WikiLeaks: 463 embassy cables from KL released


WikiLeaks released 463 US diplomatic cables from its embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, together with thousands of others from US embassies around the globe. Among those is a racy account of the sex scene in Hanoi in 2002, interesting for its historical valueas well as its journalistic style of writing (“Relax — the ‘Thai’ way” is one headline in the report).

The KL cables date back four years from last year, covering the two years before and after the 2008 general election. The breakdown by year: 2010 (21); 2009 (150); 2008 (136); 2007 (101); and 2006 (55).

Some of the more recent ones on Malaysian politics, Raja Petra Kamarudin, the Altantuya Shaariibuu case and the Najib Tun Razak government have been published at Malaysia Today, though an arrangement between Raja Petra and Julian Assange, main person behind WikiLeaks.

The 463 cables give a picture of the US State Department’s main concerns. These fall broadly into four categories:

  • politics (assessments of the overall political situation and discussions with various politicians)
  • human rights — religious rights (Islam and relations with other religions); press freedom; women’s rights, trafficking in human persons
  • economics and business — the state of the economy; intellectual property rights, free trade agreements, regional trading arrangements
  • security — arms exports; money laundering; nuclear non-proliferation; military co-operation

In addition, Anwar Ibrahim, Raja Petra Kamarudin and other bloggers, received individual attention.