T HE Malaysian Ambassador to Cambodia talked to the Post about his government's
position on military aid to Cambodia.
Ambassador Deva Mohd. Ridzam was
asked about a military equipment request prepared by the Cambodian Defense
Ministry which had been obtained by the Post.
He said: "The Cambodian
government sent around a shopping list of military items of equipment that it
wants to X number of nations. Whether we will be able to respond to it is still
"But we believe that grassroots economic development in the
country as a whole should be emphasized. Here we are quite prepared to
"For example Malaysia has extended technical cooperation to
Cambodia. This we will continue to augment. We have sent 20 odd people along
with 35 irrigation pumps and engines to Cambodia.
"We are encouraging
Cambodian delegations to come to Malaysia to look at rural development projects,
environmental projects, agriculture, the working of the police. We request the
Cambodian government not to say 'We need this, we need that,' but to come to
Malaysia to see how we accomplish these kinds of tasks.
"We are prepared
to receive delegations from the Royal Government that have the support of the
Co-Prime Ministers to come to Malaysia for study tours, on fact-finding
The Ambassador denied having any knowledge of rumors that the
Malaysian government is prepared to train units of between 200-700 Cambodian
soldiers in Malaysia in anti-guerrilla warfare techniques.
"We will not accept any soldiers in numbers like that. It is out of the
question [for Malaysia] to train soldiers. We do not want to get into any form
of military cooperation that will lead to a new cycle of fighting.
would however like to show Cambodians how we run our military training schools,
how we recruit people for the military, how our army is involved in civil action
programs, how they help to build bridges and clear land.
"But this is
best done in Malaysia. We would like to see delegations visiting Malaysia to see
how our Army organizes to do this."
Ambassador Ridzam told the Post the
Malaysian government is now helping in the area of civil aviation - a form of
cooperation that grew out of Malaysia's involvement in the Untac
He said: "We now have 11 Malaysians working as air traffic
controllers in Cambodia, Malaysian Air Force personnel who are accomplishing a
civilian task. They are here for a year, from Jan 1to Dec 31, at a cost of
Another Malaysian source said that Kuala Lumpur financed the
training of 10 Cambodian air traffic controllers in Bangkok. He said: "We are
also involved with the Department of Civil Aviation in conversion training for
Cambodian pilots to teach them to fly cargo planes. This is a four month
"We are now committed to the preservation of the fruits of the UN
intervention in Cambodia: the results of the election, the return of the
monarchy and the establishment of a legitimate government.
there is no mood in Malaysia nor among the individual Asean nations to get into
any new round, any new cycle, of fighting in Cambodia.
"Asean would like
to see grassroots development in Cambodia. This is the regional post-Untac
"We have told the Cambodian government our experience with the
Malaysian insurgency taught us that military force alone is not the answer [to
the KR problem].
"In Malaysia we won the war against the insurgency by
winning the hearts and minds of the people through education, rural development
and infrastructure improvement.
"All the diplomatic missions here wait
anxiously for the investment law. We feel that private sector investment will
create employment and increase human resources by increasing skills.
"There is only one way for Cambodia to go. They must integrate
regionally and in the world-wide community. Cambodia cannot remain