Pinochet was a friend to Malaysia

Recently, some of the world renown leading anti war and anti war criminal experts and activists met in Kuala Lumpur for the four day Kuala Lumpur Conference to Criminalise War Conference and Exhibition, which was followed by the Kuala Lumpur Criminalise War Commission meeting and Kuala Lumpur War Crime Tribunal presiding.

So much grounds gained from this event. Testimonies of people being taken by force against their will in a foreign country and then tortured by the Americans and British, which include in secret locations in another continent were presented. It was heart wrenching. Then event saw so many leading anti war ciminal activists acknowledged Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s work under the Perdana Global Peace Organisation to make war illegal and a crime and reprimand leaders who started war.


Then a pro-PM Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak blogger raised that Malaysia under Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (then Fourth Prime Minister) and PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (then Minister of Foreign Affairs) gave a nation’s award to Chilean Military Leader General Augusto Ramon Pinonchet, back in 1995. For the record, General Pinochet was the President of Chile from 1973-1990.

The argument put forth is that General Pinochet staged a coup d’etat in 1973 and arrested and tortured thousands of Chilean in their own prison.

The fact is that, General Pinochet was a Leader of Chile, who was a friend to Malaysia. Chile has had a continuous good diplomatic and economic relationship with Malaysia and an important friend in South America. In fact in 1992, Tun Dr. Mahathir then as the Prime Minister made a state visit Chile in a tour of South America. Chile, under General Pinochet did not wage an illegal war against another country. Nor did they they illegally extracted non Chileans in another country and prison and torture them in Chilean prisons or any prisons outside Chile manned by Chilean soldiers and military intelligence.

As far as Malaysia is concerned, Chile handled her own domestic issues. Malaysia has had a policy on non intervention into other country’s domestic issues. Same reason why Malaysia abstained entirely from the issue when Chinese military closed in on the Tiananmen Square protesters  and more than 2,600 non combatants were killed on the fatefully June 1989  Beijing incident. It is also reflected in the Tamil separatists insurgence against Sri Lanka.

It was a vast difference from what US Presiden George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair did. Bush and Blair waged an illegal war against Afghanistan and later Iraq and merciless extracted non Americans and British out of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq and take them to Guantanamo Bay and torture them. This has been going on for years and even a boy of 12 was subjected to this inhumanity. Until today, US and British troops are still carrying military operations that kill non combatant Afghans, including women, children, physically challenged and old people. Worse of all, they use weapons such as depleted uranium shell and chemical warfare in the military operations.

That is an act of an illegal war!

Pinochet funeral

On that note, Chile never got around reprimanding General Pinochet for his crimes against the Chilean people (when they had all the opportunities). General Pinochet was even made a Senator and the Chilean Congress ammended their Consititution to acknowledge ‘ex-presidents’. He eventually died in a military hospital. Even Chilean military gave him a Commander in Chief’s funeral in full military honours (usually accorded to either a Statesman or War Hero), drapped in the Chilean flag and flags flew half mast across the nation. Hundred of thousand Chileans mourned his passing.

Most probably if had the Chileans reprimanded General Pinochet as a criminal before 1995, one would not  think that Malaysia would accord him with any awards. In 1995, Chile, Chileans and General Pinochet are friends to Malaysia. They still are. Same as China, Chinese and Chinese Leaders such as Deng Xiaopeng, Li Peng, Jiao Zemin, Zhao Ziyang, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao.

*Updated Monday 2 November 2009 330pm

As of noon today, blogger Barking Magpie took out his posting “Under Mahathir, Malaysia gave the highest military award to a mass murdered?! So how!”, almost 17 hours after BigDogDotCom came out with this posting. Unfortunately, the reference of this article has now become invalid.



Published in: on November 1, 2009 at 18:50  Comments (27)