Malaysia doesn’t fear Chinese, US military presence in region, says Dr M

Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

VLADIVOSTOK: Malaysia does not feel threatened by the US’ plan to deploy missiles in the Asia-Pacific region or by Chinese warships there, but it is worried about potential accidents, said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

In August, US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper said he would like to deploy medium-range missiles in Asia, adding, however, that this could take a long time.

Mahathir told Sputnik news agency: “At the moment, Malaysia does not feel threatened. Yes, there are Chinese warships in the South China Sea and Americans have also come there, but we don’t see that as a threat directly against Malaysia.”

The prime minister said this when asked how the potential deployment of US missiles could impact the region.

“But the possibility of accidents happening is what worries us. If accidents happen and lead to some fighting, we are not going to be involved. We don’t want to take sides with anyone,” Mahathir went on to say.

The prime minister is currently in Vladivostok, Russia, to attend the Eastern Economic Forum which will run through Friday.