GRACING the podium last Friday to present Malaysia’s statement at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (Unga), Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was lauded and criticised the world order.
He said the new Malaysia would espouse those principles promoted by the UN: truth, human rights, the rule of law, justice, fairness, responsibility, accountability and sustainability.
He said when he last addressed the general assembly 15 years ago, he had called for reform of the world body and the process of international engagement.
“If at all, the world is far worse than 15 years ago. Today, the world is in a state of turmoil economically, socially and politically.”
He reiterated the futility of the outmoded UN veto system: five nations based on their dominance 70 years ago claiming “to have a right to hold the world to ransom forever.”
He again called for any action by the UN Security Council to be mooted by at least two of the “powers”, backed by three non-permanent members and adopted by a simple majority at the general assembly.
Dr Mahathir lamented that small countries continued to be at the mercy of the powerful.
He stressed the need for the developing world to boost capacity building and economic diversification “to maintain control of our destiny”.
He called on the world to emulate Malaysians who chose change. Through a peaceful, democratic electoral process, they ousted the government that had been in power for 61 years.
He condemned powers and regimes that spread violence through developing and spreading weapons of mass destruction and denying human rights, which he said are “the root cause of terrorism”, leading to deaths, destruction and unparalleled displacement of people.
In a nutshell, he laid out a blueprint for international engagement and a roadmap for nations to pursue peace, progress and prosperity for their people, their neighbours and the wider world.
Indeed, a good dose of Mahathirism may be the cure for many of the world’s ills.
Rueben Dudley, Petaling Jaya, Selangor >