Keng Yaik: We must look for other markets


  • Nation
  • Monday, 31 Mar 2003

BY LEONG SHEN-LI

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia should look for potential markets besides the United States, as a precaution against the effects of the war and against possible retaliation for our anti-war stance, Primary Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik said. 

“I am paranoid as we do not know whether the United States' administration will retaliate against us because we have been unwilling to support its war against Iraq,” he told reporters after opening a forum on the Iraq war organised by Wanita Gerakan yesterday. 

Dr Lim, who is also Gerakan president, said he was not advocating that Malaysians boycott the US market. 

“We will continue welcoming their investments and tourists. However, as we are dependent on exports to the US, we have to find other markets as a precaution,” he said, adding that retaliation against Malaysia for its strong anti-war stance was as much a threat as the direct effects of the war as far as Malaysia’s exports were concerned. 

“What I am worried about is the manufactured goods from these commodities (raw primary products), of which the US is a major market.”  

Dr Lim said that rubber glove exports to the US was almost 80% of total exports while timber furniture exports to the US formed a big proportion of total exports of that product. So far, he said, exports of commodities had not been affected by the war.  

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