Daily Archives: November 3, 2019

Dr Mahathir Meets NZ PM Jacinda Ardern

BANGKOK, Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad met with his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern on the sidelines of the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits here today.

In the 30-minute meeting at the IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Centre in Nonthaburi here, both leaders discussed various issues of mutual interests including climate change, bilateral and trade issues as well as the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit 2020 in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia hosted APEC Summit in 1998.

Dr Mahathir also expressed appreciation to Ardern for her good effort in handling the terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch during Friday prayer last March, which claimed the lives of more than 50 people, including a 17-year-old Malaysian. Three other Malaysians were injured in the incident.

Dr Mahathir is leading the Malaysian delegation to the 35th ASEAN Summit.

Source: Office of the Prime Minster Malaysia

Applying Sanctions Is Against the Law – Dr Mahathir

BANGKOK, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has criticised the move by a certain country to impose economic sanctions on another country, saying the move is against the law.

He said applying sanctions not only hurts the country involved but also negatively impacts other countries that trade with the country sanctioned.

When you apply sanction, it is against the law. There is no provision in UN (United Nations) that when a country is dissatisfied with another country, it can apply sanction on that country as well as other countries that trade with the country being sanctioned, he told the Malaysian media on the sidelines of the 35th ASEAN Summit here today.

He noted that although the issue of sanctions was not mentioned at the summit, it had also affected other countries.

Malaysia is now being sanctioned, because we can’t trade with a very big trading country of ours, Iran. Other countries also receive the same treatment.

So under what law? They talk so much about rule of law; they talk so much about rule-based trade but the very people that talk about this or invented this idea are the same people not adhering to their own principles, he said.

Though Dr Mahathir did no mention the nation that imposed economic sanctions, the United States has slapped economic and trade sanctions on Iran over the latter’s nuclear programme.

Earlier this week, Dr Mahathir had said Malaysia was pressured by certain quarters to close bank accounts of Iranian individuals and companies in Malaysia due to the sanction on Iran.

Dr Mahathir also said the issue of US-China trade war was discussed at the summits today, with the leaders expressing their concern over the ongoing spat with no signs when it would end.

Yes. They all feel that this is disrupting the growth of their trade and economy.

They would like to have a peaceful world where they can trade with other countries, he said, adding that China itself had wanted to put an end to it.

The prime minister said the trade war could drag on for at least another five years if US President Donald Trump was re-elected next year.

Earlier today, Dr Mahathir participated in three summits, namely the 22nd ASEAN-China Summit, 16th ASEAN-India Summit and 10th ASEAN-United Nations (UN) Summit.

Touching on the grouping’s meeting with India, Dr Mahathir said both sides have agreed to continue enhancing cooperation including increasing bilateral interaction, trade and tourism.

(With) India, basically there is no problem. India is positive on those issues and I hope these will be translated into actions by India and ASEAN, he said.

On the meeting with the UN delegation headed by its secretary-general Antonio Guterres, the prime minister said he once again highlighted the veto power of the world body.

He said that at the meeting, for the first time, Gutteres also agreed with him on the need to tackle and take actions against the threats of terrorism based on its root cause.

Gutteres also touched on the issue of climate change and its effects in the region, especially the rising sea level that resulted in some islands being inundated.

The three-day summit will end tomorrow.

Source: Office of the Prime Minster Malaysia

Thai PM Pushes For ASEAN 4.0 Regional Digital Connectivity

BANGKOK, Thai Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, urged all ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members, to rein into the ASEAN 4.0, alongside the Thailand 4.0 policy, to push forward digital connectivity in the region.

Speaking at the 18th ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) 2019, on Empowering ASEAN 4.0 in Bangkok, Prayut urged all ASEAN member states to maximise opportunities from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) that he said, will fundamentally define the future of ASEAN.

We are driven by increasing digitalisation and innovation, said Prayut, and ASEAN is on the verge of technological revolution.

Prayut also said, his administration pushed forth the Thailand 4.0 policy with the aim to transform the Thai economy into one that can cope with the onset of 4IR.

This involves transforming the Thai economy into a digital economy, using the new business model, which combines online and offline business, said Prayut, and Thailand has already begun its digital transformation to improve the country’s macroeconomic and microeconomic activities.

The key in future development is innovation, said Prayut, and innovation will be the key element in driving sustainable development in the 4IR.

The 18th ABIS 2019 Summit was a platform for ASEAN leaders to express their vision of the future, and views towards opportunities and challenges of investment in the face of changes in the world economy.

The summit also presents an opportunity for the private sector to address ASEAN leaders on problem- solving and obstacles to trade and investment.� NNN-XINHUA

Source: NAM News Network

It Is Not Easy to Conclude RCEP – Dr Mahathir

BANGKOK, Nov 3 (Bernama) Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said it is not easy to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as it needs to reach an agreement by all 16-RCEP countries.

Dr Mahathir, who is leading a Malaysian delegation to the 35th ASEAN Summit here, said multilateral trade deal is not easy to conclude as it involves 16 participating countries.

We need an agreement from all 16 countriesif one country demands something and we cannot accept it, then there will be no agreement.

Multilateral or even bilateral is not easy. It is not just about being nice to each other or patting your back and saying I agree with what you said and you agree with what I said, he told the Malaysian media here today when asked to comment on the conclusion of RCEP after the seven-year delay.

The RCEP is a multilateral trade agreement between the 10 member states of ASEAN � Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam � and its six Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners, namely China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India.

The RCEP, which began in 2012, with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of US$49.5 trillion, which makes up 39 per cent of the total global GDP, is set to be the world’s largest trade pact when successfully concluded.

Meanwhile, Malaysian International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking said matters on the RCEP was generally brought up during the ASEAN-China and ASEAN-India Summit here today.

He added that only one country was still ‘not clear’ of its decision pending conclusion on some issues at home.

Most of the terms for the RCEP have been finalised and concluded. Only one country with a ‘not clear’ decisionjust wait for the leaders’ statement tomorrow, he said.

It is believed the negotiations are still unable to come to terms in at least four outstanding chapters of the 20 chapters text, namely e-investment, e-commerce, rules of origin, and trade remedies.

Media reported hopes to finalize the trade deal following India’s new demand.

During the ASEAN-India Summit, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi did not mention anything about the RCEP deal, but only on reviewing existing trade agreement between ASEAN and India.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said China had given an undertaking that Beijing subscribed to peace in the South China Sea.

That is their undertaking. Any problem we have in the South China Sea, it can be resolved through negotiations, certainly not through violence and war.

I believe that they (China) will not take such acts (of violence) and other countries also will not be harsh on China.

The problem now is that other countries (outside ASEAN), which are not friendly with China, are trying to provoke ASEAN member countries to join them and go against China.

If there were violence and war, the victims will be ASEAN member countries and China, he added.

Source: Office of the Prime Minster Malaysia

ASEAN Summit Kicks Off In Thailand With Focus On Multi-lateralism, Connectivity

BANGKOK, The 35th summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and related summits, kicked off here today, with multi-lateralism and connectivity taking centre stage.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said, to create a prosperous and sustainable region, we should continue to work to conclude negations on RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) within this year, to stimulate economic growth, as well as, trade and investment.

The Thai prime minister also called for continued support for multilateral trade system, under the purview of the World Trade Organisation, as well as, regional and sub-regional economic cooperation frameworks, such as the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, so as to enhance economic resilience of ASEAN.

ASEAN and the world today are facing increased challenges, including those to global economic growth and multi-lateralism, and close partnership and friendship will be crucial to enabling the region to tackle and overcome these challenges, Prayut said.

There is the need to promote a seamless ASEAN through the Connecting the Connectivities approach, both within the ASEAN region and beyond. This includes physical, people-to-people, financial and digital connectivity, he said.

The meetings over the next two days will be an important opportunity to demonstrate partnership and friendship between ASEAN and the world community, to take forward the outcome of the last ASEAN summit, and to craft a collective approach based on ASEAN centrality and its strength to address regional and global challenges, the prime minister added.

Thailand holds the rotating chair of ASEAN for 2019.

Under the theme Advancing Partnership for sustainability, the ASEAN summit will sum up the bloc’s achievements in community building and integration during 2019, tap the opportunities arising from digital transformation, and seek solutions to economic uncertainties facing the bloc.

The related summits are also scheduled to take place today and tomorrow (Monday), including the ASEAN+1 summits, ASEAN+3 (China, Japan and South Korea) Summit and the East Asia Summit.

Leaders of the 10 ASEAN countries and six of its dialogue partners, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, will meet tomorrow (Monday), for their third RCEP summit.� NNN-XINHUA

Source: NAM News Network

Jemilah first Malaysian to win the ASEAN Prize

BANGKOK, The Founder of Mercy Malaysia, Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood, is selected as the winner of the ASEAN Prize 2019 in recognition of her leading role in various humanitarian missions and disaster management in the region.

She is the first Malaysian to receive the award, which was inaugurated in Singapore last year.

Dr Jemilah, 60, received a trophy and cash prize of US$20,000 from Thailand Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan o-cha and ASEAN Secretary-General Datuk Lim Jock Hoi during the opening ceremony of the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summit here today.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and other leaders from ASEAN witnessed the award ceremony.

Dr Jemilah is a member of the senior leadership team at the International Federation of Red Crescent, representing the organization’s interest and the Secretary-General when required

The ASEAN Prize is a prestigious award which aims to acknowledge the inspiring and outstanding achievements of an individual or organisation in fostering the ASEAN identity, promoting the ASEAN spirit and championing the ASEAN way.

Last year, the ASEAN Prize went to the former chairperson of the ASEAN Autism Network, Erlinda Uy Koe from the Philippines.

Source: Office of the Prime Minster Malaysia