April 11, 2002 - Reuters: Malaysian PM Slams U.S. Aid , Praises Peace Corps

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By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 12:43 pm: Edit Post

Malaysian PM Slams U.S. Aid , Praises Peace Corps

Read and comment on this story from Reuters on Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, due to pay a visit to the White House next month, and his comment about the US Aid and the Peace Corps at:

Malaysian PM Slams U.S. Aid Policy Ahead of Visit*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Malaysian PM Slams U.S. Aid Policy Ahead of Visit

April 11, 2002 12:10 pm EST

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, due to pay a rare visit to the White House next month, said on Thursday the United States had become "ugly" and criticized its aid policy.

"At one time the United States was the most popular country in the world because of the Peace Corps. Now there is no Peace Corps and no aid except when tied to the fulfillment of the policies of the donor," Mahathir told a gathering of U.S. and Asian business and government leaders.

The Peace Corps is a U.S. agency that sends volunteers to help communities outside the country.

Mahathir said the slightest breach of the donor's conditions would result in sanctions and other punitive measures against the recipient, leading to further impoverishment.

"America has become ugly and American embassies everywhere must be built behind high walls," the prime minister added.

President Bush has invited Mahathir, Asia's longest-serving elected leader, to visit Washington on May 12-14.

The visit is seen as a major step forward in bilateral ties and reflects Washington's regard for the 76-year-old as a moderate Muslim leader.

Relations between Malaysia and the United States, its biggest trading partner and foreign investor, soured over the 1998 imprisonment of Mahathir's former deputy Anwar Ibrahim, whom Washington regards as a political prisoner.

But ties improved after Mahathir took a tough line on Islamic militants after the September 11 attacks on U.S. cities.

Malaysia's crackdown has seen police arrest about 50 suspected Muslim militants in the last 11 months.

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Malaysia



By Trevor Harmon (vocaro) on Wednesday, July 10, 2002 - 11:27 am: Edit Post

Am I wrong for thinking that foreign aid should not be unconditional? I don't understand why some governments think they have an indisputable right to my tax dollars.


By Gordon Lee (brf-ce07-g2-0.tm.net.my - on Sunday, July 10, 2005 - 5:48 am: Edit Post

That's correct. Guess some people in this world have to use speeches to appease and kiss ***.

By Doug Reilly (hws-netsrv-6489152131.hws.edu - on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 2:18 pm: Edit Post

Actually, I don't think he's protesting all conditional aid, but rather the especially rigorous way the current administration is tying aid to specific policies (birth control would be one example). The point about embassies is important and is in great contrast with Peace Corps volunteers (who generally do their work without any ties to foreign policy) who walk among the local citizens rather without fear or danger. This was true in Slovakia, not a hot-bed of anything. The embassy looks like a combat bunker--not a good sign for the US standing in the world, which is what the PM is saying here.

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