shut up and listen to me!

Mahathir Mohamad – The brave among the clownS.

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Tarikh/Date 	: 	01/10/93

 Mr President,
    I would like to join the other speakers in extending my
congratulations to  Your  Excellency  Ambassador  Samuel  R.
Insanally  on  your  election  as  the President of the 48th
Session of  the  United  Nations  General  Assembly.    Your
election  to  the  important  office of the President of the
General Assembly is an honour to  your  country,  with  whom
Malaysia  enjoys  warm  and  friendly relations.   With your
experience  and  ability,  I  am  confident  that  you  will
discharge  your  responsibilities  well and lead this august
assembly to a successful conclusion of its work.
2.   I would also like to express my  appreciation  of  your
predecessor H.E. Mr. Stoyan Ganev, who discharged his duties
with dedication and earnestness, and successfully guided the
efforts in revitalising the work of the General Assembly.
Mr. President,
3.     May I also take this opportunity to welcome on behalf
of Malaysia six  countries  which  have  joined  the  United
Nations  since  last fall - Andora, Czech Republic, Eritrea,
Monaco, Slovak Republic and the Republic of Macedonia. Their
membership would help in strengthening  the  United  Nations
and  in  executing  its  increasingly  complex  role  in the
maintenance of international peace  and  security,  and  the
promotion of international economic cooperation.
Mr. President,
4.      Malaysia  is  a developing third world country.   We
should, according to the stereotypical western concept of  a
third    world    country,    be    politically    unstable,
administratively incompetent and economically depressed.
5.   But we are not quite typical.   We have  actually  made
progress.    We  are  quite  stable  despite  a multi-racial
time-bomb we inherited from  our  colonial  past.    We  are
fairly competent in the running of our affairs.  Such is our
progress  that  we  actually  contemplate building buildings
which should be the preserve of our betters.
6.   And we dare to speak our minds.
7.   These are unforgiveable sins and we are reminded  every
time  that we should not be too ambitious.  We are told that
our achievements are temporary, that next year we  would  go
the  way  of  their  preconceived third world countries.  Of
course last year and the years before we were told the same.
But so far we have not obliged. We are however humbly  aware
that  nothing  is  permanent.   Our detractors may yet prove
8.    That we do well and are not  in  dire  need  of  their
development  aid  is apparently not praiseworthy.  Yet, when
other developing countries perform badly they are  chastised
and  told  to  do  better,  or they would get no more aid or
9.    But we will soldier on.   We really  should  not  care
about  what  is  said  of us.   Unfortunately these negative
remarks make life that much more difficult for us.
10.  We need foreign investment.   To have them  we  need  a
reputation  for  stability,  competence  and predictability.
But when investors are told repeatedly that we are about  to
explode  in racial violence, etc., they are likely to invest
elsewhere.  Of course what is said about us is untrue, lies.
But these people apparently subscribe to the dictum, that  a
lie repeated often enough will be believed.
Mr. President,
11.    We care for the well-being of our people.  We want to
develop so as to give them a reasonable standard of  living.
But  we cannot be cowed into not speaking our minds.  If the
powerful nations do wrong, we will speak  out  against  them
even  if  they say we are unduly suspicious, that we have an
exaggerated sense of our own importance, etc.    We  can  be
belittled but we will continue to speak the truth.
12.    Here  at  the U.N. we will say what we feel we should
say.  Of course the controlled `free' Western media will not
publish it.  But the few here will hear us.  In any case  it
is  what  we achieve that counts with us.  We can do without
Western approval.
Mr. President,
13.  Four or five years ago the world  was  celebrating  the
impending  collapse  of  the  'Evil  Empire'.   The Union of
Soviet Socialist Republic was still  intact  then,  but  all
indications were that it had given up the fight; that it was
coming  to terms with its main adversaries, the countries of
the Western so-called Free World; and that the Cold War  was
drawing to a close.
14.  Peace was breaking out all over the world and there was
much  talk  of `peace dividends'.   The arms race would end,
there would be nuclear disarmament, and as the saying  goes,
the  guns  would  be turned into ploughshares.   A brave new
world would emerge:  equitable, just and prosperous.   There
would  be  no  oppression,  no  terror  and  no  poverty  or
15.    Everyone  would  embrace  democracy  and  the  market
economy,  transiting  from  authoritarian  rule  and command
economy without any hitches.  And a global  policeman  would
see  to  it  that  every  country  stay  in line or face the
consequences.   There was no end to  the  good  things  that
would make up the 'peace dividends'.
16.    It  would  be  wrong to say that there were no 'peace
dividends'  at  all  --  the  Iran-Iraq  War,   the   Soviet
occupation  of Afghanistan, the war in Cambodia, some of the
Central    American    wars,    and    now    the    violent
Palestinian-Israeli   confrontation   and   South   Africa's
apartheid; these did get resolved, partially or  completely.
But the world has not become a safer or a better place for a
great many.
17.    The  Soviet  Union  did  not  just  become democratic
practitioners of free trade, working with the good guys  for
a better world.  It broke up into a number of republics, and
Russia  has  become  dangerously  unstable and ungovernable.
The respected great reformer  of  Perestroika  and  Glasnost
fame  has been ousted and disgraced and has been replaced by
another who seems to fare no better.
18.  The 'Evil Empire' is no more.  But the price  in  human
lives  and  displacement  of  people is very high.   And the
price is still being paid.
19.  In Georgia, Moldavia, Armenia, Azerbaijan,  Tajikistan,
much  destruction and many killings have taken place and are
still taking place.   The old economic  structure  has  been
destroyed,  but  the  new  one  is  far from being in place.
Chaos, bloody chaos, prevails in many places.
20.  Far from achieving universal peace the world is treated
to a spectacle of unparalleled brutality  by  the  Serbs  in
Bosnia-  Herzergovina.   In many countries of Europe fascism
has once again reared its ugly head.  Houses are torched and
people burned to death.  And the voters actually approved.
21.          During the Cold War days the protagonists tried
constantly to provoke uprisings against Governments  of  the
countries   they  were  opposed  to.    They  would  provide
financial and material help and the promise that they  would
protect these rebels or provide them with asylum.
22.    With  the  collapse of the communist bloc, the people
there expected help  when  they  overthrew  their  Communist
Governments and established democratic free market societies
or  they  sought  independence for their countries.  In some
instances they found  their  expectations  justified.    The
Slovenes  and  the  Croats  enjoyed  the full support of the
Europeans and were able to mould new nations.  But the Kurds
and the Bosnians learnt that they thought wrong.  It is only
coincidental that both are Muslim communities.
23.  The most tragic case  is  that  of  Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The  crime of the Muslims is that they wish for a non-Muslim
religiously  heterogenous  state.     They  were   viciously
attacked by the Serbs who openly declared that they were and
are  doing  this  to  ensure  that Europe remains Christian.
They are not prevented by the Europeans.
24.  The cruelties committed by the Serbs defy  imagination.
In  one  case, which caused officials in one of the powerful
countries of the  West  to  resign  in  protest  over  their
Government's  passivity, a six year-old child was repeatedly
raped in front of her mother who not only had to  watch  but
was  prevented  from  giving any help until the little child
died after two days of exposure.
25.  This is not an isolated incident.   Muslim  women,  old
and young and little girls were raped, brutalised and killed
by  the  tens of thousands at the hands of the Serbs and the
26.           Hundreds of thousands of Muslims have died and
are dying and some two million have been forced to flee from
their burning towns and villages.
27.   And what do the erstwhile  champions  of  freedom  and
democracy  do?    They  actually  prevented the victims from
defending themselves.  Instead they try to force the victims
to  accept  the  partitioning   and   surrender   of   their
territories  which had been ethnically-cleansed by the Serbs
and Croats.   Thus  are  the  rapers  and  murderers  to  be
rewarded?    Only  the most gullible will still believe that
the vociferous champions of freedom and democracy will  risk
their necks for other people's freedom and democracy.
Mr President,
28.  Malaysia would like to record its satisfaction over the
acceptance  of  Malaysian troops to serve in the U.N. forces
in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  We regret, however, the exclusion of
certain Muslim countries from participating in the UNPROFOR.
Apparently the distrust of Muslims is quite widespread.
29.   Malaysians are prepared  to  serve  under  whoever  is
appointed  by  the U.N. in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  We hope that
our troops will be well-supported.  We will not  protest  if
the   U.N.  decides  to  increase  pressure  on  the  Serbs,
including  mounting  a  military  offensive,  provided   due
preparations are made.
Mr President,
30.  When we add up, the 'peace dividends' accruing from the
ending of the Cold War have not been really substantial.  If
at  all, the debit side is much bigger than the credit side.
The most glaring example is the reneging on the much  needed
development assistance to poor developing countries.
31.  Still when drawing up the balance sheet from the ending
of  the  Cold  War, one cannot but highlight two significant
items on the  credit  side.    The  recent  signing  of  the
PLO-Israeli  peace  agreement  and  that  between blacks and
whites in South Africa  must  be  regarded  as  the  biggest
achievements  of the post Cold War period.  Admittedly there
is still a great deal to be negotiated before justice can be
rendered  to  all  sides  and  before  true  peace   becomes
permanent.  But the most crucial parts are over.
32.   I would like to congratulate all the parties concerned
for their good sense and their boldness.  The extremists  on
both  sides will not be happy.  There will be more violence.
But I am sure those who are for peace and good sense will be
as brave in peace as they have been in war.
33.  I commend these accords to the good people of  Northern
Ireland.    It is brave not to surrender even one inch.  But
it takes real bravery to compromise.
Mr President,
34.  One may well ask why in the face of the much-publicised
failure of the U.S-sponsored peace talks,  there  should  be
this sudden break-through?  The answer is to be found in the
press  statements.  Good sense cannot prevail when the media
demands that statements be made by each and everyone  before
and  after  each  negotiating session.   The negotiators are
forced to make public stands, to demonstrate how tough  they
are and how they will not give in even an inch.  Having made
these  stands  they  were not able to accommodate good sense
35.  In the peace talks in Norway there was no press.    And
good  sense  was  able  to  prevail.    There  is this great
democratic principle about the need to  know.    Do  we  all
really need to know every detail of every negotiation?  Does
every Israeli settler or Gaza strip Arab, or for that matter
every Tom, Dick and Harry in every part of the world need to
know  everything  about the negotiations?  Must Palestinians
continue  to  be killed and be
made homeless because everybody needs to know what was  said
by whom?
36.    This need for transparency, this right to information
is an invention of those who want to  make  money  from  the
information  industry.   We should know about the bestiality
of the Serbs in Bosnia so we may react.  But this  knowledge
is  largely denied us.  On the other hand, we are shown this
parade of negotiators to a peace conference day in  and  day
out.   Can the average man do anything worthwhile because he
has seen the daily TV report?
Mr. President,
37.  We live in the Information Age.   There  has  been  and
there will continue to be an unending explosion in the field
of information technology.
38.   Today we can sit in our homes and watch and hear a war
as it is being fought; witness with eyes and ears  a  beauty
contest  as  it  is  being  judged  and look at bugs under a
microscope as it swims, via the TV screen.  We see all these
as they are, where they are without a second's delay.
39.  We can watch murder as it is being  committed,  in  all
the gory details.  And we can be shocked by it.  But then we
can also watch Michael Jackson doing his 'moon-walk' even as
mass murder and massacres of the most brutal kinds are being
committed at that very moment.
40.  What we see and hear and witness, Mr President, is what
the media decide we should see and hear and witness.  If the
media  wants  us  to  be  shocked  by  the  massacre, it can
broadcast lurid details of that massacre.  But if it chooses
to broadcast Michael Jackson at the time  the  massacre  was
taking  place,  we  will  be  stomping  our  feet  in  total
Mr. President,
41.  Clearly the people who decide what we  should  see  and
hear  hold  terrible power.  They can have us dancing in the
streets or they can have us  rioting  in  the  streets  with
firebrands in our hands, burning, looting and killing.
42.  Can we doubt that such people are powerful?
43.    Make  no  mistake.   The people who control the media
control  our  minds,  and  probably   control   the   world.
Presidents  can  be  made or broken by them.  And they have.
Countries can be isolated or accepted despite violations  of
human rights, depending on how the media presents them.
44.    And  who  controls the powerful world media?  Not the
national Governments of tiny developing nations.   Not  even
the  Governments  of powerful nations.  A very few people in
the west control all the  international  media.    Some  are
journalists  but quite a few are not.  Collectively they are
Big Brothers.
45.  Now they have an even more effective weapon in the form
of the worldwide TV network.  Today they  broadcast  slanted
news.    Tomorrow  they  will  broadcast  raw pornography to
corrupt our children and destroy  our  culture.    They  are
already doing that in Europe.
46.    Today we can still control the reception.  The day is
fast approaching when only a coat-hanger would be needed  to
receive TV broadcasts from across the world.
47.    We  will  have nowhere to retreat.  Already the small
nations are being accused of being undemocratic and limiting
freedom because we do not allow reception  of  international
TV  networks.  We hope it is because our accusers believe in
the freedom of the press.  But we suspect it   is    because
they monopolise  the world
media  and  they  stand  to  profit  substantially  from the
freedom they insist every nation should have.
48.  Malaysia believes in press freedom.  But that  freedom,
as  with  other  freedoms and rights, must be accompanied by
responsibility.  We will continue to  expect  the  Malaysian
media  to  be  responsible.   We will not forego the need to
enforce this responsibility.   But as to  the  international
press  we  can only hope and pray that they will realise the
damage they are doing.   We will not  interfere  with  them.
They  are  free  to  report and to write any amount of lies.
But we do hope that occasionally they cover the truth  also.
Power  corrupts.    But  power without responsibility is the
most corrupting influence of all.
Mr President,
49.    We  have  heard  often  enough  of   the   need   for
restructuring  the  U.N.    We need it because the world has
changed.  It is not the world of the  immediate  Post  World
War II that we have today.
50.   The people who plunged the world into a horrendous war
are now the good guys, telling the world how to  be  humane.
The  rapacious  invaders  of  the  past  are  now  the  good
samaritans distributing aid to the needy.  Will there always
be no room for the reformed?
51.  We talk of democracy as the only acceptable  system  of
government.    It  is  so  good  that we cannot wait for the
democratic process to bring about its  acceptance  by  every
country.    It  must  be  forced upon everyone whether it is
welcomed or not.  Yet when it comes to the  U.N.  we  eschew
democracy.   And the most undemocratic aspect of the U.N. is
the veto power of the Permanent Five.   We can  accept  some
weightage  for them, but for each of them, alone, to be more
powerful than the  whole  membership  of  the  U.N.  is  not
acceptable;  not  before,  not  now  and not for the future.
There can be for the  time  being  some  permanent  members.
But  the  veto  must  go.    A formula must be found for new
permanent members of the security council.  Whatever may  be
the  other  qualifications,  they must include a genuine and
sincere interest in international welfare.
Mr President,
52.  At the Ministerial Meeting in Vienna this year  a  more
comprehensive  definition  of  Human  Rights  was presented.
Many countries like Malaysia  were  smeared  in  Vienna  for
allegedly  refusing  to  accept  the  universality  of human
rights.  We do subscribe to the universality of human rights
but not to the irresponsible variety propounded by the West.
Human rights is not a licence to do anything without  regard
to  the  rights  of others.   The rights of the majority are
just  as  valid  as  the  rights  of  the  minority  or  the
individual.    A  society has a right to protect itself from
the  unbridled  exercise  of  rights  by  individuals  or  a
minority  which  in the West has contributed to the collapse
of morality and the structure of human society.
53.   If individual  and  minority  rights  are  so  totally
inviolable  than you must allow the resurgence of Nazism and
their violently racist activities in Europe  and  elsewhere.
But it is apparent that at least the west still think racist
violence  is  wrong.    We  hope  they will also accept that
freedom from poverty and the wish to develop  are  essential
elements  of  human rights.  Finally countries like Malaysia
must take exception  to  preachings  on  human  rights  from
people  who  willingly  condone  and to a certain degree aid
ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina.   Until they  redeem
themselves  there,  all  their  talks  of human rights sound
Mr President,
54.  This litany of the woes of the developing countries and
the world may seem endless.  Actually the list is  far  from
complete.    Trade and protectionism,  aid  and debts, UNCED
and pressures on
environmental issues, antarctica and many more have not been
touched upon.
55.   The world of  the  Post  Cold  War  period  is  not  a
thoroughly  bad  place.     But for the developing countries
including Malaysia, there is  really  very  little  to  crow
56.  A statement in the U.N. Assembly is not going to change
the  world.   But there is really nowhere else that the woes
of the third world can be aired.   Not to  air  them  is  to
encourage  the kind of supercilious arrogance on the part of
those who are most responsible  and  yet  still  presume  to
extoll  their  own virtues and to preach to others.  Even if
the benefit is minimal, the truth must be told sometime.
     I thank you, Mr President.


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