In his forthcoming visit to Japan next week, Mahathir should lecture the Japanese not to be worse than “Banana People” – yellow outside but white inside
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): In his forthcoming visit to Japan next week, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad should lecture the Japanese not to be worse than “Banana People” – yellow outside but white inside.
In a Bernama report on Monday titled ”Dr Mahathir's Visit To Tokyo Much Awaited By Japanese” the Japanese ambassador to Malaysia, Masaki Konishi, said that during his two-day official visit beginning next Wednesday, Mahathir would deliver two key-note addresses: one at a seminar to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Look East Policy and the other, at a symposium entitled “Islam: Fostering Peace” at the United Nations University.
Konishi said many Japanese “highly appreciate Dr Mahathir's wisdom, experience and leadership… as an outstanding Asian statesman” and were eager to listen to his views on how Malaysia and Japan could enhance ties as Asia undergoes great changes and faces new challenges.
In his forthcoming visit to Japan next week, Mahathir should lecture the Japanese not to be worse than “Banana People” – yellow outside but white inside.
Yesterday, the just-promoted Deputy Information Minister and new propaganda czar, Datuk Zainudin Maidin said Asian nations should be thankful to Australian Prime Minister John Howard for creating a new awakening among Asians.
He said this new awakening, which differed from the rise of Afro-Asianism in the past, which focused more on socialism and communism, has created a drastic reawakening of the Asian conscience in the new millennium.
Howard had said that as part of efforts to protect Australians from terrorist attacks, he would launch pre-emptive strikes at terrorist suspects in neighbouring countries, ignoring the concept of national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Zainuddin said the Australian Prime Minister's statement should not be
viewed only from a negative aspect but should be considered positively as
Asian nations indeed needed a jolt to rekindle their conscience from outside
particularly from the West.
He said to realise the objectives of progress and development, Asian nations should not become anyone's tools but rather should stand on their own strength.
By the Zainudin yardstick, Japan would be worse than “Banana People”, as the Japanese had committed a greater sin than being silent by publicly supporting Howard – causing the Australian media to describe it as the “first backing from Asia” for Howard’s pre-emptive strike statement.
The Japanese endorsement
for Howard was given by Japan's counter-terrorism ambassador, Hiroshi
Shigeta, who said in Tokyo yesterday that he was "comfortable" with
Australia's position, which he said had originally been misrepresented by
Shigeta said when he read a full transcript of Howard's remarks, he considered Australia was "in favour of respecting international law."
The Japanese are still remembered in Malaysia for the “Japanese banana notes” during the Japanese Occupation which were worthless currency. They should not degenerate to be worse than Zainuddin’s “Banana People”.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman