A Pakatan Harapan Federal Government will uphold the best Malaysia-China relations in the best interests of both countries and will not undermine the good ties between both countries
With the 14th General Election to be held on May 9, 2018 in less than three weeks’ time, lies, fake news and false propanganda have increased by leaps and bounds, fully justifying the warning of critics of the Anti-Fake News Act inside and outside the country that the new law would not be used to combat lies and fake news but was a new censorship to protect the UMNO/BN leaders from exposes of corruption like the 1MDB international money-laundering scandal.
One such lies, fake news and false propaganda is that a Pakatan Harapan Federal Government in Putrajaya will destroy Malaysia-China relations, when DAP had called for the diplomatic recognition of China in the sixties and the normalization of Malaysia-China ties in the seventies long before these events took place.
The Chairman of Pakatan Harapan, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who will be the seventh Prime Minister of Malaysia if Pakatan Harapan succeeds in the 14th General Election next month to form the new Malaysian Government, has been pictured as “anti-China”.
This is one of the greatest ironies of Malaysian foreign policy.
I met a foremost Malaysian diplomat recently, Dennis Ignatius, whose 36-year diplomatic service in the country included stints in London , Beijing and Washington D.C. and had served as Ambassador to Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Paraguay and Uruguay , retiring after his appointment as Malaysian High Commissioner to Canada from 2001 to 2008.
Dennis told me that anyone who accused Mahathir of being anti-China is simply ignorant of history, as Mahathir was the one who really opened up Malaysia-China relations with his groundbreaking visit and discussions with Deng Xiaoping in 1985.
Despite the reservations of some of his colleagues in cabinet in the eighties, Mahathir pressed ahead with the full normalization of relations.
Malaysia’s relations with China are what they are today in no small part due to Mahathir’s farsightedness and courage.
Dennis said Mahathir worked tirelessly to involve China in the emerging regional economic and security infrastructure through initiatives like the East Asia Economic Caucus and the ASEAN dialogue mechanism.
Denis commented that until he broke ranks with UMNO, Mahathir was always feted as a great statesman in Beijing, another reminder that China doesn’t have permanent friends, only permanent interests.
I want to declare and stress tonight that a Pakatan Harapan Federal Government will uphold best Malaysia-China relations in the best interests of both countries and will not undermine the good ties between both countries.
Malaysia must remain an active member of the international community and we cannot continue with the denial complex, whether believing that the 1MDB international scandal can be insulated and quarantined away from the knowledge and consciousness of Malaysians or that we can ignore China’s emergence as a great political and economic powerhouse.