Mahathir Mohamad

Huawei: Nothing to see here, says Malaysia

Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad delivers a speech during the 25th International Conference on the Future Of Asia in Tokyo on May 30, 2019.
Getty Images

While other countries might be concerns about Huawei, the Chinese telecoms giant has at least one ally - according to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The US has added Huawei to a list of companies that American firms cannot trade with unless they have a licence, while other countries have blocked them from providing 5G technology.

Asked whether Malaysia would follow other countries' lead, Malaysia's Prime Minister said: “We are too small to have an effect on a huge company like Huawei, whose research is far bigger than the whole of Malaysia’s research capability.

"So we try to make use of their technology as much as possible. Yes there may be some spying, but what is there to spy in Malaysia? We are an open book.”

Malaysia warns EU over palm oil policy

Dr Mahathir Mohamad
NurPhoto

Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has warned the EU that it risks starting a trade war with Malaysia, due to the bloc's policies relating to the use of palm oil.

Earlier in March, the European Commission decided to phase out the use of palm oil in transportation fuel by 2030, after concluding that palm oil cultivation results in excessive deforestation.

Malaysia is the world's second largest producer of palm oil, and it is concerned that decreasing demand for palm oil could impact hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Dr Mahathir, 93, said the EU's changing attitude towards palm oil was due to a desire to protect European alternatives to palm oil, such as rape seed oil.

"To do that kind of thing to win a trade war is unfair," Dr Mahathir told Reuters.

"Trade wars are not something we like to promote but on the other hand it is grossly unfair for rich people to try and impoverish poor people."

South China Sea: Battleships may lead to war - Malaysia PM
Stationing warships in the South China Sea could lead to war, Malaysia's Prime Minister has said.
Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim on Mahathir: 'We have to move on'
Malaysia’s former deputy PM speaks to the BBC about succeeding the man who put him in jail.