Speechs in the year
Tempat/Venue 	: 	CARACAS, VENEZUELA 
Tarikh/Date 	: 	27/11/91 
			OF 15 

 Your Excellency,
     President Carlos Andres Perez;
     the Heads of State and Government
     of the Group of Fifteen;
Distinguished Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
    It  is  a great honour for me to be chosen to reply, on
behalf of the Asian members of the Summit  Level  Group,  to
the  inspiring  address  of  His Excellency President Carlos
Andres Perez, the host of this second meeting  of  the  G-15
Mr. President,
2.   May  I  say  how delighted I am to be in your beautiful
country and its fascinating capital again.   My first  visit
here, in 1990, was in connection with the historic launching
of  the  South Commission Report.  I am, therefore, happy to
return for the Second Summit of the G-15, a  grouping  which
drew inspiration from the South Commission.
Mr. President,
3.   Since  the  Group  of  Fifteen was inaugurated in Kuala
Lumpur, in June 1990, the global situation has continued its
dramatic evolution.  The implications of  the  recasting  of
the  international  political  and economic setting, and the
challenges that have arisen, are  clearer  today  than  they
were   when   we  discussed  them  more  than  a  year  ago.
Lamentably, these changes do not  all  augur  well  for  the
countries of the developing South.
4.   In  Kuala Lumpur, some of us hoped that with the ending
of the Cold War, there would be a more democratic and  equi-
table  relation among nations, big and small.  That hope has
now been crushed.  Indeed the new Unipolar world is  fraught
with  dangers of a return to the old dominance of the power-
ful over the weak.
5.   The global unity of action which ended an  unacceptable
aggression  against a small country, has not been translated
into new positive global approaches to resolve pressing  is-
sues which beset the international community.  Instead a New
World  Order is propounded seemingly to legitimise interfer-
ence in the affairs of independent nations.  In an  interde-
pendent  world  there  may  be  grounds  for internationally
determined action but there can be no justification for uni-
lateral decisions to meddle in another country's affairs.
6.   A part of that New World Order is the  forceful  spread
of  the religion of Democracy and the Free Market, as inter-
preted exclusively by self-proclaimed prophets,  whose  dic-
tates  must  be  accepted as holy script.  It is not that we
reject these precepts totally.  But as with  all  religions,
there are many perceptions, definitions and interpretations.
To  insist  that there can be only one interpretation of the
new religion is to propagate rule by self-appointed  clergy.
Is  there  going to be no secularity in the practice of this
7.   Threats are made and conditionalities proposed on trade
and aid if the Northern political and economic model is  not
strictly  adhered to.  It does not require a detailed analy-
sis of developments in the Soviet Union and  Eastern  Europe
to  realise  that there is no magic in democracy or the free
market.  They do not make  poverty,  debt  and  backwardness
disappear  and  they certainly do not guarantee stability, a
sine qua non for a community's welfare and development.
Mr. President,
8.   The fact is that the international economic  system  is
under  severe strain, more than it has ever been.  The ineq-
uities of the international economic system have never  been
so  stark.   There is recession in the North, aid flows have
been reduced and debt, poverty, hunger and  disease  in  the
South  have spread and deepened.  Furthermore, the preachers
of free trade and multilateralism have now become  the  big-
gest  heretics.  We see this in the formation of trade blocs
in the North, in the imposition of national laws beyond  the
borders  of  the powerful and in the discriminatory applica-
tions of trade restrictions.   We see this  in  the  various
conditionalities  imposed on trade with the developed North.
We see this in the pressures applied and the stands taken at
multilateral negotiations such as in the GATT.  We see  this
also  in  the total censorship or distorted reporting of the
views and affairs of the South  by  the  much  vaunted  free
press  of the North which control worldwide dissemination of
9.   Together with "democracy" and the "free  market"  comes
the  new  gospel of "the environment".  We are told that the
South must curb its aspirations and its approach towards de-
velopment so that mankind, i.e the rich North's enjoyment of
the good life is not threatened.  Against all accepted codes
of ethics, the poor are being told, and indeed coerced  into
paying for the well-being of the rich.
10.  We see the manipulation of UN agencies to impose North-
ern values on the South.  I refer here to the UNDP's new ap-
proach in measuring socio-economic progress.  They have come
up  with a new yardstick known as the "Human Freedom Index",
where  a  nation's  Freedom  Rating   depends   on   whether
homosexuality between consenting adults is permitted or not.
11.  And  yet  it should be obvious that the real need is to
redress the inequities and economic distress caused by  dec-
ades  of  exploitation of the poor by the rich.  If a coali-
tion to win a war can be forged,  why  not  a  coalition  to
address  the critical issues of the South and to wage war on
illiteracy, disease, poverty and deprivation?    The  wealth
and  much touted technology of the North should be used, not
for destruction, but for the benefit of all  peoples,  espe-
cially for those in want.
12.  We need a world where the international community takes
decisive action to improve the lot of the world's poor which
for  many  in sub-Sahara Africa, Asia and Latin America have
worsened.  Unrelenting poverty is still very much  with  us.
With  the  now permanent debt burden the chances of the poor
rehabilitating themselves without outside understanding,  if
not help, are bleak.
13.  The  new agenda, therefore, should be for a "Supportive
World Order" where decisions which affect the  vital  inter-
ests  of  developing  countries are not made by a privileged
few in total disregard for the views of the  countries  con-
cerned.    What is needed is a new era of global cooperation
in which the interests and views of all countries are  given
due regard.  And, if democracy is the sole  acceptable poli-
tical  creed,  let there be democracy also in the process of
global decision-making.
14.  A Supportive World Order would look at ways to  reverse
the  current  unhealthy trends, so that developing countries
can have a meaningful share of the wealth  of  this  planet.
Any necessary adjustment must not be made only by the South.
The North too must adjust for in the end the North will ben-
efit from the prosperity of the South.
15.  Before   the   North  wags  a  finger  at  the  alleged
profligacy of the South it should first reduce its own  mas-
sive  budget  deficits and live within its means.  The North
must know that their  irresponsible  spending  is  affecting
world  currency  and  financial markets.   They must improve
savings and eliminate wasteful consumption.  They must  give
up subsidies and price support for agricultural products and
remove  protectionist  barriers that impede access to market
for the produce of developing countries.   Above  all,  they
must  learn  to be competitive and not blame others for eco-
nomic and other woes brought on by  their  own  inadequacies
and unaffordable standard of living.
16.  The  North  must  accept  the legitimate aspirations of
other nations.   When they fortify  themselves  economically
behind trade blocs, they must accept that others also have a
right,  at  least, to raise their voices in defence of their
interest.  Yet the East Asians are not allowed even to  con-
sult  each  other  or indeed to call themselves East Asians.
The United States rejects and opposes  vehemently  the  East
Asia  Economic  Caucus  or  EAEC  and demands that Japan and
South Korea dissociate themselves from the formation of this
consultative group.  South Korea is told that it owes a debt
of blood to  the  United  States  and  it  owes  nothing  to
Malaysia and should therefore toe the U.S. line.
17.  Even the global environment, one of the many issues re-
quiring the cooperation of all countries, is being subjected
to  sectarian pressures and interests.  We are told that is-
sues involving global commons, such as the high seas outside
national  jurisdiction,  and  the  disposal  of  radioactive
wastes cannot be included in the on-going global discussions
to  prepare  for  UNCED 1992 in Rio.  On the other hand, the
management of forests, often the sole source  of  wealth  to
the  poor,  is  spotlighted  as  if proper forest management
alone will cure all the environmental ills.
18.  Historically and currently, the North is the  principal
culprit  for  global environmental degradation.  Nothing il-
lustrates this better than the fact that presently the  rich
which make up less than 20 per cent of the global population
are  responsible for 80 per cent of the greenhouse gas emis-
sions.  And, the largest industrial power is responsible for
30 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions.   While nearly  1.5
billion  people  live  in abject poverty in developing coun-
tries, the North continues with its wasteful polluting life-
styles.  Still the Governments and the NGOs of the developed
countries working through their cohorts  in  the  developing
countries  have  succeeded in deflecting attention from mas-
sive pollution by the developed nations.
19.  If forests can save the world from the  greenhouse  ef-
fect,  then there should be a massive effort at greening the
world.  Every nation should have an acceptable level of for-
est covers.  It is a fact that  most  countries  in  Western
Europe and North America have less than 30 per cent of their
land  area  under forest cover.  Some of them have even less
than 10 per cent.  On the other hand,  developing  countries
with  tropical  forests  have more than 50 per cent of their
land under forest cover.  Malaysia, for instance, has 56 per
cent of its land under forest cover, with an  additional  13
per cent covered by tree plantations.
20.  Clearly  the  greening of the world can best be carried
out by the rich and technologically advanced North.    There
is  no  excuse for such negative actions as boycotting trop-
ical timber, forcing forest dwellers to remain primitive and
keeping developing countries permanently poor  in  order  to
prevent  deforestation.    A  massive  effort can be made to
reafforest the Sub-Saharan regions, the deserts and the  in-
efficient  wheatlands  of  the  U.S.,  as  well  as selected
bushlands where  underground  water  is  abundant.    It  is
grossly  unjust  to impose on the poor the responsibility of
maintaining bio-diversity especially when it exposes them to
various diseases and deny them modern amenities.
Mr. President,
21.  With all these changes and threats facing us, there is,
today, an even more compelling need for us in the South,  to
work  together to protect our threatened independence and to
improve our countries' development prospects.  Until and un-
less we do this, the North will continue to marginalise  us.
In  the  G-15 we have made a modest beginning in South-South
cooperation, but we need to build on this and to  accelerate
and widen our collaboration.
22.  It  will  not  be  easy, but then nothing worthwhile is
easy.  We must have the political will and  we  must  accept
the  need  to sacrifice now for a more permanent gain in the
23.  The G-15 is still a very new Forum but we  can  take  a
measure  of  satisfaction  in  what we have achieved so far.
Quietly, and without fanfare, economic cooperation, not only
among the 15, but among other South countries, has begun  to
bear fruit.
24.  Malaysia-Venezuela  relations are a case in point.  Be-
fore the G-15 process began, we hardly knew each other.   We
did  not  even have International Direct Dialing (IDD), Fac-
simile services  or  Expedited  Mails  Service  between  us.
These  are in place today.  A bilateral payments arrangement
has been signed.   Businessmen and  Ministerial  delegations
have  visited  each  other's  countries.   Our trade, though
still modest, has, nevertheless, increased four-fold in  the
course  of  one year.  A diplomatic presence in each other's
capital has been established, and a whole range of  projects
are in the pipeline; projects which will be economically and
politically beneficial to both our countries.
25.  It  is  not our intention to break away from the North.
We should in fact increase our interaction with them but  we
must  at  the same time increase southern interdependence so
as to reduce over dependence on the North.
26.  The  Kuala  Lumpur  Summit  approved  a  novel   trade-
enhancing  mechanism  to  promote economic cooperation among
developing countries.  The idea of  bilateral  payments  ar-
rangements  between  pairs  of developing countries was con-
ceived in the  basement  of  the  Iranian  Central  Bank  by
Iranian  and Malaysian officials in early 1988.  The root of
the problem was that exporters in Iran and  Malaysia,  being
unfamiliar  with  each other, were not willing to assume the
normal credit risks that went with  unconfirmed  letters  of
credit.   Both the Central Banks, therefore, entered into an
arrangement whereby each side  guaranteed  payment  for  its
exporters.    In  this  way total bilateral trade would need
foreign currency only for settling the balance of trade  be-
tween two countries.  Foreign exchange earnings would there-
fore be less a constraint to trade.
27.  The  G-15  countries  have further refined the original
Iranian model.  Malaysia has signed bilateral  payments  ar-
rangements  of  the  G-15  model  with  Venezuela,  Nigeria,
Mexico, Mozambique and Chile.  And, in the not  too  distant
future, we expect to sign similar arrangements with Senegal,
Algeria, Zambia and Vietnam.
Mr. President,
28.  Many  countries  in the South have developed skills and
expertise as well as agricultural and industrial  capacities
which  can  benefit  all  developing countries.   But we are
still far from taking advantage of the potential and  oppor-
tunities  in  South-South  trade,  investment and technology
transfer among ourselves.
29.  On the other hand, companies in the North,  through  an
established network of business relationships and databases,
have been finding doing business with the South very profit-
able.   Clearly we are missing opportunities for mutual help
in the South.  Why is this so?  The answer perhaps  lies  in
our  inherited  perception  that the North is the hub of the
world.  As a result all our communication  lines  and  trade
are  with the North and it is they who redistribute our pro-
ducts to the rest of the world including  ourselves.    This
means that we buy our own goods through them.
30.  The  net  result  is that our imports cost more and our
exports yield less.  The North on the other  hand  not  only
profit  from  their  middleman  role  but  from  processing,
freight and insurance.  We lose at every turn.
31.  It is for this reason that the Kuala Lumpur Summit  ap-
proved  the  setting  up  of  a "South Investment, Trade and
Technology Data Exchange Centre" (SITTDEC).    SITTDEC  will
provide the necessary information to improve trade among the
nations  of the South, to reduce cost and to retain the pro-
fits with us.
32.  As we had decided  at  the  Kuala  Lumpur  Summit,  the
projects  that  we  adopt  are  open to participation by any
country in the South which wishes to do so.   They  are  not
confined  to  the  members  of the G-15 only.  But, Malaysia
firmly believes that the unreadiness of some countries,  in-
cluding  members of the G-15, to participate in the projects
presently should not hold back their implementation if  oth-
ers can and wish to go ahead.
Mr. President,
33.  We  must  work together to maximise our strength and to
speak with one voice.  We must take advantage of our  mutual
potential  which  has been so long neglected.  If we want an
equitable world in which we are not  marginalised,  we  must
work  for  it pragmatically and realistically ourselves.  We
cannot expect others to do this for us.  In this way we  can
confront today's and tomorrow's challenges with some hope of
success.   It is for us, the members of the G-15, to pioneer
effective South-South Cooperation and to show  what  can  be
done.   Malaysia looks forward to achieving further progress
in this direction to result from this Second Meeting of  the
Group of 15 Countries of the South.
     Thank you.