Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mahathir Mohamad: Malaysia will use Huawei ‘as much as possible’

Mahathir Mohamad: Malaysia will use Huawei ‘as much as possible’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. AFP

Mahathir Mohamad: Malaysia will use Huawei ‘as much as possible’

Malaysia will continue using Huawei products “as much as possible”, bucking a global trend prompted by security concerns and a US ban on the Chinese firm, the country’s prime minister said on Thursday.

Mahathir Mohamad, speaking at a conference in Tokyo, acknowledged the security concerns but said they would not deter Malaysia.

“Yes, there may be some spying. But what is there to spy [on] exactly in Malaysia? We are an open book,” the 93-year-old said.

Mahathir said Huawei had access to research “far bigger than the whole of Malaysia’s research equivalent”.

“So we try to make use of their technology as much as possible.”

“Everybody knows, if any country wants to invade Malaysia, they can walk through, and we will not resist because it’s a waste of time,” he added.

His comment came after a wave of controversy over the Chinese telecommunications firm, which has been hit by allegations of espionage and faces a US ban.

A number of countries have blocked Huawei from working on their mobile networks and companies have stepped back from the firm after the US ban, citing legal requirements.

The spat comes as the US and China raise tariffs in tit-for-tat moves along with blistering rhetoric accusing each other of unfair trade practices.

Mahathir warned about the heated exchanges between Beijing and Washington, which come as the powers and their allies lock horns in the hotly contested South China Sea.

Mahathir said the US and “the West” must accept that Asian nations now produce competitive products, and should not “threaten” business rivals.

“Yes, I understand Huawei has tremendous advance[s] over American technology even,” he said.

“The US must compete with China. At times China will win, other times the US will win,” he said.

He warned that the tense relations between the US and China might impact the situation in the South China Sea, where China claims sovereignty despite rival claims from other regional nations.

MOST VIEWED

  • Breaking: US House passes 'Cambodia Democracy Act'

    The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Monday, passed the “HR 526 Cambodia Democracy Act”, also known as the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019. If signed off by the president, the bill will allow two major sets of action to be taken against high-ranking Cambodian

  • ‘Zero-dollar’ tours under fire

    Minister of Tourism Thong Khon has blamed “zero-dollar” tour operators for the decrease in foreign tourists to Angkor Archaeological Park in the first half of this year and has called for action against them. Angkor Archaeological Park received 1.24 million foreign visitors in the first half

  • Some jobs off limits to foreigners from August

    Beginning from the second week of August, foreigners will be banned from driving taxis and tuk-tuks, as well as being motorcycle delivery drivers, street food vendors, hairdressers and product distributors among other lower-income jobs. Some white-collar jobs such as the head of human resources will

  • Chinese-owned shops are on the rise in central Phnom Penh

    Informal businesses owned by Chinese nationals are on the rise in central Phnom Penh, especially in Tonle Bassac commune, surrounding Koh Pich. Such businesses have sprung up notably in Central Market, Orussey Market, Sovanna Shopping Mall, Rattana Plaza, as well as Kakab commune across from