1. Two things happened in the U.S. recently which are worthy of comment.
2. Firstly Obama’s candidate to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, Susan Rice, announced her decision not to take up the post because of criticisms by the Republican Party over her comments and handling of the killing of the U.S Ambassador in Libya.
3. Although she claims she had done no wrong and Obama still wanted her to be Secretary of State, she decided not to accept the post. She felt that her appointment would damage Obama’s administration and the Democrats and she did not want this to happen even though she is innocent.
4. Perhaps there is a lesson here for Malaysian politicians of all hues. The love for the party and nation should be greater than love for oneself. One’s personal interest or ambition should not supersede loyalty to party and country. When the need arises, to sacrifice a little is far better than even to prove one’s innocence.
5. The second matter about the U.S that I would like to comment is the power of the lobby in America.
6. During my time Malaysia paid money to a lobbyist firm to lobby against the U.S negative propaganda about palm oil for food. We had to do it on the basis of doing in Rome what the Romans do.
7. We don’t have this lobby system in Malaysia. If we have I am quite sure we will be roundly condemned. But America is different. It can do just what it likes while taking the high ground to lecture to others.
8. Other than AIPAC (the Jewish lobby) the most powerful lobby in the U.S is the National Rifle Association. This lobby insists that it is a democratic right for citizens of America to carry arms, all kinds of arms, including assault rifles.
9. Every now and again we get reports of school children being massacred by gunmen. The latest one in Connecticut caused the death of 20 innocent school children and 10 adults. The Rifle Association will insist that this has nothing to do with peoples’ right to possess guns.
10. They say it is not the guns which resulted in these mass killings. It is the gunmen who have abused their rights. People must therefore continue to be allowed to carry guns.
11. When President Clinton proposed to ban possession of guns, he was roundly condemned by the NRA and threatened with losing their votes.
12. Apparently it has never occurred to the Americans that if you don’t have guns you will not be able to shoot and kill people.
13. In Malaysia it is an offence to carry any weapon. Certainly carrying guns is prohibited.
14. How many more children and adults in America must be shot to death by gunmen before America realises that carrying guns is dangerous. It may be legitimate for one’s defence when the Red Indian had to be killed so as to seize their land. The Red Indians (now called the First Nation) are no threat now.
15. It is about time the Americans rethink about the democratic rights of its citizens to carry guns.