It is quite understandable why Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak wants to impress King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is an important country to Malaysia. It is the largest oil exporter in the world. It is the leader of the Muslim world by default, for better or for worse.

But when the Prime Minister decided to offer military assistance to Bahrain and back the roles Saudi Arabia had played over the course of the Arab Spring,[1] that was just a little bit too much.

The government of Bahrain has suppressed unarmed protesters with brutality. Saudi Arabia aided Bahrain in suppressing demand for democratic change, fearing the democratic change that began in Tunisia and Egpyt would spread at the expense of autocratic rulers. Najib said those efforts by Saudi Arabia were noble.


Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved

[1] — KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak says the country is willing to send peacekeepers to help “de-escalate tension” in Bahrain while backing Saudi Arabia’s role in resolving regional unrest.

Bahraini authorities in the kingdom ruled by a Sunni dynasty have attempted to curb violent protests in recent months inspired by uprisings that toppled Egypt’s and Tunisia’s presidents.

“Malaysia stands ready to contribute peacekeepers to the Kingdom of Bahrain, if invited to do so by the Bahraini leadership,” Najib said in a statement on Friday following a meeting with Saudi Arabian monarch King Abdullah in Riyadh.




“Malaysia will consider it a great honour to offer assistance in this noble effort.” [AFP. Malaysia pledges to help Bahrain. New Straits Times. May 15 2011]

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