US will not be allowed to remain
Kuala Lumpur, March 29, IRNA -- Malaysia and other countries would not
permit the United States to control Iraq once the war has ended, said
Acting Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
in power in Iraq
He said numerous quarters do not expect the superpower to continue
to station its forces in Iraq even after the war in order to hang on
to power there.
"But (the US) says no, no no. They regard themselves as liberation
forces. Liberation forces means that they don't remain in that
"If they remain there, it means that they want to take over the
country," he was quoted as saying in a Bernama report on Saturday.
The acting premier was asked to comment on reports claiming that
the US had no intention to hand over the reconstruction of Iraq to
the United Nations.
Abdullah said if the US failed to withdraw its forces after the
Iraqi regime was defeated, it would confirm fears that US was waging
the war solely to continue exerting its power in the region.
He also urged Malaysians to contribute to the humanitarian aid
funds for the war victims in Iraq, adding that the country would be
coordinated by the foreign ministry.
In an address earlier, the acting premier said the UN Security
Council must provide an opportunity to leaders of the Non-Aligned
Movement (NAM) to express their respective desires for an immediate
stop to the war.
He said Malaysia wanted the UN to play its role to resolve the
Iraq crisis and hoped that the big powers would cooperate to stop the
US from continuing with the war.
Abdullah said the impact of the war, which began on March 20, was
not only felt by the Iraqis but the whole world as well.
"Economies will be affected, international trade involving the
West Asian countries will be affected, the sale of the country's palm
oil and cars will also be affected, shipping rates will rise and so
will risky insurance," he said.
The acting premier warned that a protracted war would lead to more
economic problems because it would affect the implementation of plans
to develop the country.
"That's why we don't want war, we want to resolve the problem in
Iraq through consensus," he said, adding that he hoped Malaysians
would understand the implications of the war.
Abdullah said he was also glad that Malaysians, including the
opposition, supported the government in its stand on the Iraqi issue
and hoped that they would contribute to ease the sufferings of the
"I'm proud of Malaysians for strongly opposing war and wanting
peace," he said.
In a related development, the opposition Malaysian People's Party
(PRM) Saturday urged the government to immediately withdraw from the
defense agreement with the United States and the Five Nations Defense
Agreement (FNDA) with Britain and Australia.
Its president, Dr Syed Husin Ali, said there was no moral basis
for Malaysia to continue with these agreements due to the ongoing
conflict in Iraq.
"US has launched an illegal and immoral war of aggression on Iraq.
It uses lethal weapons of mass destruction which are inflicting deaths
and sufferings on a large number of innocent children, women and
"In this inhuman and barbaric act, it is aided by Britain and
Australia, which are leading members of the FNDA," he said in a
The PRM leader said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is
also the chairperson of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), has
consistently and correctly condemned the unjust war.
"Therefore, we call upon Dr Mahathir to initiate the move to pull
out from the defense agreements," he said.
The agreement with the US was signed by Mahathir and the then
Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger in 1984, while the FNDA has
continued since pre-indepence from SEATO (Southeast Asian Treaty
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir is currently on a two-month vacation.
Meanwhile, the government said non-governmental organizations
involved in assistance programs for Iraqi war victims would be issued
grants to ease their financial burden.
National Unity and Social Development Minister Dr Siti Zaharah
Sulaiman, who gave the information, added that her ministry was
willing to cooperate with any NGOs in chanelling assistance via the
She said the ministry had also drawn out an assistance program
for Iraqi refugees of the conflict.