25 September 2023

Amanpour - Anwar interview garners praise from analysts...

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s performance in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour has received plaudits from analysts, who commended his adept handling of key issues. 

Azmi Hassan, a senior fellow at the Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research, offered a holistic perspective, stating that Anwar responded effectively to various topics raised by Amanpour.  He noted that while the interview may not have a significant impact on the international stage, it likely left a positive impression on the domestic audience. 

“The impact will be more pronounced in domestic politics rather than on the international stage,” he told Scoop. “Making an international impact is challenging for any prime minister, including Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. However, domestically, I believe the majority of us are satisfied with how Anwar handled Amanpour’s ‘aggressive’ interview.”

Azmi praised Anwar’s responses concerning the Swatch Pride watch bans and Malaysia’s bilateral relationship with China and the United States. However, he pointed out that Anwar fell into Amanpour’s “trap” when addressing Premier Li Qiang’s statement on the dispute, as the question appeared designed to provoke a reaction. 

Azmi suggested that Anwar could have framed his response by highlighting that the South China Sea dispute is not a new challenge for Malaysia. “In that context, I hoped Anwar had answered in those terms because the question was meant to provoke us, even though the dispute is nothing new, and we are not taking sides,” he explained. 

Similarly, K.S. Balakrishnan commended Anwar for addressing all key issues with intelligence and providing valid points regarding the need for the United States to take a more proactive role in maintaining its bilateral relationship with Malaysia.  

“Anwar is excellent at promoting Malaysia’s interests globally, especially with the US,” noted the senior academic from Universiti Malaya. During his interview with Amanpour on CNN, Anwar dismissed criticism of his handling of various internal affairs, emphasising that his decisions were in accordance with the country’s laws.  

He expressed similar sentiments when discussing his deputy, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s conditional discharge, and the ban on Swatch’s Pride collection watches featuring LGBTQ+ elements. Nevertheless, the Tambun MP stressed that the action against the watch bans should not lead to the harassment of the LGBTQ+ community, even though public acceptance of it remains low. 

It is worth noting that Anwar had previously been interviewed by Amanpour in 2014 when he was the opposition leader. He was interviewed once again in May 2018, following his royal pardon. 

Senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, Oh Ei Sun, said Anwar is a seasoned international interviewee, having been extensively interviewed since the 1970s, and so this interview “was just another piece of cake for him”.

“As usual, he was able to at once employ his vast command of vocabulary to tackle the tough questions, and turn them into something positive for his positions,” he said. “It could only be said that he gave smart answers which sounded at once palatable and fashionable, such as the emphasis on democracy, or moderation.”

On whether he believes responses affected Malaysia’s international and domestic reputation, Oh said: “it certainly reinforced his already formidable international reputation, but they may not be conservative enough for the increasing number of religiously oriented domestic audiences.”

“The comparable PMs to Anwar in recent years are Mahathir and Najib, who could also handle international audiences well. So Anwar’s eloquence demonstrated the continuity in Malaysia’s international activism,” he said. – scoop.my

The pot calling the kettle black...

Police must properly investigate Ipoh Timor MP Howard Lee for allegedly making his own interpretation of a Quranic verse to avert a repeat of such incident, said Perikatan Nasional election director Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor. If action is not taken, he told a ceramah in Pelangai, Pahang last night, it will further anger Muslims and might lead to them taking to the street.

"In Indonesia, a non-Muslim politician who interpreted a Quranic verse on his own was jailed for two years. But here in Malaysia, police are just starting to investigate (Lee). "Nevertheless, thank you to the police for opening an investigation. (But) you must investigate this case properly.

Last week, Lee, who is a DAP central executive committee member, allegedly made his own interpretation of a Quranic verse on TikTok. Police had since launched an investigation against Lee after receiving reports.

Terasa pelik bila ada pimpinan tertinggi PAS seperti Nusi  yang mempertikai dan membuat provokasi apabila ada bukan dinegara ini yang turut berhujah dengan al-Quran.Malah, dulu ketika PAS bertahaluf dan bekerjasama politik dengan DAP, pemimpin DAP membaca ayat al-Quran di pentas-pentas ceramah PAS dan menjadi kebanggaan PAS pada ketika itu. Usahlah berpolitik seolah Islam hanya milik kita sahaja. Usahlah juga membuat provokasi demi menarik sokongan orang Islam dengan cuba membuat demonstrasi jalanan tetapi menaikkan sentimen kebencian terhadap bukan Islam dinegara ini . Malang sekali dikurun ke 21 kita lihat pemimpin2 yang konon Islam tidak mencerminkan keperibadian sebagai muslim yang boleh dibuat contoh.Kamsiah Haider

Who is actually inciting 3R, Lee or Sanusi?Lee was reading and interpreting Surah in AlQuran. PN/Pas politicians are also reading and using AlQuran and Hadith all the time in ceramahs.Lee was merely interpreting based on his little understanding on the surah. Good for him and other non-muslims who are learning. But PN/PAS politicians are making mockery out of the issue and try to instigate - Anonymous

This fellow Sanusi, is out to create racial and religious disharmony among the Malaysian races.This is blatant incitement to violence, since he says thousands will gather in the streets , for what, to go after one person.We all are uncertain as to.the words used by this MP in Ipoh.Let us decent, peace loving Malaysians. going about our daily life , condemn this type of incitement.Let the Police do their duty, in taking action against the MP if indeed he has transgressed the law. - VioletCondor6908

The police should go after Sanusi for instigating the Malays to go to the streets on Howard. No body gets hurt from Howard interpretation. If you ulamas do not agree to the interpretation then say it out. Sanusi has nothing to campaign on except to cause racial friction. This country is going to the dogs with politicians like Sanusi who wants to instigate the kampung folks against the government. - WhiteMoose0037

Msian Muslim will not get angry, they are happy to know that Lee lack of understanding of the Qur'an, is our duty as a Muslim to guide and enlighten him to better understanding. Muslim only very angry with those Muslim politicians wearing a mask to steal the money that supposed to help the poor. - Turnedback

If someone is wrong, correct them. Isn't that what religion teaches? By correcting them you win their respect, not only for yourself, but also for the religion. But when you go for their necks, it contributes to phobia of the religion, and the phobia spreads.So, please do the rightful things - educate those who you think are are ignorant. - Ravinder Singh


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