Wednesday, August 15, 2018

PM China Visit to Remove Kinks in the Relationship

A Kadir Jasin

PREAMBLE: Views expressed herein are entirely mine. I am writing in my personal capacity as a blogger. It has nothing to do with whatever position I may hold.

Dr Mahathir met President Xi Jinping in Kuala Lumpur in 2013
THE UPCOMING official visit of the Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, to China is special as it is crucial.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to be in China from August 17 to 21, during which he is expected to meet Chinese President, Xi Jinping, and Prime Minister, Li Keqiang.

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The visit is special because Dr Mahathir is returning to China once again as Prime Minster after a 17-year gap. His last official visit to China as Prime Minister was in October 2001 to attend the APEC CEO summit.

Dr Mahathir is a regular visitor to China. In the 22-year of his first stint as Prime Minster – 1981-2003 – he visited China seven times and nine more times after his retirement, making a total of 16.

This coming visit has an added significance because he is leading a different government and there are several touchy issues standing in the way of good relations between the two countries.

In his previous official visits, he was leading the Barisan Nasional (National Front) government. In this visit he is leading Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) that ousted the BN in the May 9 general polls.

Chinese leaders are familiar with the BN. Back in 1974, it was the leader of newly formed BN, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who made the groundbreaking visit to China.

It was as a result of that visit that Malaysia became among the earliest countries in South East Asia to recognise China. Bear in mind that although Indonesia recognised China in 1950, their relationship soured and was suspended between 1967 and 1990.

Singapore, a predominantly Chinese nation, recognised China only in 1990 and the Malay Brunei in 1991.

Tun Abdul Razak met then Chinese PM Zhou Enlai in Beijing in 1974
It was not an easy decision for Malaysia because it already had diplomatic relations with Taiwan since its independence in 1957.

The recognition of Taiwan was reflective of Malaysia’s pro-Western stance and it staunchly anti-Communist policy. The armed communist insurgency starting in 1948 did not help to endear Malaysia to China.

With the disbanding of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) following the 1989 peace accord involving the MCP and the governments of Malaysia and Thailand, the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) became the last remaining vestige of the Chinese revolution in Malaysia.

It was no coincidence that while the MCP was fashioned after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the MCA was the mirror image of the Chinese Nationalist Party - Kuomintang.

Abdul Razak’s own party – the United Malay National Organisation (Umno) - was staunchly anti-Communist.

Still Abdul Razak pulled it off and received overwhelming voters’ endorsement at the 1974 General Election in which his enlarged coalition – the Barisan Nasional – was contesting for the first time.

So given this very long history of mutually beneficial relationship and Dr Mahathir’s own affinity with China, his visit is not only special but offers the two countries the opportunity to clarify and sort out issues that could stand in the way of good relations.

Dr Mahathir had wanted to visit earlier but time was not favourable. Proving his seriousness about wanting to put relationship between the new Malaysian government and China on good footing, he sent Tun Daim Zainuddin as his emissary.

Like Dr Mahathir, Daim is a familiar face in Beijing. Back in the 1980s, when he was in his first stint as Finance Minister, he took active part in supporting China’s new role in international financial organisations like the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

During his visit to Beijing on July 18, Daim handed over Dr Mahathir’s letter to Chinese Prime Minister, Li Kiqiang, and had discussions with Foreign Minister, Wang Yi.

Daim looked on as Li Keqiang read PM's letter
It is clear that neither China nor Malaysia would want the 44-year relationship to be jeopardised by issues that cropped up during the time of former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak.

Among them were the Chinese loans for the construction of the East Coast Railway Line (ECRL) and the little known Suria Strategic Energy Resources Sdn Bhd (SSER) pipeline project.

It is highly possible that China, in extending these loans and entering into construction agreements for the projects, was acting in good faith in line with its One Belt One Road (OBOR) policy but along the way was perverted by irresponsible elements in Malaysia and China.

Here the hidden hands of Mohd Najib and his 1MDB collaborator, Low Taek Jho aka Jho Low, is suspected. Jho Low is said to be hiding in the Chinese territory of Macau.

Neither China nor Malaysia should suffer the embarrassment and financial losses caused by these people and their associates. The relationship between the two countries is too precious to be allowed to become sour by their irresponsible and criminal actions.

Dr Mahathir had said in a recent interview with the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post that his less-than-favourable view of some Chinese-backed deals, deemed overpriced and lopsided against Malaysian interests, did not mean he was hostile towards Beijing.

More recently, he said Malaysia would seek to do away with these projects if they continue to be unfavourable to the country and a burden to the people.

The PH administration and the people of Malaysia must not be made to shoulder the burden of irresponsible acts of Mohd Najib and his collaborators.

As Dr Mahathir had pointed out, ­Malaysia and China had developed “a very good relationship” during his first tenure as Prime Minister and there is no reason why this would not continue during his comeback era.



Give up Rafizi said...

Dear Datuk,
it seems the clique behind Rafizi and Anwar are getting desperate to achieve a win for Rafizi as the deputy president of PKR.

What has Rafizi done? It's debatable, taking advantage of the press and limelight to get his "exposes" published. A strategist? by his own doing, trying to be the heroic figure, he got himself disqualified to stand for election in GE14.
Is he a thinker, the jury is still out, look at the failed Kajang moves, his weakest point is his support for Anwar despite the latter's many failings.

INstead of trying to pull PH closer, Rafizi seems to think it fit to publicise the case involving an aide to Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu.
Why now? Deflecting attention away from the antics of this guy Abdullah Sani?
The former Pandan MP claimed he was told that the sum used to settle the aide's bankrupt status came from a "crowdfunding" initiative...
So why is he not leaving it up to MACC to complete their investigations first?
If he has any evidence, for goodness sake give it to the MACC.
Unfortunately, his actions show he's still a one man show, not a team player.
Sound advice to Rafizi, wait your turn.
Azmin as the former MB of Selangor turned the state around and this state has reserves of more than 10 billion ringgit.
Rafizi may dislike him personally, but Azmin is the best person to hold the PKR deputy president post.
So, wait your turn Rafizi.

Give up Anwar said...

If Anwar cannot control his own PKR supporters, how can he manage the country?
There's no sense in him aspring to become PM, it's a lost cause for him and PKR.

Aku said...

Kadiag, السلام عليكم ( Assalaa / mu / 'alai / kum.),
Alhamdulillah hang bulih lagi buat ‘coretan’ dlm blog hang ni...
Aku ingat hang tentu loghat sakan bila jadi kepala jurucakap media pada perdana menteri.
Hang nulih dlm basa gomen, munkin hang nak bagi orang tong san mudah paham kod.
Pikiran aku melayang kezaman dolu2 masa aku dok di Hong Kong, sewa kate (betinkat) di satu bilik yg ada 6 kate,
lima kupang semalam. Tengah2 bilik ada satu meja untuk main mahjong (hak Pah bini pertama
Jamil bin Abu selalu main masa lapang dia...Pah tu takkan hang dak ingat kod, hak tera cari butang baju melayu Jamil tu...).
Di satu sudut pintu bilik sewa kate tegantung satu kotak radio ‘redifusion’, radio ‘kebel pra bayag’ ka apa ka...
Rasa aku ada satu ‘channel’ saja, channel opera china, Depa pasang kuat sampai nak pekak tapi lama2
seronok pulak siap dgn gendang dan ‘cymbal’ atau Canang/gembleng dia...tong Che, tong chey...
Satu pagi tu aku turun ke jalan raya nak pi pejabat daftag jadi pelayag atau anak kapai. Keluag saja dari bagunan tu,
satu china sapa aku...”Sudah makan Pak ?” Tekejut jugak aku, macam mana tengah2 Hong Kong ni ada orang bulih cakap melayu.
Gurkha (orang Nepal) yg juai batu aked ada la yg bulih cakap melayu di Hong Kong ni.
China hak tegog aku ada warong beroda juai roti bakag, dgn kopi ‘o’ (dan tak salah ingat aku, sekaya.) Peti aiyih pon ada.
Apa lagi, aku pon pekena baguih punya...
Aku pon tanya mana mai dia bulih cakap melayu.
Dia pon bukak sembang, dia asainya china Sumatra, ada kedai roncit di satu kampong pendalaman apa ka. Lepaih tu,
Allahyarham Sukarno kenunnya buat undang2, orang china/bukan pribumi tak bulih meniaga di kampong2 di Indonesia...
Tu la dia cabut mai meniaga di Hong Kong.
Tu saja nak habag mai, Kadiag. Depa ni ada yg belajag basa melayu sampai ke peringkat U.., insyaAllah, kalu sempat
aku sambong lagi. Maghap no dan to che to che...

dt rahman pekan said...

China is one of d biggest trading nations in d world.

malaysia , being a small (kucirek) trading country, has no option but 2 continue doing 'good' business wth her.

as d saying goes 'when china sneezes, a small country like malaysia wil catch pneumonia'.

d najib govt n gang hv regarded china as d biggest 'ah long' 2 help repay d billions that they hv squandered (stolen).

it wil b a miracle if tun m can untangle d deciet done thru all d lope sided agreements that hv been concluded. eg ECRL ,d pipeline n many others.

renegotiation of all contracts is a must n d excessive cost as well as unfair terms n conditions b remedied.

let us pray n wish tun m all d best on his forthcoming working visit.

many hv named d advent of d presnt govt as "malaysia baru'. but i wld rather suggest that we call it as :-

'MALAYSIA PULIH' or MALYSIA RECOVERS' - that is exactly what tun m n his cabinet need 2 do before real growth can take place.

selamat menyambut hari kemerdekaan !!!kibarkan jalur gemilang !!!

Dergahayu Tanah Air Ku.

jumbeaux said...

Salam Datuk

China's opportunistic, land grabbing, move through backdoor agreements with a desperate Najib still leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

I understand the need to create a positive spin on diplomatic relationships between us and China, and I'm sure Tun will be feted well on his visit too, but the elephant in the room still needs to be addressed once the meeting moves into closed doors.

I pray Tun will get the results we want. ie. no or reduced penalties to break all agreements they made with Najib.

p/s - the icing that China can put on the proverbial cake would be to bundle a chubby rich boy they are reportedly hosting into Tun's return plane home.

Yes to CEP said...

Council of Eminent Persons to remain, PM says can’t work alone
Wonderful news!
PM needs the CEP, and by extension his team also needs the CEP for advice from this group of seasoned personages.

The rakyat fully supports the move and as a fully committed team, let's bring back Malaysia to its former glory.

P/s see how the "youngsters" behave even when told to stop, recalcitrants like the aspiring wannabe Deputy PKR President continues to argue his "case" in public even though it is under investigation by MACC. If he is not satisfied with the findings, bring it up within PH for resolution. If still not satisfied, then let loose to the public. The MACC before and after GE14 is under a different leadership.
Firstly, difficult to understand why he has not sought face to face meetings with the aide for explanation? Malaysia does not deserve this!

To catch the thieves said...

Ex-EC chief Rashid to head electoral reforms committee.
Good golly Miss Molly.
Set a thief (reformed) to catch the thieves. Rashid knows all the inside out, hidden and otherwise, he will catch the rats, the saboteurs.
A wise political decision.

splitting_hairs said...

If I may correct you Sir, Tun Daim met China's FM first and was coerced to meet up with China's PM. It was supposedly to be a closed and out of the limelight. But the PM hijacked it and turned it into a media circus.

heigh ho said...

WHILE Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is in charge of the country, his successor Anwar Ibrahim said for now, he wants to be in charge of parliamentary affairs.

The incoming PKR president said he will look after Parliament and handle reforms despite him not being in government yet.

Datuk, what a ludicrous suggestion, never expected Anwar to put up this ridiculous statement. Don't play play with the rakyat Anwar just because you want a toe into the govt.

Jojo said...

1. Any country would be deemed stupid if they don't take the advantage to work with Malaysia during Tun Dr Mahathir's tenure. That includes China. Tun Dr Mahathir has a brilliant mind and opportunities come with that.

2. I salute Tun for being so focused and persistent in getting Malaysia back on track. All of his ministers should learn from him and do more work and less talk.

3. I am hoping that China would help Malaysia to find that fat fugitive criminal. The guy dares to threaten our authorities. Maybe he'd like to have his trial in China and experience China's capital punishment ?

Jojo said...

Another thing I want to highlight is how the Chinese in China welcome Tun Dr Mahathir and his delegates in Bahasa Malaysia and English, no Mandarin. Maybe some of those chinese in Malaysia who are so "China" than those in the mainland would learn something from this.

PM visits Alibaba's HQ in China

Saya sokong najib penyamun dipenjarakan said...

Payah kira..tulisan Aku7:33 PM hg ni xdak matlamat apa....susah hg ni balaci ex presiden umno penyamun tu...tulis merapu sepatah benda pun xdak kaitan dengan tuan kadir jasin

Sad STAR said...

Methinks the Star is going into voluntary eclipse. Let's not even compare to Utusan which is now in its death throes. Only recently, the Star was first with the news, first with the pics, first with the videos.
Now to get a photo of Tun M with President Xi, so far its only the FMT.
As for latest updates, why Malaysiakini, FMT and even the Malay Mail seems to be faster and ahead with the news.
Keep it up the Star and you will be out of the picture sooner than you think. It's sad.

Syabas to Tun Mahathir said...

have viewed our PM Tun Mahathir handle the live press conferences, wow my hat off to him. He thinks standing on his feet, he speaks without hesitation and has the facts and persuasion that goes with the job. He stands tall with Premier Li and President Xi, we Malaysians are truly proud that he represents us.
For an instant at the near end of the joint presso, Premier Li tried to catch Tun Mahathir off guard with some witty comments, our PM Tun then addressed the issue with great finesse and without labouring the point, free trade without fair trade does not benefit anyone.
Who else can trade "punches" and leave everyone feeling good.
SYABAS indeed to Tun M. We are honoured that you continue to lead us.

One other point, fully agree with Tun that Daim and the CEP are still very much needed.
While PKR continue to play games on fingerpointing, on baseless accusations, on such silly nonsense, PKR is showing the rakyat its as bad as UMNO, MIC and MCA, its leaders are not ready to rule.

Tun's gift to Malaysia said...

Tun Dr M makes me stand tall, makes me proud of my country Malaysia, makes me glad that he is at the forefront to face off big bullies like China, US.
He punches above the waist, his punches are power packed.
He is never one for hiding his messages, stings like a bee, floats like a butterfly. None come close to his qualities and values.

Let China and US fight between themselves, Tun will steer Malaysia through these choppy waters and stormy weather, then each will realise that Malaysia is one true prize that they should try to get on their side.

About Me

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I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).