My reply to Rais Hussin

(Updated )

Rais Hussin's article "Najib is a pseudo-democrat" which was published today by Malaysiakini is a bizarre report, which doesn't get off to a good start by not being able to spell my name correctly (I know it's unusual. But it's not that difficult). 

I have never been a "paid spinner" of "foreign agencies".

In fact I have never worked for any agencies in my life, but had an over 20-year career as a journalist working for national and international newspapers and current affairs magazines before coming to Malaysia in 2014 to, yes, work for the same think-tank as economist Jomo Kwame Sundaram - with whom I have had only pleasant dealings over his writing for our quarterly magazine, which I help edit.

It's true that I have in the past been asked to contribute to speech writing. That's quite common for a journalist.

The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) asked me to write a speech for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak back in 2011, for instance. That was never a secret.

Some friends of mine in Malaysia would have known about it. But this article is adding two and two and making five and a half.

I'm not sure why I've been dragged into this strange attack piece, but kind though it is that Rais Hussin should think I am worthy of Malaysiakini readers' attention, I'm not interested in getting involved in an arcane dispute about Malaysian academics.

Unless they want to contribute to the next issue of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies’ publication “Focus”!

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