The Future of Asia 2012

World Could Learn From Asian Values: Mahathir

Friday, May 25, 2012

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad says it is time to promote Asian values to improve the world situation.

Speaking at the annual Future of Asia conference here Friday, he criticized the American and European way of imposing their values on other countries, and said Asia should employ peaceful measures for doing so.

Blaming the current global economic turmoil on the West, Mahathir said: "Clearly something is wrong with the management of the finances and the economies of America and Europe. Asian countries seem to manage somewhat better than Western countries."

He said that because Asian nations largely "stick to the real business of producing and selling goods," they are less affected by the crisis.

Regarding the diffusion of Asian values, Mahathir said, "Asia should promote the Asian system and work ethics to Asian countries and the world," he said. But in doing so, he insisted that "the route should be through negotiation, arbitration and resort to a court of law," and condemned "wars to promote ideologies."

He praised the Japanese Constitution, saying "one lesson that Japan can contribute is foreswearing war as a solution to conflict."

In response to a question after his speech about the struggle between the U.S. and China over hegemony in Asia, he stated his optimistic view on China.

"The U.S. is not a dominant power because it is living on borrowed money," Mahathir said. "Over 2,000 years, China has never invaded Malaysia. I don't think China will destroy markets where it can do business."

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.