Myanmar putting Asean in a spot, says Dr Mahathir

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 25 Jun 2003

PUTRAJAYA: Myanmar is putting Asean in a dilemma by further delaying the release of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday. 

The Prime Minister expressed hope that Suu Kyi would be released as soon as possible. 

“I don't know why she is not released. I hope the Myanmar government will take into consideration the views expressed by other countries in this matter because it is putting Asean in a dilemma,” he told reporters at his office. 

Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy has been detained since May 30 after a clash between her supporters and government backers. 

The Asean Ministerial Meeting in Cambodia last week, in an unprecedented move, had discussed the matter despite the grouping’s non-interference policy of its members’ domestic affairs. The grouping had also called for her early release. 

In an article in the Asian Wall Street Journal which commented on Dr Mahathir’s speech at the just-concluded Umno general assembly in which he criticised the Europeans and his alleged attempt to gain wider popularity, the Prime Minister said he was retiring and did not need to be popular anymore. 

“In October, I will not be the Prime Minister or president of the party. I am not popular with the Western press and don’t propose to be popular with them (now).” 


He also said Malaysia had treated foreign investors well and they had been drawn to the country despite his criticism of their countries. 


“I am not against people; I am against policies. When countries have policies that are detrimental to our well-being, I would have to say so.”  

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