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Jakarta Post

ASEAN ‘stronger’ when strongmen still around: PM Mahathir

  • Ary Hermawan

    The Jakarta Post

Putrajaya   /   Thu, February 21 2019   /  12:39 am
Mahathir Mohamad (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)(JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

Mahathir Mohamad (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, one of the last remaining members of Southeast Asia’s old guard who fought colonialism and transformed their respective nations into “tiger economies”, said ASEAN was stronger when he and his peers — Indonesia’s Soeharto and Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew — were still around.The 93-year-old prime minister, who returned to office after a shock election victory in May last year, has promised he would not stay in power for long, honoring an agreement he made with his former foe, Anwar Ibrahim, who helped him topple his former protégé, Najib Razak.Mahathir, however, argued that it was better for the regional grouping if its member nations could have governments that could last long enough to enable them to forge better cooperation and understanding.ASEAN, he argued, was stronger and more united durin...