May 11, 2022

What Should Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Tell The US President In The Up Coming Meeting With Biden

1. US is still the largest economic power and with that comes with great responsibility in maintaining orders in international trade. US must stop all unilateral sanctions which contradicts the framework of WTO. For Malaysia the recent probe in Solar panel and seizures of Malaysia-made gloves on arbitrary grounds must stop.

2. Malaysia welcome US investment in capital and technology intensive industries. US should help emerging economies and developing countries to build bridges roads, ports, and rails and not military bases and submarines. US should bring in technology and capital and not more arms or fighter jets.

3. Democracy is an ideal concept without an ideal practical solution. Different countries has different models and different stages of democratic practices. US system is still far from ideal, looking at the 2020 US presidential election.US should stop subverting countries with democratic elected governments. Such actions often ended disastrous eg in Venezuela, Iraq, Syria and even Ukraine and Egypt!

4. The world is big enough for a multipolar world. Competition between nations should be like a game of golf. It should be a competition of how good you are to improve the living standards of your own countries. It is not a boxing match where you win by knocking the opponent out, and suffered repeated punches along the way.US should focus on Built Back Better America, address the deep political divisions and gross inequality domestically rather than teaching other nations how to govern!

5. Specifically for Afghanistan, US should return USD 7 billion seize from Afghanistan central bank to the Afghanistan people, where a humanitarian crisis is ongoing! US had spent USD 2 trillion during 20 years Afghanistan war and more than 90% of that amount went into military operations, fighter jets, tankers, bullets and bombs without success. The amount was 100 times the current Afghanistan GDP (at USD 20 billion).The outcome of the Afghanistan war might have been different if a significant portion of the US military spending was spent on economic and social development if Afghanistan! US must not punish the Afghanistan people by withholding the money, which is rightfully theirs! Certainly the money doesn’t belong to US nor the corrupt disposed leaders supported by US.

6. ASEAN remains neutral as a block in international relation. We will maintain good relationships with US, Europe, China and many other counties in the world.Don’t expect ASEAN to take side in a US generated new cold war!

I just hope that the meeting with Biden is not a lecture about the greatness of US and how Malaysia can help US in advancing US hegemony!

Dr Lee Boon Chye
Member of Parliament Malaysia

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