US di belakang Kerajaan Madani Anwar Ibrahim

Murray Hunter

The International Republican Institute (IRI), often acts in collaboration with the US based and funds National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and USAID which are both funded by the US government. The IRI is a non-profit organization also funded by the US government. Just like the NED, the IRI is committed to advancing freedom and democracy by helping political parties and candidates develop their electoral skills.

The IRI has been heavily involved in local politics across the world, including Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, MENA nations during the Arab Spring, the Hong Kong democracy movement, and most recently the youth movement in the Thailand general election.

Sources around Malaysia have indicated the IRI are enabling a number of programs related directly to the current state elections in Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Penang, Selangor, and Negeri Sembilan. The IRI is focusing upon enabling the youth vote support the ‘unity government’ in the state elections.

Current activities

The IRI has provided millions of dollars for local youth groups like UNDI18 and Ypolitics to carry out political activities on school campuses, and to attract more college students to vote for the unity government. The IRI recruited student leaders of universities in Terengganu, Kedah and Kelantan, which are traditionally safe seats for Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), and uses their influences to manipulate young voters’ choice. IRI also dispatches several American campaign experts to Malaysia and conducts seminars to teach Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders and candidates how to attract young voters through social media.

The IRI, in association with the NED has provided a great deal of support over the years to help PH come to power and to make Malaysia an ally of the U.S. Government. This became important to the US, after the Najib regime pivoted towards China.

The INVOKE connection

From 2019 to 2023, IRI provided millions of dollars in campaign funds for organizations affiliated to PH, including INVOKE, Cent GPS Research, LEAD, NDI, Merdeka Centre, and IDEAS. The IRI conducts focus groups and polls before elections, which can help PH learn about public opinion and constantly improve their campaign strategies. The IRI has been frequently engaging with Komuniti Muslim Universal since 2022 in order to outreach to Malaysia’s Muslim community, through various programs. The NED, USAID, sometimes through intermediaries like DAO Global have provided millions of dollars to NGOs around the country.

The IRI also releases poll results in favor of PH to influence public opinion and help PH take office. This can be very clearly seen through Rafizi Ramli’s predictions for the coming state elections. Through local partners, the IRI has provided capacity building programs for PH, teaches campaign skills and helps PH candidates win elections. The IRI provided training sessions for PH just before the 2022 general election, with more than 500 trainees, mainly political leaders and members of Parliament.

Another IRI funded project

In addition, the IRI has been working with NGOs in Malaysia to carry out political activities in schools. These activities include training in activism, and disseminating information through campus radio and social media.

“At the state level, IRI provides state legislative assembly members from across the political spectrum technical assistance on effective constituent outreach, messaging, communications, policy development, consensus building and negotiation skills”. – IRI Website (Malaysia page)

The IRI/NED continues to fund and enable media, NGOs and political parties to promote ideologies and policies compatible to the United States agenda for the region. It first did this with the objective of assisting the then former opposition gaining government. Now the IRI/NED is assisting PH maintain and consolidate power, and has been focusing upon the state elections. The IRI has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

Those funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) seem to be sensitive towards this fact becoming public domain knowledge. Once the Malaysian public are made aware, tracks are covered quickly as these screenshots indicate.

Anwar himself is no stranger to the NED. Anwar was Foundation for the Future chairman, a US think tank, funded by the US State Department, and conservative neocons in Washington DC. He regularly participated in events organized by the NED as a speaker, panelist, or guest. Anwar was an advisor to the World Bank and IMF.

PH has been publicly asked to explain its funding from the NED/IRI, but to date has not given any public explanations.

The transparency of political funding is an important and necessary reform needed in Malaysia, if there is going to be integrity of government.