Speechs in the year
Tempat/Venue 	: 	 
Tarikh/Date 	: 	24/04/83 

Your Excellency President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Madam
Gayoom; Honourable Ministers; Excellencies; Ladies and Gentlemen.

May I say, at the outset, how happy and honoured my wife and I are to be
in the Republic of Maldives at Your Excellency's kind invitation. This is
our first visit to your beautiful country and yet in the short time that
we have been here, we have been made to feel so much at home by the warm
and friendly welcome extended to us. On behalf of my wife and members of
my delegation, I would like to thank Your Excellency, the Government and
people of Maldives for the generous hospitality and the excellent
facilities accorded to us. I thank you also for the kind remarks which you
have just made.

Your Excellency, 

2. It is a great pleasure to meet you again, this time in your home
country. I recall the number of occasions we had met at various
international conferences. We had the honour and pleasure of welcoming
Your Excellency for an official visit to Malaysia in 1981 and since then
we had met at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting in
Suva, Fiji last September, and more recently at the Non-Aligned Summit
Conference in New Delhi. These exchanges and contacts have been very
useful, and indeed the personal rapport that we have established has
helped to bring our countries closer together, after years of warm and
cordial relationship. Malaysia and Maldives share many common aspirations
and this is not only because of our strong Islamic links and our firm
commitment to the principles of non-alignment but also because we share a
common desire to work together.

3. I am happy that my visit here will provide the opportunity not only to
strengthen these close ties of friendship between us but also to see how
we can further enlarge the areas of cooperation in all fields for the
long-term benefit of our two countries. Our meeting this afternoon in this
regard has been most fruitful. In the bilateral context, we are agreeable
to look into the possibility of increasing trade and investment between
our two countries.

4. We share also a common desire to increase our cooperation in the
technical and economic fields and to encourage more exchanges between our
peoples. In so far as technical cooperation is concerned, my Government
believes that there are certain areas where we may be of assistance to
your development efforts. I am happy to announce that the Malaysian
Technical Cooperation Programme is now fully developed and Maldives is
most welcome to avail itself of the training and other facilities that the
programme offers. We want to share our experience and know-how with you
and we do so in the belief that it is only through meaningful cooperation
within the context of the South-South dialogue among developing countries
that we can lessen our dependence on the developed countries and at the
same time build up our national resilience. I am happy that your
Government has responded positively to our offer.

Your Excellency, 

5. Both Maldives and Malaysia share the same commitment to accelerate the
economic development of our countries and to bring greater social and
economic benefits to our peoples. But we are greatly hampered in our
efforts by the deteriorating world economic situation. Indeed, the
prospect of a world economic recovery hinges very much on resolute action
by the developed countries to change their shortsighted policies and
practices and bring order back to the world economy. The recession has
affected almost all countries badly, more so the developing countries and
many, particularly those without resources, are tottering under the impact
of protectionism, deliberate obstruction to free trade, wild exchange
rates, manipulated commodity prices and high interests on loans. Yet they
have to shoulder the burden of vast development expenditure that is beyond
their means in order to sustain credible growth rates and improve the
quality of life of their peoples. It is not possible to go on indefinitely
like this. We hope that the industrialised countries would reverse their
trade policies and join in a bold and concerted effort to formulate a new
regime for international trade and finance to replace the anarchy that now
prevails. The rich developed countries must realise that they have as much
to lose from an impoverished world as the developing countries. In the
meantime, Malaysia believes that developing countries should cooperate
with one another and encourage the formation of producers associations and
regional groupings so that we could get fairer and better deal for our
products. It is with this in mind that Malaysia has spearheaded the
formation of the Tin Producers Association, dedicated not to cartelization
in the tin trade but to fair prices for consumers as much as for

6. In foreign policy, Maldives and Malaysia stand on common ground. We are
both members of the Organisation of Islamic Conference, the Non-Aligned
Movement and you have become a special member of the Commonwealth. Our two
countries follow a policy of strict non-alignment. In this age of
increasing big-power rivalry and wasteful and dangerous arms build-up, it
is particularly important for non-aligned nations to uphold the principles
and objectives of non-alignment and ensure its viability so that smaller
nations of the world could live in the comfort of their sovereignty,
territorial integrity and independence and would not be transgressed and
their dignity subverted. Many of the problems and conflicts that we see
today arise from the blatant violation of these principles.

7. In Southeast Asia, Vietnamese forces continue to occupy Kampuchea in
complete disregard of the fundamental principles of the United Nations
Charter and of non-alignment. Yet there are many who would choose to
ignore this blatant crime. What is worse is that Vietnamese military
operations along the border, apart from inflicting casualties and hardship
to helpless Khmer civilians, have often involved incursions into Thai
territory and hence threatening to escalate the conflict and invite
big-power involvement. We have condemned the on-going Vietnamese military
actions and we would like to call on the international community to urge
the Vietnamese to immediately cease their hostilities, withdraw their
forces from Kampuchea and allow the Kampuchean people to determine their
own destiny in accordance with the declaration of the ICK and relevant UN
resolutions. It is only through a political solution that peace and
stability could be restored in Southeast Asia. Malaysia and its ASEAN
partners believe that the formation of the UN recognised Government of
Democratic Kampuchea, headed by Prince Norodom Sihanouk, a founder member
of the Non-Aligned Movement, is a positive step towards the peaceful
solution to the Kampuchean problem.

8. Just as the question of peace and security is important to us in
Southeast Asia, it is also equally vital to your dispersed island country
which is strategically located in the Indian Ocean. We, therefore, share
your concern that urgent steps should be taken to convene the United
Nations Conference on the Declaration of the Indian Ocean as a Zone of
Peace so that the region would be free of big power rivalry and that
countries in and around the Indian Ocean can live in peace.

9. Like you, we too hope to establish a Zone of Peace, Freedom and
Neutrality in Southeast Asia, but ZOPFAN, as we call it, could only be
realised if we first have a political settlement to the Kampuchean
problem. We see the Zone of Peace in the Indian Ocean and ZOPFAN as being
complementary to each other and I would like to express the appreciation
of my Government for the support that your Government has given for our
efforts to bring about the realisation of this conflict-free Zone in
Southeast Asia.

10. As in the case of Kampuchea, Afghanistan too is the victim of foreign
intervention and occupation. We strongly condemn the Soviet occupation of
Afghanistan and fully support the resolutions of the OIC, the Non-Aligned
Movement and the United Nations, calling for the restoration of the
independence and sovereignty of Afghanistan and of its Islamic and
non-aligned character.

Your Excellency, 

11. As fellow members of the Organisation of Islamic Conference, we cannot
but share the anguish of our brethren in West Asia. With the support of a
super-power, Israel continues to act like a bully and the stronger it gets
militarily, the greater will be the threat it poses to neighbouring Arab
countries and world peace. The Israeli involvement in the atrocities at
Sabra and Shatila and their refusal to withdraw their occupying forces
from Lebanon against the wishes of the international community and its own
mentor, have made it more urgent for a solution to be found to the West
Asian problem. Malaysia believes that a just and durable peace in the
region can only be realised on the basis of the restitution of the rights
of the Palestinian people, including their right to establish an
independent state of their own in their homeland under the leadership of
their sole and legitimate representative, the PLO; the total Israeli
withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories; and the unconditional
return of Holy Jerusalem to Arab and Islamic sovereignty. We welcome the
Fez Declaration of September 1982 as a significant step-forward in the
search for a peaceful settlement of the West Asian problem.

12. We are sad at the continuing war between Iran and Iraq. The conflict
between two brotherly countries not only endangers peace and stability but
also undermines the solidarity of the Islamic countries, particularly in
respect of the struggle of the Palestinian people and liberation of the
Holy Jerusalem. To aggravate matters we now have the massive oil spill
that has already destroyed marine life, interfered with the supply of
desalinated water for millions of people and polluted the shores of the
Gulf. That oil spill, if it is not stopped, will pass through the Straits
of Hormuz, to damage the livelihood of more countries. Given sufficient
time and quantity even the Maldives will not be spared. Indeed, patches of
oil floating across oceans are likely to wash ashore in many lands quite
remote from the Gulf.

13. The settlement or cessation of the conflict between our Muslim
brothers in Iran and Iraq has now become very urgent indeed. Malaysia
would like to appeal to the combatants as well as to the OIC to renew
efforts towards a settlement. May Allah guide us in our endeavour. This
war is seeping our strength and undermining Muslim unity.

Your Excellency, 

14. May I once again thank you for your kind invitation and for this
splendid dinner. I look forward indeed to a fruitful and enjoyable stay in
your beautiful country.

15. May I now invite Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen to join me in
a toast to the continued success and well-being of His Excellency
President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Madam Gayoom, for the continued
progress and prosperity of the Republic of Maldives, and the friendship
between our two Governments and peoples.