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Unlike in many Latin American countries, or in China or Russia, for Malaysian and Indonesian intellectuals, there is nothing like "dirty money". Money is money always halal.
Malaysian filmmakers, writers and other intellectuals never criticize the West, but diligently support Western propaganda, when it is targeting Russia, but even such far-away countries such as South Africa.
The United Kingdom has been omnipresent, through family ties, 'education', through the British Council which has been spreading funding and ideological dogmas, but also through its main propaganda outlets such as the BBC.
I met a writer who had her entire work sponsored by the Western outlets, and who was flown to places as diverse as the Caribbean Islands and Alaska, as a reward for her writing, which has been glorifying both transgender rights and big business construction of motorways. When I confronted her, she replied, simply and honestly: "I have two children to raise".
Malaysian art festivals have been clearly propagating the Western line of thinking. By mistake, I was invited to one (in old city of Georgetown). But never again. There are certain unwritten rules, including: no open criticism of Western imperialism, and no direct support for countries like China, Russia, Cuba or Venezuela. Local artists and writers are paid to talk and write about sexual habits, such as homosexuality or trans-gender issues, instead of the horrors taking place next-door, like the genocide in West Papua, where Indonesia has managed to murder around 500,000 people on behalf of Western multi-national companies and governments.
Taboo is also touching what made Malaysia relatively wealthy thorough plunder of its environment through palm oil plantations and mining, as well as mistreatment of indigenous people on the territory of two of its states located on Borneo Island.
Malaysia changed; became unrecognizable. And it happened unbelievably fast.
Kuala Lumpur (as well as Singapore) have been choking on smog from the burning Indonesian islands of Kalimantan (Indonesian part of Borneo, the third largest island in the world) and Sumatra, but no explosion of outrage has been detectable from the Malaysian "thinkers".
No outrage over US and EU attacks against Afghanistan, Libya or Syria.
Even Malaysian leaders, at times, were more outspoken than the funding-hungry local intellectuals. Prime Minister of Malaysia, according to Reuters, reacted to assassination of Iranian General Soleimani:
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