Geez, President Obama can’t help himself. He was in Malaysia and said the country has some work to do on human rights, just like the United States! He said “I think the prime minister is the first to acknowledge that Malaysia’s still got some work to do just like the United States, by the way, has some work to do on these issues. Human Rights Watch probably has a list of things we should be doing.”
Here’s the video in case you don’t believe me.
Update: The Wall Street Journal pointed out that Obama did not meet with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim whose latest conviction is just a bit suspicious. While it’s true that he can’t meet with every oppressed opposition leader in the world, the way he chooses those he does meet with is curious.
Mr. Obama doesn’t meet with every opposition leader, but he was happy to meet with the leader of Angela Merkel’s opposition, German Peer Steinbrueck, and his former campaign adviser David Axelrod is advising British Labor Party leader Ed Miliband. Malaysia wants to join the ranks of rising middle-income states and be considered a full-fledged democracy, yet its ruling party has never lost an election. Mr. Anwar won an appeal of his first conviction but then faced a second indictment as he prepared to fight an election in which his party won 51% of the vote but only 40% of the seats.
Mr. Obama could have sent a powerful message of American concern and political tolerance by meeting with Mr. Anwar, and the symbolism of his failure to do so won’t be lost on Malaysians, especially the young urban voters who are Mr. Anwar’s core supporters.