

  20. @Commentator Mike

    I am referring to the so called anti communism purge… A link is posted above. Though it was well known it isnt hard to find. Singapore – who is ethnically majority Chinese. They purged out the communists without having to kill any. But they also purged CIA agents too… Read the memoirs of Lee Kwan Yew to understand how they did it. It was an evil blood lust that happened in Indonesia — supported by the CIA. If you dont trust the link above – simply type it into a Yahoo or Bing browser (they censor searches less than Google does).

    • Thanks: Commentator Mike
    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  21. @Jeff Stryker

    Oh and I left this off from the last comment that had the link to the news story…. You really think the CIA cares about lives??? Do you know how much bloodletting was sponsored in every country in the hemisphere below Texas..???
    As to the idea that southeast asia holds no strategic importance…. Is that serious???? So why was the Vietnam War fought??? Why are there so many US bases there? Why was Marco allowed to remain in power and then flee from his own Filipino people to retire in the US??? Why is Vietnam being courted now??? Where is most of the “pivot to Asia” taking place???? Just as it is now to thwart China – back then it was to thwart both China and the Soviet Union. Unlike the Hong Kong and Taiwan kids today – ethnic Chinese elsewhere still claimed it as the motherland. In Singapore LKY had to “fight” to promote English because although gone for 2 and 3 generations they still wanted to keep their mother tongue – and they hated the foreigners who invaded the motherland. My guess as to why the CIA would join the Indonesians in being so vindictive…. Even today their are those who hate the Chinese because they intervened in the Korean War and killed Americans. You can see the comments sometimes in forums like these. Well back then the feeling was even more palpable. If you think people attached to the military and intelligence agencies dont have vindictive streaks in them – then I dont know what to tell you. You probably believe in the saint hood of the Founding Fathers too.

    • Agree: d dan
    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  22. @Commentator Mike

    And just to clarify – it was State Dept and Embassy documents that were revealed. The CIA tried to block the realease. It doesnt take clairvoyance to figure outnwhy the CIA would have wanted to block them. I can almost guarantee it isnt to protect the Indonesian army nor the Muslim militias

  23. @Showmethereal

    OK, so you were referring to the 1965 Suharto coup against Sukarno. I always thought the USA (and its CIA) was behind that and the newly released documents just confirm what has long been known to many. I thought many more were killed than even that Guardian article states. Jeff was referring to another much later event which was mainly ethnic and not political in nature and with far lower casualty figures.

    Malaysia got its independence towards the end of the anti-communist Malayan Emergency, but that was mostly a Brit anti-communist operation.

    Singapore’s independence came after that and its creation had both ethnic and anti-communist elements.

    If you think people attached to the military and intelligence agencies dont have vindictive streaks in them – then I dont know what to tell you.

    I believe they do and that’s why many conflicts keep resurfacing as each side seeks revenge for previous losses. The US and NATO countries were gleeful at the sorry fate of Colonel Gaddafi as he had unceremoniously sent the Brits and Yanks packing from their bases in his 1969 coup as well as kicking out the remnants of the Italian colonists. Hate breeds hate, and revenge breeds revenge, and so it goes on.

    • Agree: d dan
  24. @Showmethereal

    I lived did business in the Philippines long enough to know that the US government has deep ties with the Chinese-Filipino business community. Personally, I think it is a waste. American tax payers have to send a bunch of US AID to the dumb Malays because Hokkien Chinese won’t pay them a living wage.

    But if the Chinese had never shown up in Southeast Asia at all, it would be worse. There would be no economy at all.

    The ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia for their part want some protection from the US from the old Mother Country. Henry Sy’s profits would be cut if China invaded the Philippines.

    As for historical resentment, it is the Chinese who are still fuming about Boxing Rebellions and British colonialism. Though Yew in Singapore resented the Japanese more than the Americans because of WWII.

    The CIA had nothing to do with the 1997 Indonesian massacre (I’m not talking about the 1965 massacres from the Mel Gibson film) or the anti-Chinese Malaysian massacre of 1969. Those were internal beefs, born out of resentment towards an alien high IQ merchant race treating the demographic majority with open contempt.

    You see the same parallels between “sons of the soil” and the merchant groups everywhere.
    There’s also the vicious competition with other merchant groups-Chinese and Indians in Singapore, Chinese and Spanish Mestizos in the Philippines.

    Indonesian vindictiveness towards Chinese is born out of Chinese contempt for Malays. Living in the Philippines, I was stunned how open the Chinese-Filipinos were about this…they were openly contemptuous of Malays.

    • Replies: @Showmethereal
  25. @Commentator Mike

    You’re quite right, I’m referring to later events.

    They are the same wherever you have a market-dominant minority. For example, Jamaicans in UK and blacks in Los Angeles have had the same reaction to Indians and Koreans respectively. One group is a high IQ merchant race and treats the demographic majority with open contempt. The other is jobless, penniless and living in squalor.

    Chinese formed Singapore because they did not want to belong to a backwater country.

  26. @Jeff Stryker


    Chinese formed Singapore because they did not want to belong to a backwater country.

    I think it would have been fair if the Chinese had got Penang too. Still Singapore is multiethnic and apparently with increasing population and influence of the subcontinental diaspora.

  27. @Commentator Mike

    I agree with this comment.

    Well yes there were several instances discussed in the threads. In terms of CIA involvement – yes – I was talking about the 60’s. But otherwise in both Malaysia and Indonesia there were other anti Chinese riots etc. A lot of that because as a minority the Chinese “control” so much of the economy.

    But as to CIA involvement in the 60’s – that was the main one. Like many things – including East Timor – they may not have started it – but they certainly exploited it and made it worse.

  28. @Jeff Stryker

    Did you just claim Jamaicans in the UK are jobless and penniless??? I’m convinced you have no clue what you are saying. Even in the US – black Jamaicans are well known to be higher achievers than black Americans. You have got to be kidding. As to your comment about how black Jamaicans look at Indians and Chinese. Again that is strange. Yes – blacks in the US do feel that way about Koreans – but black Jamaicans are a different culture. They more resent Chinese and look down on Indians in Jamaica. The Chinese were the business class and the Indians were the cheap labor. Jamaicans are used to dealing with Indians before they get to the UK. So if anything it would be more of a surprise. I have seen these things first hand. I wonder where you get your ideas. Jamaica itself is full of huge houses from Jamaicans who made lots of English pounds and retire back home like kings. I really wonder where you get the penniless and jobless ideas.

  29. @Jeff Stryker

    Let me ask you a question – why wouldn’t Chinese still resent the loss in the Boxer Rebellion. Whose house was invaded???? Who told McCarthy to approach the Yalu River? In fact it was colonization that made the Chinese say “we’re not taking this anymore – stay away from our border”. That is the perfect definition of “tone deaf”.

    As to you claiming the CIA was not involved in the ethnic cleansing attempt in Indonesia – then explain why the CIA tried to stop the release of the embassy and State Dept documents. Simple answer- they don’t want anyone asking more questions. When the State Dept sent back word of what was going on and even admitted giving names to the Indonesians – you think the CIA sat there and said “hey guys that’s cool – let us know how it turns out”. I bet you believe there was no involvement in East Timor. I bet you believe there was no involvement in the “disappeared” in Argentina. I bet you believe there is no involvement in Chile. You brought up Jamaica in another comment – I bet you believe there was no involvement in the 1970’s that turned Jamaica from a safe and high growth newly independent country into one with the highest murder rates in the world.
    I can tell you the CIA didn’t start any of the above.. But it CERTAINLY exploited them and made them worse. Aside from declassified documents – former CIA agents have come forward exposing their role in all of the above.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  30. @Showmethereal

    The Boxer Rebellion was British and not American. You’re lumping whites together but just like Japan and China, the US and Britain are different countries.

    The anti-Chinese massacre was not ethnic cleansing based upon some racial ideologue, it was simply resentment and envy and the unwise decision of the Chinese to get mixed up with an unpopular dictator vis-a-vis crony capitalism.

    Chinese are an unlovely market-dominant minority who unlike Jews are too left-brained to blend in or pretend-assimilate. They’re openly rude and particularly contemptuous to Malays, who, although Asian, they regard as inferior to whites (Whom they respect as formidable adversaries).

    So the Malays occasionally get tired of the squalor and the low wages and lose what little civilizational restraint they have.

    It is not in the interest of the CIA to kill Chinese ethnic merchant cartels in Southeast Asia. Not at all. And I don’t believe they would.

    Only a non-white would believe that.

    Jamaicans discovered crack cocaine in the seventies. They were chilled out on the herb, but something about their DNA and the old cocoa plant…

  31. @Jeff Stryker


    US and Britain are different countries

    Yes but they often act in in concert, especially their agents as part of the Five Eyes. Look up the belligerents in the Boxer Rebellion – all the whites acted together and even the Japs joined them:

    As far as I know, the first wave of Jamaican immigrants in the UK, the so-called Windrush generation, all had jobs and were decent folks, but there was widespread unemployment among their descendants, many of whom turned to drugs and crime. Later also came some Yardie criminals direct from Jamaica to join in the spoils. But with subsequent, even greater, mass immigration from Pakistan, Bangladesh (although there were many of them in the UK even earlier) and Africa (especially the Nigerians), I think the Jamaican Yardies have lost ground to these newer and more vicious gangs.

    It’s well established that the CIA was instrumental in arming and backing mobs against the socialist Manley during the street war in Kingston some four decades ago.

    • Replies: @Showmethereal
  32. @Jeff Stryker

    The Boxer Rebellion was not just the British. The rest of what you said is just opinion and not fact. the FACT is the US documents SHOW it was involved in the killing of Chinese in Indonesia. It was there in black and white. Even worse is the stuff that wasn’t revealed. As to the other – stuff I don’t even know what to say. But guess what – the Jamaican drug gangs worked for Edward Seaga – who was Washington’s chosen to take over Jamaica. They were supplied with guns and training too!! They were allowed to do so in the same way Manuel Noriega was – until he was no longer useful. That’s a fact.

  33. @Commentator Mike

    Indeed. A few things this Jeff Stryker said were suspect. How could he seriously not know it was more than just the British in the Boxer Rebellion. He must think it was only them selling opium too. Must not know how FDR’s grandfather got rich… Or pretends not to know.

    As to the Jamaican part… Lester Coke wzs to be extradited to the US and threatened to tell all about the CIA links with the Labour Party in Jamaica and how they were able to traffick cocaine and guns wkth no problem. He was burned to death in his jail cell before extradition. His 2nd in command Vivian Blake eventually after many years agreed to be extradited. Served his sentence and was deported. He announced he was going to write a book of how the CIA trained and armed them… He died within a year – cant recall if it was liver or heart failure.

  34. Pjkkerr says:

    I read “no criticism of western imperialism” and thought “but artsy literary bbc type folk in the uk do little else but criticise western imperialism and its legacy.” So what gives in Malasia?

  35. Anon[681] • Disclaimer says:

    The only question is why they didnt all leave when Singapore was formed.

    One reason was because many wealthy Malaysian Chinese owned land. Many came from China to Malaysia as “indentured servants” to work as rubber tappers and tin miners. The British brought them over because they thought the Chinese were good workers. They also brought over many Indians to work as public servants and to work on the plantation after the Chinese laborers paid off their debt and became merchants. Being industrious and frugal, many Chinese grew wealthy and bought up land when the British left; they became landowners and hired all the Indians to work for them on the farm. Landowners everywhere loath to part with their land, esp. those who own farm land.

    Many who arrived as indentured servants were also not well educated, neither were their children who grew up helping on the farm or in the family business, and Singapore, being severely lacking in land, would only be good for manufacturing or finance, so if you have little education or no head for business, the choice was either to work as a factory drone with fixed low income or own your own land and make something out of it.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  36. Anon[681] • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t know how long ago this writer lived in Malaysia. I left Malaysia in the early 80s as a teen. Back in the 70s and 80s KL was almost all Chinese run. The Malays mostly lived in the villages on the east coast of West Malaysia and were poor fishermen and farmers. Then the 1969 race riots happened, many Chinese were slaughtered by the Malays for being too rich and successful. Soon after Mahathir became PM and promised to “rebalance” the country’s wealth in favor of Malays. He encouraged the Malays to move to KL by giving them vast preferences for government jobs and university admissions. Malay students could get all Cs and Ds and still get into University of Malaya, back then the most prestigious university in Malaysia. And they get “assigned” to engineering and medicine. Chinese kids with all As either get relegated to lower ranked universities or were only allowed to major in Chemistry or sociology. Many smart Chinese kids left, mostly to Singapore but also to Taiwan, HK, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Some went to UK, Canada, US.

    Malay youth started pouring into KL in the 70s. That was when Malaysia was probably most “pro-Western”. All things British were worshiped. Many Malay youth fell into a life of drugs, drinking and other city life trappings. I remembered them they all wore modern clothing. Then Mahathir decided the West is too decadent and started a “Look East” policy, hailing Japan as the country to emulate.

    I went back for a visit in the mid 90s and everything seemed to have changed. All the Malays had gone back to wearing traditional Islamic garb, hijabs were everywhere. SA style Wahabism had swept through the country. Three years ago I visited again . This time KL is thoroughly modernized but burqa wearing Arabs were everywhere in KL. I was told many Arabs have taken up long term resident apartments in KL. They love it there because of the weather, it rains almost everyday, as it rarely rains in SA. They also loved the relative freedom, alcohol freely available everywhere, nightclubs, gambling, all things banned in SA. Many Iranians also used KL as a transit stop to get to US and Europe due to visa free travel for all Muslims. Although majority Sunni, Malaysia maintains friendly ties with all Shia countries like Iran.

    Malaysia’s problem begins and ends with the racial discrimination law, written into the Constitution by the British colonials before they left. It has caused massive racial strife and brain drain among the Chinese and Indian population, to the benefit of Singapore. America should wise up about race based affirmative action by learning what happened to Malaysia. I watch with increased exasperation at what the left is trying to do to this country with its push for multiculturalism, diversity, affirmative action and identity politics. Those were the very things that tore apart Malaysia. Now these things are doing the same to the US. Say what you will about Mahathir, he was right about George Soros and his ilk. He saw through them a long time ago.

  37. @Anon

    Well yes – it was more of a rhetorical question… Of course all couldn’t go – but most would ask individuals why they didn’t whenever anti Chinese sentiment rears up in Malaysia.

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