KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 (NNN-Bernama) — Malaysia will not allow itself to be dragged into conflicts initiated by others, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir.
Speaking at the 33rd Asia Pacific Roundtable here, he said right now the cohesiveness of nations is crucial, more than at any other period in contemporary history.
This is because present geopolitical uncertainties and the looming battle for trade supremacy have yet again threatened the determination of countries to rise above partisanship and re-alignments.
“While we welcome international collaborations in ensuring the security and peace in and around the region, we also do not wish to be dragged into the one-upmanship of powerful nations and their military presence in our zone of peace, freedom and neutrality,” he said in his keynote address entitled “New Malaysia in a Changing Regional Order”.
Dr Mahathir said it has been shown that the interests of small nations could be defended if they unite as a regional grouping and Southeast Asia’s ASEAN has been credited as one of the more successful regional organisations ever established.
The region has long witnessed first-hand regional and global power play but it prevailed, became much wiser and collectively guarded its independence and neutrality.