Today, National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice met with three top leaders of the Malaysian political opposition to hear their views on the situation in Malaysia and their efforts to press for greater democracy, transparency, and reform. Ambassador Rice underscored that the President’s historic visit to Malaysia has been an important opportunity to continue the transformation of the relationship between our two countries–but that even as we deepen our cooperation with the Malaysian government, we are looking to expand our engagement with all of Malaysia, including civil society, industry, students, and participants from across the political spectrum.
Ambassador Rice reiterated the President’s message that countries that welcome the contributions, and uphold the human rights of all their citizens, regardless of their political affiliation, ethnicity, race or religion are ultimately more prosperous and more successful. She also shared the United States’ view that it is critical for Malaysia to apply the rule of law fairly, transparently, and apolitically in order to promote confidence in Malaysia’s democracy and judiciary.
Ambassador Rice emphasized to Mr. Anwar that the United States has followed his case closely, and that the decision to prosecute him and the trial have raised a number of concerns regarding the rule of law and the independence of the courts.
Ambassador Rice told the opposition leaders that the United States will continue to raise our concerns about issues of political freedom, the basic universal rights of freedom of expression, freedom of association, and religious liberty–as well as the need to respect and protect the rights of all people, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.
Finally, Ambassador Rice conveyed deep condolences on the passing of democracy and civil rights activist Mr. Karpal Singh.
- Anwar Ibrahim (Mr. Anwar), Leader of the Opposition, chairman of the People’s Justice Party
- Lim Guan Eng (Mr. Lim), Leader of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and opposition Member of Parliament
- Mustafa Ali (Mr. Mustafa), Secretary General of the Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party (PAS) and opposition Member of Parliament