KUALA LUMPUR, May 1 ― The global community has to give its commitment to resolve the occupation in Palestine, if the Middle East region is to have a shot at becoming stable, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
Dr Mahathir described Israel as having inflicted “apartheid, genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression” in Palestine.
“Until and unless the international community is committed to find a solution to bring an end to the occupation of the land belonging to the Palestinians, the region and the rest of the world will not have much of a chance for stability and order,” he said in a written copy of his speech at the 5th annual conference of the multi-nation youth network Al Sharq Youth.
Dr Mahathir was speaking about instability in the Middle East after a US-led coalition invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.
“The region had since witnessed what was dubbed as the Arab Spring, in which nations, once flourishing and stable, turning into failed states and a disastrous minefield for mankind.
“Nations like Syria, Libya and Yemen today provide images of a human tragedy while the rest of the world watch helplessly,” he said.
He claimed that such sufferings were not due to internal strife, but due to alleged interference by external powers purportedly acting out of self-interest under the guise of democracy and human rights.
On the website for the conference, the organiser said Malaysia was selected as the venue host this year as it has “one of the most diverse societies in the region” and had succeeded in “creating a healthy atmosphere of tolerance and harmony among different races and religions”.
“It is one of the most prominent countries in South East Asia with a unique successful development model, and it is rapidly growing in terms of its economy, technology, entrepreneurship, finance sector and many more. Malaysia has witnessed a great example of power transformation with a very democratic and distinctive model,” the website also said.
In the 14th general elections last year, Malaysia experienced a peaceful transition of power via the ballot box when the Barisan Nasional coalition was defeated by the Pakatan Harapan coalition led by Dr Mahathir.