Everything is not what it seems. At least, not when one knows the intricacies.
To be a public figure, one need to have a thick skin. To be “in the arena,” to borrow Theodore Roosevelt’s phrase, one must be willing to suffer critics, questions, and opposition. If one is a professional and if one is to succeed, then one have to do it while forging ahead, and likely ignoring those who oppose oneself. One would be vindicated by one’s work and its God’s honest truth. If, on the other hand, one is thin-skinned, or a charlatan, or a liar — well, odds are one would lash out, make threats, and make a fool of oneself.
Former American Ambassador to Malaysia John R. Malott has certainly been lashing out against Malaysia, lobbying constantly on behalf of his friend Anwar Ibrahim, making all sorts of threats against the New Straits Times and Utusan Malaysia, and in general he has seemed more interested in drawing attention to his oversized ego than to facts and figures.
In fact, Ambassador Malott has made quite a spectacle of himself here in Malaysia of late. The trouble began when a young American journalist named Rachel Motte posted an essay on Malott’s ridiculous tirade against Malaysia, in which he made wild and unsubstantiated allegations suggesting that racial tensions in 2011 in Malaysia were now worse than they were back in 1969 (yes, he really said that!) and claimed that the Government was actively working to create racial violence.
Motte, who like everybody else in Malaysia has noticed that for years now Malott has been frequently taking the side of former-abuse-of-power-convict Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim on every issue under the sun, then suggested that maybe he was not so wise to have sympathy for the man he defends so often and with such vigor in the U.S. press. Apparently Malott objected to the content of Motte’s opinion, and certainly his ego seemed bruised when she described him as Anwar’s pet, and when the NST and Utusan Malaysia published the article he immediately took to the blogs in Malaysia and issued nasty threats of legal action against the NST, and bragged that the Motte article he disliked had swiftly disappeared from the American news site where it was posted.
We can only guess why Malott did this, because he then turned his attention to outlets in our own country that re-published Motte’s piece — most notably, Utusan Malaysia and the New Straits Times. The Ambassador’s language was crude and threatening, and incredibly, he took the time to post an essay on the topic at the Anwar-allied Din Merican blog. Close to Anwar is Din Merican, and close to Anwar is John Malott. Just a coincidence? Reading his hysterical scream for attention gives some insight into what he communicated to both publications, and raises all sorts of questions about what it is that actually motivates this angry old man, a retired American civil servant who perhaps has nothing better to do with his time than sit in his own house in California and use his poison pen to vent his anger and frustration, and maybe more.
“I would be well within my rights to sue the NST, Utusan Malaysia, and others for libel,” wrote Malott, who specifically objected to the contention that in defending Anwar, he defended a known anti-Semite with ties to terror-supporting organizations. That is funny, does Malott not realize that even the respected American Jewish group B’nai B’rith last year called on the Obama Administration and the US Congress to cut all ties to Anwar precisely because they were offended by his statements against the Jews? And as for ties to terror-supporting organizations, did Malott forget that Anwar is a co-founder of the IIIT in Virginia, which has been investigated by US authorities for being a terror-supporting organization? This is all preposterous, according to Malott, because, “[a]s a former ambassador to Malaysia, I had access to intelligence reports, and I can say categorically that Anwar does not have ties to any terrorist organizations.” Well that is nice to know, except that Malott stopped being the US Ambassador back in 1998, some 13 years ago, and the FBI raid on the Anwar-linked IIIT in Virginia came after the horrible events of 9/11 and US investigations of Anwar’s foundation were documented in reporting for years by none other than The Washington Post, including a seminal article in 2004.
Malott also objected to being described as Anwar’s “pet” — but never actually clarified what his relationship with Anwar Ibrahim really is. Is he a friend, admirer, supporter, wannabe member of Anwar’s political entourage, or a paid consultant, lobbyist, or just a frustrated fellow who has some personal grudge against Malaysia and therefore sides with Anwar because he Anwar likes to attack his own country as well, especially when he goes to Singapore or Washington on one of his well organised public speaking trip and employs lobbyists in Washington? Does Anwar also consult Mr. Malott for advice? Or does Mr. Malott consult Anwar for advice?
Malott then commits an act of amazing arrogance: he names former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, and former Vice President of the United States Al Gore as men who will “support and defend me” in court should he choose to sue Malaysian publications for libel!
Do these eminent men really know that John Malott is dragging them into his fight? He feels quite free to invoke them — yet one never sees them invoke him. After all, they are all famous, but Malott is just another forgotten former civil servant, with nothing in his 40-year career that will even result in him being a minor footnote to history. What an ego! Malott’s pathetic diatribes against Malaysia make him look like a nobody with a big inferiority complex, and an even bigger (but unfulfilled) ego. Is the former Ambassador suffering delusions of grandeur, or is he simply undisciplined and desperate enough to bluff with big names?
We know that Paul Wolfowitz and Al Gore are buddies of Anwar. But do they know that Malott is shouting that they would come and testify at a libel trial in Malaysia if he filed a suit? And if they do know, are they all plotting with Anwar? Or is Malott just a bluffer, and a name-dropper?
Let’s cut to the chase here, and call Malott’s bluff point by point. We believe each of these statements to be true, and we state them not as opinion, but as fact:
• John Malott does not have any secret U.S. intelligence as of this year, 2011, that he can publicly produce and that exonerates Anwar Ibrahim from ties to organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood or the IIIT that have been investigated for supporting terrorist philosophy or groups. Whatever he thinks he knows cannot date past 1998 when he left his position as ambassador in Malaysia.
• John Malott is well aware of Anwar Ibrahim’s anti-Semitic rhetoric and seems to want to ignore the B’nai B’rith condemnation and dozens of articles in the United States over the past year that make clear Anwar has had to apologise to American Jews for his remarks, including an article by Jackson Diehl last year in The Washington Post.
• John Malott is well aware that Anwar consorts with ideologues like Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual father of the Muslim Brotherhood, who is on the record as having said that Adolf Hitler was “a divine instrument of Allah.”
• John Malott cannot actually call upon Paul Wolfowitz or Al Gore to defend him. And if he can, then let him produce Wolfowitz and Gore and the others on the record in public to defend him. Otherwise he should shut up. That’s right. It is time to call Malott’s bluff: Either put up or shut up, Mr. Malott!
• John Malott does not, in fact, have any viable libel case against anyone. And if he does, let him sue the NST and Utasan for libel, because that is what a real man with real truth and conviction does: he acts rather than threatens. Only weak cowards tend to threaten. People with proof tend to act. So which is it, Mr. Malott?
And finally, let us be clear:
• It is worth asking the question – not making any accusation but asking Mr. Malott to answer one simple question: Hey Mr. Malott: Are you in the direct or indirect pay of Anwar Ibrahim, as a “credible” propagandist for American audiences for Anwar’s neverending PR campaign. Yes or no? What is the truth, Mr. Malott?
The Ambassador is just too transparent in his constant harangues against Malaysia, and he is shockingly undisciplined and undiplomatic in his engagement. Public figures engaged for such work — and there are many more than we like to think, dear reader — must have the fortitude to do the work and move on.
Malott, as befits a man who has forgotten every life lesson that got him to his station, is showing himself too delicate, and too sensitive, to be a good investment for PKR’s propaganda money –if that is the case. And if he comes forward and tells us he is not being paid, then perhaps he can explain why he constantly blogs about Malaysia, having spent only three years of his 40-year career as a bureaucrat and diplomat in Malaysia. Why not blog about other places? Why only Malaysia, Malott?
Rest assured, he is either obsessed with Malaysia or there is some other explanation for his strange behaviour. Here’s an experiment: Go onlone and google John Malott’s name. Plug it into Google News, too. When you see the results, keep in mind that this is a man who served the United States in many more places than Malaysia: he also served in Japan, India, China, and Sri Lanka. He also is prominent in U.S.-Asian affairs, especially with respect to ASEAN and Japan. He also has a record of consulting with diverse D.C.-based international-affairs groups. “Consulting!”
Yet when you do this “googling” experiment, the only thing you’ll ever see Malott writing and speaking on …. is attacking Malaysia and defending Anwar Ibrahim. Now why is that, Mr. Malott? Why?
Is it is because John Malott is bought and paid for? Is that the reason? Or not?
Again we repeat what we have said above: Ambassador John Malott served America in our country for only three years in the 1990s. Some 13 years later, he remains deeply fixed upon Malaysia — and not, it seems, because he loved it here. Now he has made a pastime, in his declining years, of attacking our government and behaving like a mouthpiece for an opposition leader, and threatening to sue our press when they point it out. Well then. Let him. Come on Mr. Malott, do your best imitation of a tough guy. Malaysia’s press and journalists are not cowed by an old age pensioner whose constant poison pen drips with venom against our country.
If John Malott wishes to bully the Malaysian press out of telling the truth about him, and about the man who pays him, he’ll find we are made of sterner stuff than he’s used to. We aren’t impressed by a name-dropping opportunist. We’re impressed by the truth. And that’s the one thing John Malott seems to dislike the most. Come on Mr. Malott, tell us the truth. Who is really paying you? Nobody? Is all this spectacle just because you are bored and have nothing better to do in life?
Put up or shut up, Malott. And tell us what your real relationship with Mat King Leather is all about.