Mahathir from Malaysia says US wants to provoke war in Taiwan

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad accused the US of trying to provoke a war in Taiwan on Friday, and in an extensive interview also said he expects Malaysia’s transplanted ruling party to hold general elections in the coming months.

Mahathir, a two-time prime minister long known as a critic of the West and its geopolitics, warned that the US was antagonizing China through recent visits to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others. China views self-governed island democracy as part of its territory and considers such visits to be meddling in its affairs.

“China has allowed Taiwan to remain on its own. No problem. They didn’t invade. If they wanted to invade, they could have invaded. They didn’t. But America is provoking (them) so that there can be a war, so that the Chinese will make the mistake of occupying Taiwan,” said 97-year-old Mahathir.

“Then there is an excuse … for the US to help Taiwan, even fight against China and sell a lot of weapons to Taiwan,” he added.

After Pelosi’s visit, China launched large-scale military exercises around the island and fired ballistic missiles into the sea. Beijing also warned Washington not to encourage Taiwan to make its de facto independence permanent, a move China said would lead to war.

There was no immediate response from the US to Mahathir’s comments.

In Malaysia, Mahathir said the ruling United Malays National Organization is likely preparing for quick polls that are most likely to “win big.” He believes that some Malaysian voters have returned to UMNO because they were offered money and other incentives.

READ ALSO -  New Zealand ski resorts without snow cover may go bankrupt

“I think they want to hold the general election this year. If it’s possible, maybe in two or three months, because they feel like the public is still looking up to them right now, and the opposition has disintegrated, disorganized,” he told the AP.

Elections are not scheduled for September 2023, but some UMNO members, including ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak and party chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who are both fighting corruption, have gathered for an earlier vote.

Mahathir was prime minister of the UMNO for 22 years until his retirement in 2003. He was inspired to return to politics by the massive looting of the 1MDB state fund during Najib’s tenure, and rode a wave of public anger to crush the opposition. lead to a historic victory in 2018 polls that ousted Najib’s government.

Mahathir became the world’s oldest head of government at the age of 93, but his reformist alliance collapsed in less than two years due to apostasy. UMNO returned to power and now heads a new coalition government.

Mahathir has formed a new party, Pejuang, and a Malaysian alliance to contest 120 Malaysian-dominated parliamentary seats. He said his mission remained the same: to “clean up” the country and form a government free of corruption.

“I don’t know if I’m a prime minister candidate, but if I’m strong enough, if I’m healthy enough, if they want me to fight, I’ll fight,” Mahathir said.

“I will fight, even if it’s a losing battle,” he said. “I will fight because I believe in principle. It’s not what happened to me. I believe in principle. I believe this is a great country that can be a developed country, but you will never be among the crooks.”

READ ALSO -  Spain: 10 injured when leaving stopped train in forest fire

Najib has maintained his innocence. With his latest appeal against a 12-year prison term in the first of several pending trials in the country’s highest court, he would not be allowed to run in early elections.

Mahathir said he believes Najib hopes to make a political comeback with a UMNO victory.

“If UMNO wins in the elections, he expects a UMNO government to ask for a pardon for him – and when he is pardoned (and fully approved), he can become prime minister,” Mahathir said. do it. Trust me, he’ll do it.”

On the international front, Mahathir described President Joe Biden as an “ineffective” leader.

“In a way he is very anti-Islam, he is not honest. He allows Israel to commit all kinds of crime and genocide, and he does nothing. He supports them,” said Mahathir, who has been accused of anti-Semitism for attacking Jews, whom he blames for a humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories.

He also scolded the European Union over Russia’s war against Ukraine.

“What NATO is doing is the EU is doing to provoke a little more and ask the Ukrainians to fight,” Mahathir said. “They promised to include Ukraine (into NATO), but they didn’t.”

Copyright 2022 ABC NEWS. All rights reserved.
Follow WT LOCAL on Social Media for the Latest News and Updates.
Share this news on your Facebook,Twitter and Whatsapp.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter