Tony Cartalucci, Contributor
The US-funded street-front of Anwar Ibrahim and his political coalition, called “Bersih,” once again took to Malaysia’s streets, with Anwar Ibrahim himself leading the rally. RT covered the rally in their article, “Malaysians gather in tens of thousands demanding political reforms (PHOTOS),” where it was reported that up to 80,000 protesters attended the event, held in Kuala Lumpur’s Independence Stadium.
Image: (RT) Despite Bersih’s best efforts to portray itself as apolitical, it is clearly led for and by Malaysia’s US-backed opposition, with the IMF’s Anwar Ibrahim leading the coalition. Here, Anwar Ibrahim (center) can be seen speaking to the rally in Malaysia this week.
While Bersih maintains that their cause is political reform, it has been exposed that the movement holds significant ties with foreign interests. The Malaysian Insider reported on June 27, 2011 that Bersih leader Ambiga Sreenevassan herself “admitted to Bersih receiving some money from two US organisations — the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Open Society Institute (OSI) — for other projects, which she stressed were unrelated to the July 9  march.”
A visit to the NDI website revealed indeed that funding and training had been provided by the US organization – before NDI took down the information and replaced it with a more benign version purged entirely of any mention of Bersih.
For funding Ambiga claims is innocuous, the NDI’s rushed obfuscation of any ties to her organization suggests something more sinister at play.
Image: NDI’s website in 2011 before taking down any mention to Malaysia’s Bersih movement. (click image to enlarge)
Bersih is indisputably serving as a political vehicle for Anwar Ibrahim and Malaysia’s opposition front “Pakatan Rakyat,” to return to power. That Anwar Ibrahim himself was Chairman of the Development Committee of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1998, held lecturing positions at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, was a consultant to the World Bank, and a panelist at the Neo-Con lined National Endowment for Democracy’s “Democracy Award” and a panelist at a NED donation ceremony – the very same US organization whose subsidiaries are funding and supporting Bersih – casts irrefutable doubt on their official agenda for “clean and fair elections.” Claims by Bersih members that Anwar Ibrahim is “hijacking” their movement ring especially hollow when looking at both his and Bersih’s entwined foreign financial and political backers.
Image: Taken from the US National Endowment for Democracy’s 2007 Democracy Award event held in Washington D.C., Anwar Ibrahim can be seen to the far left and participated as a “panelist.” It is no surprise that NED is now subsidizing his bid to worm his way back into power in Malaysia on the back of Bersih’s serial protests. (click image to enlarge)
Bersih may have drawn in many well-intentioned Malaysians truly seeking reform, but the movement and the political interests it truly represents will undoubtedly destroy the hard-won progress Malaysia has made since achieving independence from Britain decades ago. For Malaysians seeking real progress, it may behoove them to instead start organizing locally, seeking pragmatic, constructive programs to build up their communities, instead of pursuing political representation by politicians who already “represent” foreign interests.
For Malaysia’s ruling government – efforts to augment this process of moving away from street politics and toward grassroots pragmatism, not to mention the results it will produce, is the surest way to bury US-backed proxies like Anwar Ibrahim and his political coalition permanently.
Tony Cartalucci’s articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at
Land Destroyer Report, Alternative Thai News Network and LocalOrg. Read other contributed articles by Tony Cartalucci here.