Malaysia should support establishment of UN War Crimes Tribunal into the atrocities in East Timor

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): The DAP fully backs the Malaysian Government in rejecting the Howard Doctrine to be the US peacekeeping deputy in Asia, as expressed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi yesterday when he said that Malaysia does not like to see any country appointing itself as guardian of the region.

Although the Australian role in the International Force for East Timor (Interfet), in providing the most number of troops and being made head of the multi-national force, is commendable,  this is no excuse or justification for the Australian Government to misread its international responsibility  or to trample on the sensitivities of Asian countries.

While DAP supports the Malaysian Government in rejecting the Howard Doctrine,  we want to call on it to play a more active role to uphold human rights in the regional  and  international arenas.

In this connection, Malaysia should fully support the establishment of a United Nations War Crimes Tribunal on the genocide and atrocities in East Timor.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva is deciding whether to set up such a UN War Crimes Tribunal  into atrocities in East Timor, amid  vigorous  opposition from Indonesia and Asian nations.

Malaysia should be  a loud and clear voice in support for such a UN War Crimes Tribunal, to be headed by international legal experts, to establish responsibility for atrocities in East Timor since the independence ballot was announced in  January.   The gross violations of human rights in East Timor must be condemned and there should be no impunity for  the perpetrators.


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong