September 12 , 2002

Malaysia Not A Lackey To Any Major Powers, Says Abdullah

LOS ANGELES, Sept 12 (Bernama) -- Malaysia pursues a principled foreign policy and is not a lackey to any major powers, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
"When Iraq invaded Kuwait, Malaysia supported military intervention to liberate Kuwait but when the United States continued with air strikes against Iraq, we opposed this.
"Similarly, we have cooperated with the US-led fight against global terrorism but we will oppose any unilateral military action against Iraq especially when no solid evidence has been provided to the international community about the threat that Iraq poses," he said.
"This shows that Malaysia has a principled foreign policy and we will not blindly support anyone. We will offer our support when we believe that the action is right and is consistent with the norms of international laws," he said.
The Iraq issue must be discussed at the United Nations in order to obtain the agreement of the international community on how to proceed with the matter, he said during a gathering with about 150 Malaysian students and members of the Malaysian community based here Tuesday.
Abdullah also asked Malaysians residing abroad to remain loyal citizens who would promote national interest overseas whether it was through business or as professionals.
He told the students to utilize the educational opportunities given to them by the government to contribute to the progress of Malaysia.
When asked about his plans when he takes over as Prime Minister in October next year, he said: "I will continue the policy of pursuing Vision 2020 as that is the collective vision of all Malaysians as articulated by (Prime Minister) Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir (Mohamad)."
At an earlier function organised by the Asia Society here, he asserted that there would be a continuity of policy following the leadership change in Malaysia.
"The government will remain business-friendly and Malaysia will remain an open trading nation committed to democratic governance," he said.
Among other things that the Deputy Prime Minister discussed with the Asia Society which comprises academic and business leaders were US-Malaysia bilateral relations and regional issues.
Abdullah is in Los Angeles en route to New York to deliver Malaysia's statement at the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday.