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Anifah Slams WSJ As Lacking Knowledge About Malaysia

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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 Ibrahim’s commentary in WSJ, Anifah said voices of dissent that the PKR adviser claimed not to hear were dominant in Malaysia’s robust online news media.

“If anyone doubts Malaysians’ fundamental liberties, they can easily see for themselves how free anyone is to criticise the Government on these news sites,” he said in an open letter to WSJ yesterday.

“It is a pity that the WSJ has fallen for desperate, unfounded allegations by a politician and presented them as facts – thereby taking sides in internal Malaysian politics,” he added.

In fact, Anifah said others had spoken positively about Malaysia recently.

“Bloomberg rated Malaysia as the world’s fifth most promising emerging market in 2015.

“The International Monetary Fund’s latest report on our country was titled Favourable Prospects for Malaysia’s Diversified Economy.

“A Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations wrote: ‘Malaysian political discourse is becoming far more open than it was even a decade ago.’

“And the ratings agency Fitch recently upgraded the outlook for Malaysia,” he added.

Anifah said the elections in Malaysia, which had been a democracy since independence in 1957, were fiercely contested, and the Oppo­sition won five out of the country’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. — Bernama

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