Nov 11, 1999

World leaders express support for Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 . . . . With the announcement this week of General Elections in Malaysia, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has received numerous messages of support from world leaders around the globe, wishing him success in his bid to lead the country into the new Millennium.

Burma's State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) called Mahathir "a shining beacon of democracy in Southeast Asia". "He has shown the world how detention without trial, a ruthless police, a cowed media and puppet judges are, in fact, the basic foundations of a true democracy," the Military Junta said.

The Junta expressed great confidence that Malaysia will soon follow the path of progress and modernisation that Burma has already achieved. "And you didn't even have to massacre thousands of people to do it."

The Junta had one piece of election advice for Mahathir. "Watch that woman - we've discovered that these women leaders can be quite a pain in the ass."

Calling from his bomb shelter in downtown Belgrade, Yugoslav premier Slobodan Milosevic lauded Mahathir's racial tolerance, saying that it was very similar to his own philosophy on race relations. "Racial politics, divide and rule, ethnic cleansing - it's all the same thing. Make people think about their skin colour and distrusting one another and they'll soon forget what a crook you are."

He recalled how tears of joy streamed down his face when he saw CNN coverage of demonstrators being viciously beaten by police on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. "It reminded me of those good, old days when I was rounding up Kosovar refugees to be shot on the streets of Prishtina ," he said wistfully. "Now I know democracy is alive and well in Malaysia."

He also shared Mahathir's feelings on foreign policy. "Don't trust foreigners - they're out to re-colonise us. You think you've got foreign image problems? Just wait till you have NATO bombers flying over your Putrajaya mansion."

Saddam Hussein calling from his bomb shelter praised Mahathir, calling him the "mother of all Prime Ministers". "Looking at the state of democracy in Malaysia, I am proud to say that Malaysia too may one day soon want to start invading her neighbours as well."

"Just a word of advice," Saddam continued. "If you want to look like a dictator, start wearing a beret and sporting a moustache. Image is everything."

A message of support was also sent by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, though this was denied by Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar, who at the time was meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy, who denied having the meeting, saying he just bumped into him on the way to the toilet. In the end, everyone denied meeting everyone else and the statement of support was issued through Bank Negara advisors Salomon Smith Barney.

Messages of support were also received from former world leaders. Former Indonesian President Suharto praised Mahathir for his family values and loyalty. "Here is a man who knows how to look after his sons and close friends," he remarked.

Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet wished Mahathir success in the coming elections. "And if things don't turn out so well, look for a country that has poor extradition laws."

Still on the international front, a local NGO announced today that it had written to the Swedish Academy of Arts and Sciences nominating Dr Mahahtir for a Nobel Peace Prize this year. According to the President of the Angkatan Muda Penulis UMNO (AMPU), Encik Hishamuddin Bodek, the Academy had rejected the nomination but were willing to consider putting up Dr Mahathir's recent book on human rights up for a Prize.

"We were told that the book has a strong chance of winning this year's Nobel Prize for Fiction," Bodek said, beaming with pride.

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