PUTRAJAYA: The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has once again displayed a woeful lack of knowledge and understanding towards Malaysia and its history, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman (pic).
In an open letter to the New York-based daily reacting to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahimâ€™s commentary in WSJ, Anifah said voices of dissent that the PKR adviser claimed not to hear were dominant in Malaysiaâ€™s robust online news media.
â€œIf anyone doubts Malaysiansâ€™ fundamental liberties, they can easily see for themselves how free anyone is to criticise the Government on these news sites,â€ he said in an open letter to WSJ yesterday.
â€œIt is a pity that the WSJ has fallen for desperate, unfounded allegations by a politician and presented them as facts â€“ thereby taking sides in internal Malaysian politics,â€ he added.
In fact, Anifah said others had spoken positively about Malaysia recently.
â€œBloomberg rated Malaysia as the worldâ€™s fifth most promising emerging market in 2015.
â€œThe International Monetary Fundâ€™s latest report on our country was titled Favourable Prospects for Malaysiaâ€™s Diversified Economy.
â€œA Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations wrote: â€˜Malaysian political discourse is becoming far more open than it was even a decade ago.â€™
â€œAnd the ratings agency Fitch recently upgraded the outlook for Malaysia,â€ he added.
Anifah said the elections in Malaysia, which had been a democracy since independence in 1957, were fiercely contested, and the OppoÂsition won five out of the countryâ€™s 13 states in 2008.
Political discourse was vibrant and noisy, he added.
Last Thursday, Anwar, in his article published by WSJ, had criticised the Government for its strict controls on fundamental liberties.
He is serving the fifth month of a five-year sentence over a sodomy conviction. â€” Bernama