Malaysia should propose at the ASEAN Finance Ministers’ meeting next month the setting up of an ASEAN  special commission to assist in the rebuilding of East Timor

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang, Monday): The current visit  of  East Timor independence leaders Xanana Gusmao and Jose Ramos-Harta to ASEAN countries should be an occasion for  the ASEAN governments to work out a co-ordinated programme to help in the rebuilding of East Timor.

Malaysia should propose at the fourth ASEAN Finance Ministers’ (AFMM)  meeting in Brunei on March 25-26 the setting up of an ASEAN special commission to assist in the rebuilding of East Timor, with each ASEAN government committed to a budgetary allocation for  the commission.

DAP welcomes the visit of Gusmao and Ramos-Harta to Malaysia. Over the years,  DAP MPs were the only voice in Parliament  consistently  raising the aspirations of the East Timorese for justice, whether by way of questions, speeches or motions although the motions were never given time for debate by the government of the day.

ASEAN nations should play a more active part to assist the East Timorese in their critical transitions towards nationhood as well as development.

The governments of the region as well as  the  political, economic and social leaders in the ASEAN countries should help build  an  infrastructure for development in East Timor.

ASEAN governments should also play a more leading role in the  United Nations peacekeeping force in East Timor under the UN Transitional  Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) responsible for East Timor  in preparation for independence and nationhood.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman