No support for Aung San Suu Kyi: Malaysia PM Mahathir

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi seemed to be a "changed person", Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said. PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia will no longer lend its support to Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi over her handling of the Rohingya crisis, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said.

Ms Suu Kyi seemed to be a "changed person" and he had lost faith in her, said Tun Mahathir.

"She did not want to say anything against the action taken by the (Myanmar) military against the Rohingya. So, we made (it) quite clear that we don't really support her anymore," he said at an interview with Mr Ghida Fakhry of the Turkish international news channel TRT World last Saturday (Sept 29).

The interview was held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York before he left for London.

Dr Mahathir said that when Ms Suu Kyi was under house arrest, Malaysia campaigned to get her released. But when he wrote to Ms Suu Kyi, he did not receive any reply and was "very disappointed".

"We have complained to the world about the treatment of the Rohingya. In fact, we have ourselves received quite a lot of Rohingya people in our country," he said.

Dr Mahathir had addressed the UNGA last Friday (Sept 28) over the plight of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority, who have been driven to Bangladesh in huge numbers.

He criticised the authorities in Myanmar and Ms Suu Kyi for denying that the Rohingya people were being murdered, their homes torched and over a million refugees were forced to flee.

Dr Mahathir also questioned the world for keeping silent on the massacres.

Several other countries have similarly criticised Ms Suu Kyi.

There have been calls to revoke the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to her in 1991, while Canada has stripped Ms Suu Kyi of her honorary citizenship.

Meanwhile, soon after his arrival in London late last Saturday, Dr Mahathir was briefed on the future direction of Group Lotus, which produces high-end sports cars and racing cars.

The closed-door briefing on Sunday was given by Group Lotus chief executive officer Feng Qingfeng, who is also vice-president and chief technology officer of Geely Auto Group, Bernama reported.

Dr Mahathir is believed to have been given a glimpse of the mock model of the latest Lotus car.

China's automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group purchased a 49.9 per cent stake in Proton Holdings Bhd as well as 51 per cent of Lotus, both owned by DRB-Hicom, last year.

Dr Mahathir is a former chairman of Group Lotus and Proton Holdings.

Also present at the briefing were Malaysian tycoon Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary and DRB-Hicom CEO Syed Faisal Albar.

Soon after arriving for the briefing, Dr Mahathir inspected the new London electric taxi, which is also owned by Geely.

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