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Mahathir Mohamad, 93, slams leading powers over ‘undemocratic’ UN


New York, Sept 29: Malaysia's nonagenarian prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Friday (Sept 28) lashed out at the world's leading powers at the United Nations saying those nations should be reminded that they couldn't urge change of regimes in other countries when they themselves were not ready to give way to democracy in the world body.

Malaysias Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad

"It's not a nice thing, it's hypocritical. On the one hand you say they all must be democratic, you cause regime change and lots of civil wars in order to achieve democracy," Mohamad, who returned to power in his country in a historic election in May, said in a media conference at the UN headquarters after delivering his address in the General Assembly.

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Mohamad said this in reply to a question on his expectations for a reform of the UN veto system. The senior-most statesman of Asia had given similar calls in the past but they did not yield results.

Mohamad reappeared in the UN for his speech after 2003, the year he lost power after a 22-year rule, and said: "When I last spoke here in 2003, I lamented how the world had lost its way. I bemoaned the fact that small countries continued to be at the mercy of the powerful."

He said that he had argued then for the developing world to push for reform but lamented saying nothing had changed much in the last 15 years.

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Speaking about the veto system in the UN which makes its permanent five powers even more powerful, Mohamad said he had suggested that instead of the veto being used by just one permanent member, it should be used by at least two powers backed by three non-permanent members of the Security Council.

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