Don’t be too friendly and close to Trump, says ex-diplomat


Former ambassador Redzuan Kushairi says US president, in retweeting anti-Muslim videos, was being utterly irresponsible.

Redzuan-Kushairi-donald-trump-us-1PETALING JAYA: Malaysian leaders should be “wise enough” not to get too friendly or close to US President Donald Trump, a former diplomat has said.

Commenting on Trump’s retweeting of several anti-Muslim videos posted by a deputy leader of the British First Party, Redzuan Kushairi said the president’s action was an affront to millions of Muslims around the world as Islam is a religion of peace.

“Trump is being utterly irresponsible and reprehensible, and (his act is) most unbecoming of a US president. Fortunately, many if not most Western leaders do not agree with what Trump is doing.

“Leaders of majority Muslim countries, including Malaysia, must strongly come out and openly condemn Trump and demand that he stop his silly and dangerous tweets that could play into the hands of extremists — both non-Muslims and those who claim to be Muslims,” he told FMT.

Redzuan said Trump’s unpredictable behaviour should be warning sign to Malaysian leaders not to cozy up to him.

“With his erratic and at times incomprehensible behaviour and, as someone has said, Trump has a challenging relationship with the truth, Malaysian leaders should be wise enough not to want to be too friendly and close to Trump,” he added.

Trump had recently retweeted a few anti-Muslim videos, raising the ire of British leaders such as Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who have criticised the former’s action.

Trump’s message to May later was for her to focus on her own affairs after she rebuked his decision to retweet anti-Muslim videos published by the deputy leader of a British far-right group.

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Redzuan was asked to comment on whether the US president’s act would put Prime Minister Najib Razak in an awkward position, considering how the latter had referred to Trump as his friend.

As for political analyst Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid, he was of the view that Najib would not react to Trump’s latest act or distance himself.

However, the academic, from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), did not rule out the possibility that Najib would later use the religious rhetoric, as elections drew closer, in efforts to drum up support from the Malay-Muslim majority.

Fauzi noted that the world of international diplomacy was one that was very subtle, where prime ministers acted according to their own interests they believe will lead to political benefit, both externally and internally.

“When it comes to Trump, everyone knows that he is anti-Muslim, anti-immigrants and anti-women.

“Considering all that, and to act against the US as a nation, we may end up treating all nice and good Americans unfairly.

“In fact, a majority of Americans detest Trump. A majority did not vote for him. It was the system which gave him (the presidency),” he told FMT when contacted.

Fauzi also said that Najib would have to balance out national interests and also not take the risk of hurting American investments.

“He cannot act emotionally. But when elections get nearer, Najib will probably use this to whip up support from the Malay-Muslim majority,” he added.

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