Speechs in the year
Tarikh/Date	:	05/06/2003
Versi 		:	ENGLISH
Penyampai	: 	 PM  

             "Genesis of a New Asia Order"

        Firstly   I   would  like  to  thank  the   Nikkei
   Conference  organisers for the invitation to  this  9th
   Nikkei  Conference.  I hope I can do  justice  to  this
   very  interesting subject, the "Genesis of a  New  Asia
   Order".    Asia  is ripe for a rebirth, a  renaissance.
   It  has  been a long time in coming but the  conditions
   are right for a New Asian Order.
   2.    What  in fact should a New Asian Order  be  like?
   Should it be like the Europe of the post War Years when
   bitter enemies embrace each other, slowly at first, but
   more  rapidly and more widely with the passage of time;
   embrace  each other to form what in fact is the  United
   States  of  Europe?   Or  should Asian  countries  ally
   themselves  with  the powerful countries  of  the  West
   against potential Asian enemies?  Or should they remain
   separate, eyeing each other with distrust, ready to  go
   for  each other's throats?  Or could there be a  fourth
   or  a  fifth  alternative?  Should they  form  regional
   alliances  in  order  to compete  with  each  other  or
   something else altogether?
   3.    Whatever may be the choice, the decision must  be
   taken by Asians and not by anyone else.  It is no doubt
   in  the interest of Asia that a reborn Asia should help
   in  the shaping of the International Community and  the
   shape   of   the   world.   A  foreign  i.e.   European
   International  Order  without Asian  inputs  can  never
   really serve Asia.
   4.    Asia  is  not homogenous as Europe is homogenous.
   Asians   are  as different from each as they  are  from
   Europeans  or  Africans.  And of course the  difference
   goes   deeper  than  just  ethnicity  or  skin  colour.
   Culturally  they are different and culture in  fact  is
   what distinguishes one race from another.
   5.    These differences make it difficult for Asians to
   cooperate  -  even if their interests coincide.   Right
   now  Asians  are faced with European domination  -  all
   Asians  are.  But they are ambivalent about  it.   Some
   may  want to assert themselves while others see no harm
   in being regarded as irrelevant as long as they survive
   and  thrive.   Yet surely all Asians must realise  that
   unless  they  contribute to a New  World  Order  it  is
   likely  to  disadvantage them in the long run.   And  a
   disadvantaged Asia is not the kind of New Asia that any
   Asian would like to see.
   6.   If there is anything about Europe that Asians must
   emulate,  it is the willingness to forget and  forgive.
   Asians  are  still  bugged by their past  quarrels  and
   wars,  the  atrocities and the shame of  foreign  rule.
   And  because of this they find it exceedingly difficult
   to cooperate for the common good.
   7.    In  this atmosphere a united Asia is unthinkable.
   Asians  must  therefore learn to look  ahead  more  and
   more,  and overlook the baggage of the past.  If Asians
   cannot  do this then there can be only Old Asia and  no
   New  Asia.  And Old Asia has shown it cannot handle the
   ideological dominance of Europe.
   8.    There are things like the International Financial
   Order,   the   International   Economic   Order,    the
   International  Political Order which require  a  common
   stand  by  Asian countries.  It is not  a  question  of
   rejecting  all  of  these, of all that comes  from  the
   West.   But  surely all these regimes can benefit  from
   the  experience,  support and critical  inputs  of  the
   9.    Let  us take the International Financial  Regime.
   It  had  led  to the destruction and impoverishment  of
   almost  the whole of the most rapidly growing  part  of
   Asia.   It  has done Asia a whole a lot of  harm.   And
   obviously it can do Asia more harm in the future.
   10.   But  Asia seems paralysed and is quite unable  to
   put  up  a  common stand on the need to revise  and  to
   change  this very damaging regime.  It is not going  to
   cost  Asian  countries anything really.  We  know  that
   prior  to the Internationalisation of Economic  regimes
   we  had  all  grown  very fast by comparison  to  other
   continents and other regions.  We do not need the  kind
   of  abuses  the present financial regime are  open  to.
   The  currency traders contributed nothing to our  well-
   being.   Why  should we not insist on the  revision  of
   this unhealthy regime?
   11.   But we have not said anything together about this
   depredation  of the currency traders.  We  support  the
   system  which  enrich a few people at  the  expense  of
   whole countries and regions.  Currency trading which is
   nothing  more  than the manipulation of  currencies  by
   people  who  do not own a single cent of  the  currency
   involved is by default supported by Asians.  Five years
   on,   companies,  industries  and  nations  are   still
   struggling to recover.  And many will go under.   Still
   we Asians have said nothing.
   12.   The  only way the International Financial  Regime
   will  change  is  when the Europeans are  attacked  and
   bankrupted by the same currency traders.  And when this
   happens the new regime will again be European, and will
   not be in the interest of Asians.
   13.   Yet  Asians  cannot but have  ideas  on  how  the
   International  Financial system or other  international
   systems  should be structured.  Obviously if the  ideas
   are  ours then our concerns and interests will be taken
   care of.
   14.  There was a time in the late 20th century when  we
   were  talking  about the 21st Century  being  an  Asian
   Century.   I had disagreed because I believed that  the
   future  is not for any continent in the world  but  for
   the  whole  world.  We could even then feel  the  world
   shrinking  into a global village.  And in a village  it
   is  not possible to divide areas and people and to have
   one part of the village better developed than the rest.
   It is just too small.
   15.  Globalisation is of course about the inevitability
   of  the  continents of the world, the countries of  the
   world  becoming  immediate neighbours  of  each  other.
   Asia  really cannot develop isolated from the  rest  of
   the world.
   16.   But  even  among members of a village  community,
   some   can  contribute  more  than  others.   But   the
   contribution  must be for the common  good.   Or  there
   would never be peace and stability in the village.
   17.  We now know that the 21st century is presently not
   an  Asian  century.   Asians  watch  as  the  assertive
   nations of the West impose their will on Asia, and  the
   world.  And the world has become so destablised by  the
   European  nations that it is going to be very difficult
   to  recover and it will never be able to go back to the
   prosperity  of  the great years immediately  after  the
   Second World War.
   18.   In a global village Asia cannot really regenerate
   in  isolation,  oblivious to what is happening  in  the
   rest of the world.  We have seen this and we are seeing
   more now.  The attack on the World Trade Centre in  New
   York  is  physically not an Asian affair.  But we  know
   that  we are all involved now.  We have to fight terror
   because terrorism affects us, politically, economically
   and socially.
   19.  The subsequent actions taken have affected us even
   more.  But we have had no part in the planning and  the
   strategy or the fight against terrorism.  We are merely
   being  instructed  to do things and  even  forced  into
   participating  without  our  ideas  being  taken   into
   20.  It is not right that we should be dragged into the
   fight  against terrorism without being given a  say  in
   the  planning and execution of the strategies  adopted.
   It  cannot be that Asians are without ideas on how  the
   fight  should be waged.  They may not be the best ideas
   but  even bad ideas need to be given a hearing if  only
   to prove that they are bad.
   21.  But what about Asia itself.  We may not be able to
   unite the way Europe unites but there must be something
   we in Asia can do for ourselves, and for the world.
   22.   There is extreme disparity in the development  of
   Asian  countries.   While a few are developed  or  very
   nearly developed many are very poorly developed.   This
   lack  of  development is mainly due to the difficulties
   in governing the countries.
   23.   We  are  now being exhorted to become democratic.
   It  is  believed  that  only  a  democratic  system  of
   Government can deliver.  Actually systems only work  if
   the people working it understand its workings.
   24.   We  know  that the West took 200  years  to  make
   democracy  work.  Their initial democracies can  hardly
   be  called  democracies today.  The practice  was  very
   limited  to  landed  property  owners.   It  was   only
   gradually  that the majority of the people  were  given
   the  vote.  Women only got their rights to vote in  the
   middle of the last century.
   25.   The  liberal democracy that we see  in  the  West
   today  had  evolved over many decades.  The people  and
   their   political   leaders   gradually   learnt    the
   intricacies and the weaknesses of the system  and  were
   able  to appreciate the limits of the political freedom
   that democracies confer on them.
   26.   Countries in Asia and other parts  of  the  world
   which had never known democracy need not go through the
   same  evolution of 200 years.  But neither should  they
   adopt the democratic system overnight.  When forced  to
   do  so they will become disoriented and become anarchic
   rather than democratic.  In the turmoil caused by  this
   sudden change their country would be destroyed.   There
   would  be  no economic development, social or political
   27.   There is a na.ve belief and even insistence  that
   the  destruction of a country because of  democracy  is
   better than the stability and prosperity resulting from
   a   non-democratic  system.   And  so  today  war   and
   conquests are considered legitimate if it is to force a
   country to adopt a democratic system of Government.
   28.   We  seem  to have gone overboard with  democracy.
   There is obvious fanaticism not too different from  the
   religious  fanaticism  of  old  when  wars  to   spread
   religious  were  considered right.   Today  we  condemn
   those   religious  wars  but  we  cannot  condemn   the
   ideological democratic wars of today.
   29.    Undoubtedly  democracy  is  the  best  form   of
   Government,  but  Asian  countries  should   adopt   it
   gradually.   The people must be allowed time  to  learn
   and  understand  the limits of democratic  freedom  and
   process.  Democracy is for the good of the country.  It
   is  unacceptable to destroy the country  and  kill  the
   people in order that democracy may be adopted.
   30.   Asia  must device its own formula for governance.
   If  a  country is unable to practise liberal  democracy
   then it should be allowed to be less liberal.  The most
   important  thing  about a democracy  is  the  right  to
   change   the   Government  through  the   ballot   box.
   Continuous   disruption   of   public   life    through
   demonstration, national strikes, media excesses and the
   negation  of  the  role of Government may  enhance  the
   democratic   ideology  but  they  are  not   absolutely
   essential to the democratic process.
   31.  The most important thing is that a country must be
   stable and must grow economically.  People must have  a
   good  life.   Every now and again the  Government  must
   face  the  electorate and accept the  decision  of  the
   32.   Asians  must  help  each  other  to  develop   an
   acceptable  form  of Government.   It  may  not  be  as
   liberal  as  the Governments of the West but  it  would
   still  provide good governance in accordance  with  the
   capability  and  need  of  the  country.     As  people
   prosper  and  are better educated and experienced,  the
   system would undergo evolutionary change and emerge  as
   equitable,  fair  and conducive to the development  and
   well being of the people and the country.
   33.   Asia  needs also to devise its own financial  and
   economic  institutions in keeping with its  values  and
   needs.   Asian countries are neither at the same  stage
   of  development, nor do they have the same culture  and
   34.   A single currency is not for Asia for a very long
   time  to  come.  But a trading currency can be  devised
   which  relates to the other trading currencies  of  the
   world.   Asian  currencies should each have  their  own
   exchange rate against the trading currency.
   35.   The  rate of exchange should not be subjected  to
   market  speculations.  Should there be a  need  for  an
   Asian  country to devalue or revalue its currency,  the
   Asian  countries  involved in  the  arrangement  should
   decide.   As my knowledge about finances can be written
   in the back of postage stamp, I will go no further.
   36.   An  Asian trading group should also be aimed  at.
   But it must not be rigid.  It should really be intended
   to help the poor countries obtain reasonable prices for
   their  export,  while paying equally reasonable  prices
   for their imports.
   37.    Physical  communication  in  terms   of   roads,
   railways,  ports and airports never fail  to  stimulate
   the  growth  of  a country.  To ensure that  these  are
   constructed the best way is for these facilities to  be
   built on a Build, Operate and Transfer arrangements  by
   donor  countries.  After a given period  it  should  be
   handed over to the country concerned.
   38.   For  land  locked countries  the  most  important
   infrastructure  is  the railways.  Just  as  ships  are
   designed  to  carry  the enormous amount  of  fuel  and
   freight,   the  railway  system  should  be   similarly
   designed.  We know that in Europe huge trucks move huge
   amounts  of  goods and food to every corner from  every
   corner.   For Asia roads are too expensive.   The  rail
   system is far better.
   39.  Our vision in Southeast Asia is to be able to send
   heavy  goods  by  rail  from Singapore  to  Europe  via
   Kunming  in China, Central Asia and on to the  existing
   railway system which links it to Europe.  It will be an
   alternative to sea transport and it can be faster.
   40.   Asians can do all these things.  It will  not  be
   easy  of  course, but it will not be impossible.   Much
   time  will be needed but there is sufficient  funds  in
   Asia for these to be implemented.
   41.   In  a hundred years time the world will  be  more
   multiracial. People are more mobile and borders  cannot
   stop  them.   Europe and America will have  huge  Asian
   populations.   And they will claim their rights.   This
   is inevitable.
   42.   But if Asia can grow and prosper, migration  will
   be  slower and adjustment can be made without too  much
   disruption.  As no country in the world will be single-
   ethnic,  the  mixture of races in  every  country  will
   reduce  the possibility of any one race dominating  the
   43.   Asia must be prepared for this change in the 21st
   Century.  The New Asian Order must be premised on  this
   change, this New World of multi-ethnic countries  where
   national  loyalties will be tempered with a  commitment
   to  internationalism.  The New Asian Order  must  be  a
   part  of  a  New World Order which is shaped by  Asians
   together with those of other continents in the world.

   Sumber : Pejabat Perdana Menteri