Published as “The Second Coming” in Malay Mail Online
Every 90s Malaysian kid would have at least heard financial speculator George Soros’ name once in their lives; usually said with such hatred as if he was Satan himself.
Our impression of Soros was that of a crooked Jew hell-bent on destroying Muslims and responsible for ruining the lives of many Malaysians following the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
This can mostly be blamed on former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad whose anti-Semitic feelings is hardly a secret. Even as recent as June this year, the veteran statesman still insisted — in an interview with Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hassan — that “Jews are ruling the world by proxy.”
Back in 1997, Dr Mahathir had the perfect scapegoat in Soros. According to Dr Mahathir, Soros had used his wealth to destabilise South-east Asian currencies to punish Asean for accepting Myanmar, then still under the rule of military junta.
After all, Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF; then Open Society Institute) was promoting democracy in the strife-torn country.
“We do not want to say that this is a plot by the Jews, but in reality it is a Jew who triggered the currency plunge, and coincidentally Soros is a Jew.
“It is also a coincidence that the Malaysians are mostly Muslim. Indeed, the Jews are not happy to see Muslims progress,” Dr Mahathir was reported saying.
The Malaysian media picked that up and ran with the anti-Semitic angle.
It is ironic when you consider how un-Jewish Soros can be, despite his Jewish background.