We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Comparison of two reports on the outcome of recent elections in Malaysia

by Ron Horn.

I was confronted this morning by two reports on the same subject, but with widely different interpretations. I am referring to these reports:
The subject was, as my title indicates, the recent elections in Malaysia. My knowledge of that country's political affairs is minimal--so, who to believe? To answer this, I had to engage in a quick critical examination of both reports. 

First, let me cite two summaries of the two general views regarding the elections. 
Despite the US mobilizing the summation of its media power and pouring millions of dollars into the opposition party, including the creation and perpetuation of fake-NGOs such as Bersih and the Merdeka Center, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak sailed to a comfortable victory in this year's general elections. The cheap veneer has begun peeling away from America's "democracy promotion" racket, leaving its proxies exposed and frantic, and America's hegemonic ambitions across Asia in serious question. 
For decades elections in the country have been nothing but a smoke screen for a regime that has designed its election laws to look and feel democratic, while, at its very core, remaining authoritarian. The National Front coalition has won every general election since 1957 thanks to, among others things, favorable constitutional reform, corruption, abuse of power, media control, electoral fraud and strong influence on the electoral commission and the electoral districts boundaries. Yet despite the National Front clout on Malaysian politics, in the last two elections the opposition has succeeded in narrowing the gap to unprecedented levels. 
Whereas Cartalucci celebrates the defeat of parties backed by Empire funders, Navarria celebrates the fact that these latter parties have gained support in the election.

Cartalucci's report provides abundant evidence of Empire funding behind important players in the election. For example, he cites a reference to the Empire's prime election weapon, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and its website that clearly reports on the latter's support for Merdeka Center for Opinion Research which both authors use to bolster their views. 

A reference that Navarria uses to support his view is a source from Reporters Without Borders. Thus, I decided to find out more about them by doing a quick examination on Wikipedia. By looking at the section entitled "Criticisms of RWB", I learned that this organization had a number of ties with right-wing organizations and it has been viewed favorably by well-known Empire agents such as Otto Reich.

While Navarria describes the present Malaysian government as "authoritarian" and the opposition parties as "the foundation of Malaysia’s new democratic future", Cartalucci doesn't offer any evaluation of the existing government, instead he focuses only on US electoral manipulations and the economic and political interests behind these efforts. 

Election outcomes are important for Empire propagandists because they serve to reinforce the phony belief that the Empire supports "democracy" as well as providing opportunities to add additional regimes that can serve Empire economic and hegemonic interests. The report by Navarria posted on openDemocracy clearly supports this latter type of an agenda in Malaysia. 

The report posted on openDemocracy also makes me suspicious about this website in general. It may be another gatekeeping website designed to serve the Empire by steering progressive type readers to views that are compatible with Empire economic and hegemonic interests.