The Wall Street Journal Editorial (6th September 2017) is creating waves in the US and here in Malaysia of course. Titled ‘Trump’s Malaysia Swamp’ the Journal asks why Trump is inviting “a suspect in a corruption scandal that spans the globe?” into the White House?
The Wall Street Journal even suggests quite plainly that Trump cancel the meeting.
Here is the WSJ :
Trump’s Malaysia Swamp
By The Editorial Board
Wall Street Journal
Sept. 6, 2017
Did Tillerson tell his boss he’s repeating an Obama mistake?
A visit to the White House is a diplomatic plum that world leaders covet. So why is President Trump bestowing this honor on Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who . . .. is a suspect in a corruption scandal that spans the globe?
Mr. Najib will visit the White House next week for a presidential photo-op that could help him win the next general election and imperil Malaysia’s democracy.
This could set them up for a repeat of the way Mr. Najib humiliated Barack Obama.
- Mr. Najib oversaw the creation of 1MDB, a state-owned fund that was supposed to attract foreign investment.
- The U.S. Justice Department alleges that the Prime Minister and his associates looted the fund of $4.5 billion.
- The DOJ has filed civil lawsuits to freeze more than $1.6 billion of assets allegedly stolen from the fund.
- Five other nations are also investigating, and Singapore has convicted five financiers of money laundering and fraud.
- Mr. Najib hasn’t been charged and . . Malaysia’s Attorney General cleared him.
Mr. Obama cozied up to Mr. Najib . .when he made the first visit by a U.S. President in 60 years to Kuala Lumpur in April 2014. Eight months later, he invited Mr. Najib for a showy round of golf in Hawaii.
But that precedent is not consistent with Mr. Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” of Washington politics.
. . And shortly after Mr. Obama made nice with Mr. Najib, Frank White Jr. , who served as co-chair of President Obama’s re-election committee before becoming a lobbyist for Malaysia,sold a stake in a 1MDB-linked solar technology firm back to the fund for US$69 million (RM300 MILLION!!)
The benefits of communing with Mr. Najib aren’t obvious. .. .Mr. Najib isn’t likely to stop his strategic drift toward China. Keeping 1MDB afloat will require cash infusions, and China, eager to help fellow authoritarians, can deploy its One Belt, One Road slush fund. Mr. Najib can then buy off the opposition and consolidate power.
- If Malaysia slides into dictatorship, it will almost surely fall into Beijing’s orbit.
- The U.S. relationship depends on Malaysia remaining a viable democracy.
- That’s why helping Mr. Najib at this critical moment is a mistake.
Any embarrassment is better than giving a scandal-tainted leader a White House photo-op.
Obama was simply bought through his re-election campaign.
Frank White could have easily channelled some of those MILLIONS of Malaysian taxpayers money into the Obama campaign.
Why would Trump want to repeat Obama’s mistake?
MO1 is actually richer than Donald Trump.
MO1’s simple mind tells him that Malaysians are all stupid as well.
Now MO1 feels that perhaps Trump is equally stupid.
Why not? Trump has invited him into the White House.