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Berita : Dunia tertawakan U.S., kata Mahathir

World laughing at US: Mahathir

Source : The Australian,
by Greg Sheridan, Foreign editor
December 30, 2006

THE US has become an international laughing stock because of Iraq, and Australia is suffering for its relationship with America, former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has said. "America has lost," he said yesterday. "It used to be a world power. It is no longer a world power."

In an exclusive interview with The Weekend Australian in his office near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's longest-serving prime minister said: "The whole world is laughing at America, at the stupidity of the decisions they made and at the refusal to recognise the situation."

He described US President George W.Bush as being in "total self-denial".

Dr Mahathir also said Australia suffered from its close association with Mr Bush's policies.

He criticised Australia for having a mentality that was too European, always telling people how to behave and what was right and wrong.

Dr Mahathir accused the Bush administration of having only a shallow knowledge of the Middle East and hypocrisy about Middle Eastern democracy.

"In Palestine, because they didn't like Hamas, because Hamas won, they didn't want to recognise them, thus negating the whole idea of democracy."

Dr Mahathir retired as prime minister in 2003 having served 22 years in office and overseen sustained economic growth in Malaysia.

However, his later years in office were marked by increasingly sharp criticism of Washington and Australia. He had celebrated run-ins with three Australian prime ministers: Bob Hawke, over the Malaysian decision to execute two convicted Australian drug traffickers; Paul Keating, over APEC and the nature of Asian regionalism; and John Howard, over the question of whether Australia was the US's deputy sheriff in Asia.

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