Obama: US Has 'Work to Do' on Human Rights, Just Like Malaysia

Image: Obama: US Has 'Work to Do' on Human Rights, Just Like Malaysia Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and U.S. President Barack Obama at a joint news conference on Sunday. (Getty Images)

Sunday, 27 Apr 2014 05:31 PM

By Greg Richter

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President Barack Obama in a joint press conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Sunday that both countries have issues with human rights that need to be addressed.

CBS News' Major Garrett asked Obama why he had not discussed human rights with Najib and why he did not meet with jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

"The fact that I haven’t met with Mr. Anwar is not indicative of a lack of concern," Obama answered. "There are a lot of people I don’t meet with."

Story continues below video.



National Security Adviser Susan Rice is scheduled to meet with Anwar Ibrahim when she visits the country this week, Red State reports.

Obama called Najib a "reformer" and said he always discusses human rights issues in his meetings with world leaders. He said he is committed to making sure such issues are raised in "a constructive way."

"I think the Prime Minister is the first to acknowledge that Malaysia’s still got some work to do. Just like the United States, by the way, has some work to do on these issues," Obama said. "Human Rights Watch probably has a list of things they think we should be doing as a government."

Indeed, Human Rights Watch, funded primarily by George Soros' Open Society Foundations, has a page on its website dedicated to issues it classifies as human rights abuses by the United States. It lists lengthy prison sentences compared to the rest of the world as well as immigration policies of Obama and his failure to close the facility holding terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Red State's Caleb Howe called it "especially ironic" that Obama listed a free press as a concern, "given the many and increasing reports from White House reporters and the usually sympathetic mainstream press about his administration’s mistreatment and bullying of reporters."

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