I'll serve as long as people want me to - Dr Mahathir

11 Juin, 2018, 16:57 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • I'll serve as long as people want me to - Dr Mahathir

"Small countries can not compete on the same terms as bigger countries", he said on the second day of a three-day visit, during which he will woo Japanese investment and meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other officials.

Mahathir, 92, became premier for the second-time last month after Malaysians, angered over accusations of massive corruption, voted out a coalition that had led the country for the six decades since independence.

THERE is a need to kick-start the East Asia Economic Caucus (EAEC) initiative amid growing trade protectionism shown by countries such as the United States (US), says Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"Yes, I am still in favor of EAEC. So we have to deal with China whether we like it or not", he said, adding that the best way was to try and negotiate as a group rather than individual countries.

Dr Mahathir, who is here specifically for the 24th International Conference on the Future of Asia, or Nikkei Conference, is accompanied on his June 10 to 12 visit by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali and Foreign Ministry officials.

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Dr Mahathir said he favoured one single grouping of the whole world which was subjected to the same standards while giving due consideration to the weaknesses and strengths of different nations.

"Our ambition is to start a (new) national vehicle with partners in the region", he said, mentioning countries such as Japan, China, South Korea and Thailand.

At a separate dialogue with foreign correspondents at Japan's National Press Club, Dr Mahathir said in the 20-over years that Malaysia has worked with Mitsubishi Motor Corp, it has acquired most of the skills and technology with regards to the design and production of a new auto.

"I am willing to serve, if that is the wish of the people, as long as they want me, but of course I don't know how long I will last", he said.

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