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.