"Mr Gore should not only have left the meeting room immediately after insulting us. He should have got on the plane and left the country. And he should not come back until he has learnt some manners.
"I am not a politician. I do not want to play politics. I am not Anti-American. For these very strong words, I certainly apologise to my many, many American friends, who are also very embarassed.
"I do not know if other Malaysians feel the same way.
"But enough is enough."
Just as United States Vice President Al Gore’s speech at the Apec Business Summit dinner in Kuala Lumpur on Monday night expressing support for democratic and political reforms in Malaysia has raised a controversy as to its propriety, the full-page advertisement of Noordin’s "personal statement" also raises a similar question of its propriety.
Malaysian government leaders had made very unflattering remarks of American leaders in the past, without anyone raising the question of meddling in the internal affairs of the United States of America. Similarly, Malaysia must live with an important facet of the global society where every country must expect its record particularly on democracy and human rights to be subject to scrutiny by foreign leaders.
What can be faulted in Gore’s speech is whether he had chosen the "wrong place, wrong time and wrong tone" to express his views, to the extent that Malaysians who have been spearheading the movement for democratic freedoms and political reforms are worried whether Gore’s speech could be used to tar their campaign as foreign-directed or masterminded, when they are very local brew.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday that
Malaysia would not review its relations with the Unfited States of Amercia
as a result of Gore’s speech.
Malaysia must move on and Mahathir should not allow Gore’s criticisms to deflect him from the central issue that Malaysians want more democratic space to exercise their rights and the government should mainstream rather than marginalise human rights in the country
This is the time the Prime Minister should give serious consideration to the DAP proposal of an early resolution to the worst political crisis of confidence, credibility and legitimacy during his 17-year premiership, either by the holding of early general elections for a new mandate of governance or there should be an urgent All-Party/NGOs Roundtable Conference to reach a national consensus to draw up a new political blueprint to expand democratic space, freedom and justice in the country.