When I was in Japan recently I had the
opportunity to explain about Malaysia’s Non-Governmental Organisation’s
campaign to make war a punishable crime.
guilty of perpetrating brutalities during their Manchurian Incident and
war against China and also during the Pacific War.
On the other
hand they were the only people in the world to experience the first
ever nuclear war, of having their citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
reduced to ashes by atomic bombs, with the loss of 200,000 lives and
thousands more struck down by radiation sickness later.
the Japanese the realities of war and the killings have been fully
understood from their experience. I believe they can be expected to
support a campaign to make war a crime.
I spoke about the
horrors of war to three separate groups i.e. the Nikkei Future of Asia
Forum, breakfast meeting with the head of Nikkei and his senior staff
and before a full audience at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club, Tokyo.
in England in April I was invited by the Ramadhan Foundation to speak
about the Criminalisation of War at the Imperial College in London.
interesting incident was the attempt by Jewish students to stop me from
speaking at the Imperial College because I am regarded as being
anti-Semitic. The authorities were embarassed by this demand and almost
decided to stop me.
I was waiting for them to do so. Then I
could go there to see if they would stop me. If they did I would be
able to say that there is no freedom of speech in England.
the authorities decided that only students from the Imperial College
would be allowed to attend. Still the hall was full with standing room
At all these meetings I was able to explain why war should
be regarded as a crime. I pointed out that it is ridiculous to regard
murder as a crime punishable with the most extreme penalty yet the
deliberate killings of thousands of people, mostly innocent men, women
and children are regarded as proper and legal.
There is a contradiction here which does not fit in with human values in a civilised world.
trillions of dollars are being expended on the development and
production of ever more lethal weapons of mass destruction. Poor
countries are forced to buy these weapons by playing on their false
sense of pride. They buy these expensive weapons so as not to be less
well-equipped than their neighbours. Yet these weapons are often not
used at all. Still they have to be upgraded or replaced with newer
versions at tremendous cost.
Malaysia has been drawn into this
game. We have bought two submarines costing over RM3 billion. When are
we going to use them? Are we contemplating going to war with our
neighbours? I can think of other ways of spending RM3 billion in
We need a defence force to preserve our independence.
But do we have to be involved in an arms race? Only the suppliers of
arms would benefit from an arms race.
War is not a solution for
our foreign policy agenda. A stiff backbone is far more important.
Unfortunately at the moment we don’t have that.
against war and the criminalisation of war has gained momentum. This is
going to be a long-drawn struggle. But it has to begin somewhere if we
are going to achieve this radical change in the mindsets of people.
God-willing insya’allah this struggle will eventually succeed.
this blog I would like to apeal to all Malaysians to support this
campaign. We may feel safe from war now. But we must remember and think
about all those people who now face the prospect of being bombed and
rocketed, of having their heads and limbs torn from their bodies, of
being killed. That they are non-combatants and have done no one any
harm does not seem to matter to the warmongers. They will suffer all
When war broke out in Europe in 1939 we in Malaysia
thought we were safe. But we were not. In a world war we too will be
subjected to attack. Our forces will not be able to do much.
We don’t foresee this happening to us. But it can happen if war is still regarded as a way to settle conflicts between nations.
is why I believe that it is important to make war a crime and so to
stop it from being the way to settle conflicts between nations.