It was really no surprise when Malaysia forbade distribution of the Oscar-winning film about the Holocaust, "Schindler's List," as being Jewish and anti-German propaganda. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has a long history of expression that he calls anti-Zionist but others find anti-Semitic.
This is the same Mahathir Mohamad who, alone of Asian leaders, boycotted the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Seattle last November, hosted by President Clinton. He was protesting U.S. involvement in Asian matters.
It is the same Mahathir Mohamad who, to retaliate for British press stories, banned British firms from seeking Malaysian government contracts.
Malaysia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, one of Asia's new "tigers" of industrial development. The prime minister, in power since 1981, has been doing some things right.
But not all. High-handed demagogy may subvert those gains. Malaysians will pay a high price for it. And like the rest of the world, they deserve the chance to see "Schindler's List" for themselves.