Asia Malaysia “What is there to spy in Malaysia? We are an open book.”...

“What is there to spy in Malaysia? We are an open book.” Dr Mahathir on the possibility of Huawei spying on the country

Malaysia ignores the US blacklist of Huawei but stands firm against China stationing warships in the South China Sea.




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Tokyo— At the 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia forum on Thursday (May 30) where he delivered the keynote speech, Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that his country will be using Huawei products “as much as possible” despite concerns over security due to accusations of espionage.

Malaysia will not follow the United States’ blacklisting of Huawei.

Dr Mahathr said that the Chinese tech giant has access to research “far bigger than the whole of Malaysia’s research equivalent,” which is vital to his country

“So, we try to make use of their technology as much as possible.”

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The outspoken prime minister added, ”Everybody knows, if any country wants to invade Malaysia, they can walk through, and we will not resist because it’s a waste of time.”

A video of his full keynote speech can be found here.

Dr Mahathir answered a question regarding ongoing investigations as to whether or not Huawei was participating in espionage.

He said that no single nation should dominate the fields of science and technology at all times, referring to the US.

“We have to accept that the US cannot forever be the supreme nation in the world that can have the best technology. Today, the best technology that is found in the US is actually due to research by a lot of Asians who have migrated there. These same Asians in their own countries, can do the same,” he said.

He acknowledged Huawei’s superiority as well: “Huawei has got tremendous advance over American technology.”

However, he also said: “While there is room for competition, it should not lead to war. 

“So  sometimes, there is competition … if sometimes the East wins, that’s okay. But, going to war is not the solution.”

During the course of his speech, Dr Mahathir encouraged various nations to settle their differences with China not by force but through negotiations: “We had several new world orders and they all seemed to have failed. And, they have failed because we are still quite primitive. We are still relatively uncivilised. We think that conflicts can be resolved through confrontation, war, destruction and killing of people.”

He said that compromise is key, and “each and everyone of us has to make sacrifices. We have to realise that a win-win situation does not mean that we get everything that we asked for. It means that we have to sacrifice something so that the other party will also be willing to make sacrifices.”

In times when disputes cannot be settled between two countries, Dr M explained that there is the option of international arbitration wherein the rule of law must be upheld and reign supreme.

“This was the case in the conflict between Malaysia and Singapore over islands. These islands are definitely Malaysian islands, nobody can dispute that, but the court said it belongs to Singapore.

So what do we do? We accede to the court’s decision,” Dr Mahathir said.

At another dispute wherein Indonesia and Malaysia both claimed territory, the two nations brought the matter to the court again.

“The court decided that the islands belong to Malaysia, and Indonesia, despite feelings of unhappiness, has to accept the decision.

“That is the way of civilised people. If we resort to war and we keep on increasing our capacity to kill and destroy, then we cannot call ourselves a civilisation,” he said.

Dr Mahahir stood firm regarding his nation’s decision not to allow warships to stay in the South China Sea: “If they’re going to pass through, they are welcome to do so. But, to have a fleet here, a very aggressive fleet here, is not something that is going to stabilise the area.

“So, I think that our mindsets must be changed. We consider ourselves civilised people but we solve problems by killing each other, and by destroying whole countries.”/ TISG

Read related: ADB praises Dr Mahathir for efficient use of public funds

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