Hisham: Don’t let co-operation be sidelined

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 09 Dec 2003

PETALING JAYA: Southeast Asia's regional co-operation and consultation must not be sidelined by unilateralism and work must continue to build networks that are mutually beneficial, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein said. 

“Unilateral military solutions, arrogant behaviour and culturally insensitive rhetoric only makes everyone angrier and less reasonable,” he said. 

Hishammuddin, whose speech was faxed here, attended the general conference of the Council for Security Co-operation in the Asia Pacific on “The World After the Iraq War” in Jakarta yesterday.  

He said the US insistence on the universality of the “War Against Terror” was in danger of undermining regional multilateralism. 

“America has the right to defend itself, but this must be done within the constraints of fair criminal procedure and humane rules of war.  

“Its security cannot be pursued in such a way that it rides roughshod over the lives and freedoms of non-Americans.” 

Hishammuddin said Malaysians and other Southeast Asians were concerned by the grave injustice of a war fought on dubious pretexts. 

“But the region's multilateral traditions give us even more reasons to be sceptical of the unilateralism behind this war. 

“Malaysia is a country of various religions and ethnic communities, where our living together will not yield to one simple solution. 

“We are prosperous today because we have learnt to deal with our problems through alliances built and power shared on a community-by-community basis,” he said. 

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