Malaysia Elections 2022: Trove of Documents Suggests US Tried to Engineer Soft Coup
Reports of US government support for anti-UMNO campaigns filtered through to the media weeks after the 2018 vote, with observers digging up an array of NED-sponsored activities propping up the opposition, including generous funding for local “pro-democracy” and “anti-corruption” NGOs, media fronts, law firms, and “human rights” advocacies.
(Sputnik International) – Malaysians went to the polls on Saturday for general elections. The vote comes in the midst of a major political crisis which has plagued the country for several years. Sputnik has obtained documentary evidence pointing to an organized campaign by the National Endowment for Democracy and USAID to meddle in the election.
Malaysia has been a US partner for decades. Situated in the South China Sea, half the country juts out of continental Southeast Asia, with the other half located on the island of Borneo in the Malay Archipelago. The nation has over a dozen islands off its shores in the South China Sea, the Strait of Malacca, and the Sula and Celebes Seas. In addition to being rich in hydrocarbons and fishing resources, these areas are critical global shipping lanes that account for trillions of dollars in trade each year.
The US recognized the significance of ties with the kingdom at the end of the 18th century, establishing consular and commercial contracts with peninsular Malaya, predecessor to the modern Malaysian federation, in 1800. During the Cold War, Kuala Lumpur aligned itself with the West against the USSR and China, and Washington and its allies aided the Malaysian government against a series of communist insurgencies between 1948 and 1989.
Today, the US State Department lists Malaysia as an important “security partner,” and recent assistance has included partnering with Kuala Lumpur in support of “maritime security and governance through improved defense and law enforcement capabilities” (code for maritime efforts to counter China), $220 million in security aid, and $1 million a year for the training of hundreds of Malaysian servicemen at US military academies.
With such a legacy and strategic relationship at stake, and amid attempts by recent Malaysian prime ministers to improve bilateral ties with Beijing, or at least abandon the Cold War bloc mentality adhered to in Washington, it should come as little surprise that the US is concerned about whether it will be able to maintain its dominant status in the region.