downer complains to malaysia about mahathir

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    hehe, sucking yak's "collective d#ck"

    Downer complains to Malaysia about Mahathir
    October 19, 2003

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    Australia has given a dressing down to Malaysia about Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's recent attack on Jews, calling the outburst offensive, profoundly disturbing and anti-semitic.

    Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, in Bangkok for a meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders, yesterday met his Malaysian opposite to complain about Dr Mahathir's comments, made at an international conference of Islamic leaders this week.

    "The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule this world by proxy," Dr Mahathir told the gathering.

    "They get others to fight and die for them," he said, adding that "1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews".

    Mr Downer said the outspoken Malaysian leader's comments were so offensive that Australia had decided to abandon its usual course of ignoring Dr Mahathir, who will retire at the end of this month.

    "Typically, we're not so sensitive that we bother to respond to those sort of remarks," he said.



    "On this particular occasion, though, we saw the remarks that Dr Mahathir made in his speech as anti-semitic.

    "That's something that both the prime minister and I feel particularly strongly about and I think all Australians feel very strongly about."

    Mr Downer said he spoke to acting foreign minister Dr Michael Leo Toyad for around eight minutes in a corridor within the APEC convention centre and made clear that Australia hoped the outburst would not be repeated.

    "We said that we didn't think it reflected the views of other Malaysians and of ministers in the Malaysian government," Mr Downer said, adding that Dr Toyad believed the comments had been taken out of context.

    The row overshadowed APEC ministers' talks focusing on terrorism and trade liberalisation as Prime Minister John Howard jetted to Bangkok for next week's leaders summit with US leader George Bush, Russia's Vladimir Putin, China's Hu Jintao and others.

    APEC today agreed to look at ways to control the threat posed by portable surface-to-air missiles, known as manpads, to help fight the terror risk, which Mr Downer warned could also impact on the region's economy.

    A top US aide to President Bush dismissed Dr Mahathir's comments and wryly wished him a "happy retirement".

    Undaunted, Dr Mahathir overnight warned Australia against acting as a sheriff in Malaysia, saying it would be dealt with as a "terrorist" if it did so.

    He was reacting to a statement by president Bush hailing Australia as Washington's "sheriff" in Asia - an analogy rejected by Mr Howard to avoid any diplomatic fallout.

    Mr Downer said the terror remark was not to be taken seriously.

    "But I think making anti-semitic remarks is something that I regard as very serious," he said.

    "His remarks about the Jewish people are profoundly disturbing."

    Mr Downer, who also met with US Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday, said the 77-year-old Dr Mahathir had done an admirable job of transforming Malaysia into a modern economy.

    But he said his anti-Western political vitriol had worsened in recent years.

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