PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has labelled the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as an act of “extreme cruelty” and was unacceptable.
Malaysia, he said, does not support the killing of government critics.
“This is extreme cruelty, and it is not acceptable. We too have people that we do not like, but we don’t kill them
“Luckily, last time I too was one of those people who were not liked. However, if we have a system like the Arabs, maybe we too will be unable to speak today,” he said during the Bicara Minda Sinar Harian forum that was moderated by former Media Prima chairman Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar on Monday (Oct 22).
Dr Mahathir added that Malaysia was fortunate that it did not have such practices.
Khashoggi, a columnist with the Washington Post, went missing after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2.
Turkish officials believe he was reportedly tortured and killed while in the consulate, and his body dismembered in a targeted attack.
Saudi officials initially denied claims he was dead and claimed that he had left the consulate, but on Saturday (Oct 20) finally admitted that Khashoggi had been killed, supposedly in a fistfight with at least 15 security personnel.
The killing has seen bipartisan condemnation from both Democratic and Republican senators in the United States, although US President Donald Trump said he found the Saudi explanation “credible”.