PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad will only offend many other bigger nations if he continues to speak as he pleases, MCA president Wee Ka Siong said.
The country would have to pay a “huge price” for his comments, he said in a Facebook posting today.
Wee said Mahathir, as the world’s eldest statesman, had plenty of political experience but is also known to like picking fights with the world’s biggest nations.
“During his first term as prime minister for 22 years, he might have been viewed as the spokesperson of the third world countries. However, the world these days is very different from what it was 20 years ago,” he said.
Wee said the uncertain global economy will surely affect Malaysia’s economy.
“The government should avoid having any arguments with big nations but be practical in developing the economy.
“In the current international circumstances, only by maintaining amicable diplomatic relationships with other nations can we create more business opportunities for our country.”
In September, Mahathir angered India when he commented on the Kashmir conflict. Wee said this resulted in the drop of palm oil exports by as much as 76% and caused much anxiety among palm oil industry players, especially the 600,000 small-time planters.
During the recently-concluded KL Summit, he again criticised India on a new citizenship law and this also drew a strong protest from the Indian government.
Wee said the Charge d’Affaires of the Malaysian embassy was also summoned by the Indian external affairs ministry for an explanation.
“Despite all this, Tun Mahathir maintains that he is right and this is a worrying trend for Malaysians.”
Wee said there had also been tension between Mahathir and China, and he was involved in a tit for tat with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the issue of the new version of colonialism.
He reminded Mahathir that the two countries’ diplomatic relationship has been only at the recovery stage over the past few months.
Wee said Mahathir had also upset Saudi Arabia by inviting Iran and Qatar leaders to participate in the KL Summit.
“There seems to be no end to our diplomatic disasters,” Wee said.
The Ayer Hitam MP also drew attention to Mahathir’s past remarks that attacked Singapore over the crooked bridge project and price of raw water being supplied to the republic.
“Singapore and Malaysia have enjoyed a special relationship as neighbours. Being a significant trade partner, the trade figures between the two nations are comparable to many big nations.”
Wee said in another case three months ago, Mahathir had unapologetically criticised the five countries with veto power, namely the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom and France, in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly.
“Malaysians who know Tun M well know that he has always been critical of the United States. He even said that he would like to apply sanctions on US President Donald Trump but he can’t.
“Such remarks are clearly unfriendly towards Trump and it is believed that the United States is wary of Tun Mahathir.”
He reminded Mahathir that when he chaired the NAM Summit, he had stressed that he would not interfere in the internal matters of other countries.
“We also do not want to see other nations interfering with our internal affairs.
“If Tun Mahathir continues to offend more countries, our younger generation may have to pay the price for what he has done. What is the point of saving face for yourself when we are going to lose the entire world as friends?”