US charm offensive in Asia

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Suddenly, it seems that the United States is on a charm offensive in Asia. It’s amazing what an economic slowdown or recession can do.

A flurry of high-level visits by top US officials appears aimed at reasserting American influence in the region as China flexes its economic muscles. These high-level US trips around the  G-20, Apec and the East Asia Summit (EAS) may also be seen as attempts to secure access to important markets (and cheap labour) and shore up US footholds in the region.

The US of course is also concerned about China’s growing naval power. America has large long-term bases in Japan and South Korea and military facilities and strategic arrangements elsewhere in Asia.

Let’s list out the whistle-stops: Hillary Clinton visits Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates checks in on Malaysia – amidst talk of strengthening ‘bilateral military ties’ (whatever happened to Zopfan – the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality?) – and Australia.

Bill Clinton is visiting the Philippines amidst increasing calls for the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). Next week, he will be in  Malaysia.

And Obama’s tour is taking him to India, Indonesia, Seoul and Japan, where the East Asian Summit is due to take place. The United States is set to join the summit next year.

As America remains stuck in an economic quagmire, as China goes on the ascendancy, I think America needs Asia more than Asia needs America; the high-level American visits bear testimony to that. Hopefully, leaders of the South will know better than to fall once again into the suffocating embrace of the world’s superpowers. This time too, they should not surrender their economic sovereignty either.

READ MORE:  Najib’s disastrous legacy: Suffocating federal government debt
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Salak
Salak
13 Nov 2010 10.43pm

What if US don’t honor those T-Bills? Can you sell these over and over and all around?

AgreeToDisagree
15 Nov 2010 2.11am
Reply to  Salak

They’ll end up using proxies that they distribute the undeclared portion of that toilet paper to, to buy those T-notes up as well. Don’t think they are not above that sort of thing, read up on 9-11 and you will see many instances that the Bushes who were friends of the Bin Ladens (may) very likely (have) planned the whole thing.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng
Samuel Goh Kim Eng
13 Nov 2010 2.20pm

FROM FARM TO CHARM

It’s okay to turn on your best charm
When you don’t mean anybody any harm
But to be welcomed with two open arms
And not to be kicked back to the farm

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 131110
http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com
Sat. 13th Nov.2010.

Idirs
Idirs
14 Nov 2010 9.52am

Najib tried turn on his best charm
Asking you to embrace 1Malaysia with open arms
But Perkasa is spilling venom with harm
Malay ultra votes is what they want to farm

Imran
Imran
13 Nov 2010 11.41am

Singapore is poised to overtake Malaysia as the third largest economy in South-east Asia by the end of this year. Citing their respective governments’ forecasts, Bloomberg reported that Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to hit US$210 billion ($270 billion) on the back of 15 per cent annual growth, its fastest since gaining independence, while Malaysia is projected to grow by 7 per cent to US$205 billion GDP.

Therefore Najib should build more 100-storey buildings to generate more ‘multiplier effect’ to upstage Singapore?

AgreeToDisagree
13 Nov 2010 5.10pm
Reply to  Imran

You are obviously a cybertrooper. I personally have mixed feelings about that tower but all large projects should be held back until the Malaysian 388 Billion debt is entirely cleared.

As for Singapore and upstaging, please google “Unmoderated Malaysian Comments” and read the 13 point plan….

Imran
Imran
14 Nov 2010 1.57pm

I am no cybertrooper.
I am just being sarcastic to bnputers’s way of buliding tall buidlings with public fund to generate multiplier effect which is in fact meant to enrich their own pockets.
Najibonomics is all about borrow money and spend money til bankrupsy.

AgreeToDisagree
15 Nov 2010 2.08am
Reply to  Imran

If that is the case, then no probs and apologies! Always nice to meet a fellow commentator who engages citizens alongside them.

Dr Gan EH
Dr Gan EH
13 Nov 2010 11.30am

At least they are doing it for their country and the future of thier country. In SIngapore, Lee Kuan Yew, Lee Hsein Loong and all the ministers are travelling to Middle East, Soutn America, Eastern Europe….doing all these for their country not to enrich their own pockets.
There is nothing wrong with US coming to Asia, nothing wrong for them to control the Middle East (their oil supply)…they doing for their and the future. We should salute them and encourage our leaders to do the same, country above personal gains.

wandererAUS
wandererAUS
13 Nov 2010 10.57am

America, America, the land of hypocrites and bullies!…Gerakan K, we maybe pro China, so what, if we offended your “Ketuanan(s)…”. Those were the days where a cherry picker like you (are still petrified) when confronted by your political masters. I am a pure Chinese, to me, I am always Chinese First!!

HANG
HANG
13 Nov 2010 10.30am

Obama greeted Indonesians ‘Assalamualaikum’ in his speech at the university in Jakarta during his recent Indonesia visit.

I think the perkasa malays will make a lot of croaking noise if Obama were to do so in Bolehland.

Indonesian Muslims have more religious tolerance than the Malaysian Muslims. Without knowing it, the malays are undergoing talibanisation and arabisation, no thanks to umno.

Sewel
Sewel
13 Nov 2010 4.38pm
Reply to  HANG

You are very right. As a Malay, I feel more at home in Java or Bali then I do in Malaysia. Even our so called Malaysian “melayus’ do not look so “melayu” anymore. Just walk around KL and you will know what i mean. “Melayus” trying to outdo the Arabs in dressing and behaviour. This so called “melayus” have abandoned even their traditional clothes and the old malay bahasa. I mean I had this ‘Malay’ public servant talking to me and half her words were arabic. Naturally I could not see her face because she wore a ‘chador’. I for… Read more »

tunglang
tunglang
13 Nov 2010 9.20pm
Reply to  Sewel

Dear Sewel, you remind me of my 60’s and 70’s childhood with Malays, Indians and Sikhs. We played anywhere, mixed around anytime’s free and sometimes we talked using hand gestures. Marbles, gasing and ‘Ah Chi Lot’ games brought us together to have fun. Racial integration was great with Chinese and Indian shopfronts, Malay kampung houses right at the back. Sometimes I got invited to sleep in my next door Malay home with his children. And played with their aquarium pets until the fishes were half-drowned! The Great World Park was a wonderland of entertainments with nightly open concept cinema shows,… Read more »

Sewel
Sewel
14 Nov 2010 9.24am
Reply to  tunglang

Actually our generation of Malaysians from the 1940s,50s,60s,1970s and early 80s are the real Malaysians and i mean particularly the non-Malays of my generation. Then a couple of very sinister things started to happen. The Razak report totally changed the education system. Affirmative action booted the non-Malays from the public services and the defence forces and non-Malays were reduced to second class citizens. I remember my non-Malay friends from school suddenly avoiding me especially in my form 6 years and Uni years. The gulf between Malays and non-Malays had begun. “ketuanan Melayu” became a sad reality. I could not even… Read more »

Sean
Sean
14 Nov 2010 12.50am
Reply to  Sewel

Interesting you say that. As a non-Malaysian I struggle to understand many of the local languages. I think I’m getting the hang of spotting dialects though – people are surprised when I spot which Chinese dialect they’re talking and then disappointed when I can’t understand a word of it. Sometimes when I watch some Malay leaders talking – from either major coalition – their Malay seems much more guttural, there’s much more throat-clearing in it than in the Bahasa Malaysia I hear on the street or being spoken to my wife (who is Malaysian but not Malay), which seems much… Read more »

Ipinputeri
Ipinputeri
14 Nov 2010 1.58pm
Reply to  Sewel

No more kebaya to showcase the body figures. Sigh!

Sewel
Sewel
16 Nov 2010 12.20pm
Reply to  Ipinputeri

yup so true, those were the good old days. Pergi kerja pun shonk aje. Sekarang like everything koyak lah. Mood pun dah hilang!

Bako Boy
Bako Boy
15 Nov 2010 12.09pm
Reply to  Sewel

Sewel

Was it the ‘Iranian Revolution + Anwars’s ABIM’ factor that replaced malay culture with the Arabic ones?

I think this is the tipping point.

Til now many still cannot distinguish the difference between Islamic values and Arabic values, thus blindly follow.

Sewel
Sewel
16 Nov 2010 12.00pm
Reply to  Bako Boy

you’re right. the Iranian revolution and Abim and one very racist political party stuffed things up. By the way I always have a dig at Abang Anwar for his ABIM days.

Ipinputeri
Ipinputeri
14 Nov 2010 9.56am
Reply to  HANG

Khairy is promoting Arabisation in his speech at umno assembly. His speech is titled “Maqasid dan Manhaj Perjuangan’. Why didn’t he use Bahasa Melayu (or Bahasa Malaysia?) “Matlamat dan Pendekatan Perjuagan’?

Mabe he feel that Bahas Melayu is inferior to Arab language?

Bismila
Bismila
15 Nov 2010 7.22pm
Reply to  Ipinputeri

The muslims in Malaysia cannot differentiate between Islamic practices and Arabic practices.

They just embrace everything that the Arabs are doing without any question.

This has eroded the original malay culture and values.

Khatijah
Khatijah
16 Nov 2010 11.08am
Reply to  Bismila

I agree.

I am still one of the ‘gadis melayu terakhir in malaysia’ who does not wear tudung.

Sewel
Sewel
16 Nov 2010 12.04pm
Reply to  Bismila

So true. And it is as if the more Arabic clothes you wear and the more arabic words you use the more genuine “melayu” you become. How ironic!

Ustaz Ronggeng
Ustaz Ronggeng
16 Nov 2010 8.26pm
Reply to  Sewel

Read this article to trace the history of how the fixation of everything halal and Islamic took place in malaysia:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/breakingviews/article/the-fixation-for-everything-halal-and-islamic-ahmad-mustapha-hassan/

Sewel
Sewel
17 Nov 2010 11.40am
Reply to  Ustaz Ronggeng

thanks for the article. It was and is so true what Ahmad Mustapha Hassan has written and sadly still going on.

We Malays are being re-colonized not by the British this time but by the Arabs! And its our own making!

By the way is drinking a glass of water in a hot day given by a non-muslim haram or halal?

I was told off by a fellow melayu for accepting a glass of water from a non-muslim. he said it was not acceptable!

Any views?

Rashidi Ahmad
Rashidi Ahmad
18 Nov 2010 9.05am
Reply to  Sewel

At the rate things are going, soon the air you breath must be halal too?

Sewel
Sewel
18 Nov 2010 12.38pm
Reply to  Rashidi Ahmad

ha ha ha how true.

Hamim
Hamim
17 Nov 2010 8.47am
Reply to  Sewel

Are you aware that by wearing a tudung your angle of vision is reduced?

It is therefore a safety hazard (and put others at risk) for a tudung-clad person riding a motorbike or drving a car as the person may miss out the ‘side view’.

Maybe the design of the tudung could be improved in order not to block the side view.

Sewel
Sewel
16 Nov 2010 12.09pm
Reply to  Ipinputeri

Yup you’re right. Bahasa Malaysia not stylish enough, apparently. Throw in a few Arabic words mean you ada standard sikit.:)

moo_t
13 Nov 2010 1.47am

“I think America needs Asia more than Asia needs America”
Then who is going to absorb Asia goods produced?
Most Asia country economy are backward and closed internal market. Even China “inner consumption” still a jokes.

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
13 Nov 2010 7.22am
Reply to  moo_t

This is your rather silly statement: **************************************** China “inner consumption” still a jokes **************************************** China with billion of mouth, body, desire, lust; actually China is big in almost everything. In case you managed to obtain 0.01 % market share in China in any product, then you already can retired now with immense wealth. Yesterday just watched Asian Game in China and when you compare with Commonwealth Game in India, it was a huge gap of standard in terms of money, capability, and performance. It looked BIG. Oh, by the way, supporters in this blog are pro-China. Be careful that you… Read more »

Oxymoron
15 Nov 2010 7.49am
Reply to  moo_t

Lots of poor people in Africa and South America can absorb Asia’s goods. Oops, I forgot that they don’t have dollar-printing machines.