‘Deep-state actors’ out to sabotage Pakatan

Sheridan Mahavera Yvonne Lim

Foreign Affairs Minister Saifuddin Abdullah (right) says Pakatan Harapan is ready with its counter-narrative as it tries to sign on to four other human rights treaties. – AFP pic, July 30, 2019.

THE deep state is real, and it is out to sabotage Pakatan Harapan’s reforms and policies, Foreign Affairs Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said.

The remarks come three months after Putrajaya blamed deep-state actors on why it had to backtrack from ratifying the Rome Statute, which would have made Malaysia a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The existence of these shadowy elements in Malaysian institutions was disputed after the federal government failed to identify them.

The term refers to a group of people in influential positions within a nation’s institutions and power centres who work covertly to advance their own agenda, which does not align with that of the government.

In a previous interview with The Malaysian Insight, Saifuddin said these vested interests do exist and they may again attempt to foil Putrajaya’s plans to ratify other key global human rights conventions.

The administration believes these elements purposely swayed public opposition away from the Rome treaty by disingenuously arguing that being an ICC member would dilute the powers and stature of the country’s nine Malay rulers.

With the PH administration well into its second year in office, Saifuddin warned that these actors are aiming to scuttle plans to sign on to four other human rights treaties.

At the same time, Saifuddin also differentiated between the manufactured outrage of the deep state, and genuine criticism and protest against the government.

“The deep state is real and influences perception and we have to be prepared strategically,” Saifuddin said of the ministry’s approach towards signing the four United Nations treaties.

“It can be inside the government and you can’t identify it.

“It is an agent provocateur paid by certain quarters to create fear among the public,” Saifuddin told The Malaysian Insight in a special video interview: Menteri in MyVi.

“On social media, they distribute all kinds of stories and campaigns. It could be fake news, half-truths but the idea is to stop certain reforms from going through or to sabotage good projects from being carried out.”

Malay rights groups and others protesting against the ICERD convention last December. Malaysia later withdrew from ratifying the treaty. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 30, 2019.

Despite not being able to determine who comprises the Malaysian deep state, Saifuddin said there are enough signs to show it existed.

“You know there is something planned and people moving but you can’t really identify them,” he said.

“They can be people who come out and speak up on issues with ridiculous arguments but they have good support. Then you see something happening.”  

However, Saifuddin doesnt know whether these people were aligned with any political party.

Genuine dissent

PH aims to ratify these remaining international treaties before its term is up: the covenant on civil and political rights; the convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment; the covenant on economic, social and cultural rights; the international convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance; and the convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families.

This was after it abandoned plans to ratify the convention to eliminate racial discrimination and the Rome Statute.

Saifuddin said the two previous incidents have prepared the ministry to face opposition from deep-state actors.

“In these things, we as the government have to be bold and come out with our narrative and should there be any deep state people who want us to fail, we have to have our counter-narrative ready.”

Saifuddin said he is able to differentiate between deep-state actors and genuine critics of the government, from the public and civil society.

“The difference is hairline but you know genuine dissent when there is a group of people who picket in front of your office and make certain calls,” he said.

“From the arguments brought out, you can more-or-less see that it is logical and should be taken seriously.

“In contrast, the outrage from deep-state actors appears fake.

“Sometimes you also know that (the protest) is really out of the box. Where are these arguments coming from?

“Then you start becoming suspicious about how they come out with these arguments.

“However, once it starts becoming so ridiculous and you see a string, one after the other, then you will say, OK maybe there is an element of some kind of a deep state here,” Saifuddin said. – July 30, 2019.

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  • Make everyone berdikari and not lured by monies, the deep state will lose influence naturally. PH must work harder to improve the life of ordinary countrymen.

    Posted 4 years ago by Tanahair Ku · Reply

  • Saifuddin, is the 'deep-state' also behind the govt's position on Zakir Naik..??

    But too bad you, Mahathir and a few in PH, cannot pick up a "genuine dissent"

    Posted 4 years ago by Rock Hensem · Reply

  • Saifuddin send zakir naik to Saudi arabia if u dont want to send him to india (JUDICIARY) . Since u love zakir so much pls do a small favour for RAKYAT who Voted U by sending him to your Holy Land . I Hate PH bcoz it is same like BN UMNO .

    Posted 4 years ago by Mindy Singh · Reply