Malaysian appeal on Timor

Issue 

Malaysian appeal on Timor

During President Suharto's visit to Malaysia beginning on July 16, a broad range of non-government organisations and political parties issued a statement condemning Indonesia's occupation of East Timor.

While the statement denounced the acquiescence of the United States and its allies during Indonesia's 1975 invasion of East Timor, it endorsed recent calls from the US and other European countries for a change on Indonesia's part.

The group called on Suharto to acknowledge fully the call by the international community to come to a peaceful resolution with the East Timorese people. It also urged the United Nations to be directly involved in resolving the conflict.

The group included Aliran in Penang, AWAM (All Women's Action Society), CCM (Council of Churches of Malaysia), COAC (Centre for Orang Asli Concerns), DAP (Democratic Action Party), IPK (Institute for Community Education), JUST, National Civil Rights Committee, PACOS (Partners of Community Organisations), PAN (Pesticide Action Network, Asia Pacific), Persatuan Sahabat Wanita, Selangor, PRM (Parti Rakyat Malaysia — Malaysian Peoples Party), Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Selangor Graduates Society, SUARAM (Suara Rakyat Malaysia — Malaysian Peoples Voice) and WDC (Women's Development Collective).

The group also condemned the November 1991 Dili massacre, in which Malaysian student Kamal Bahmadaj was also killed, and the treatment of East Timorese who recently sought exile in the Finnish and Swedish embassies.

"With what authority can our leaders denounce the present situation in Palestine, South Africa, or Bosnia if they keep silent about the East Timor tragedy on the doorsteps of our own region?", the statement asked.

"As concerned neighbours, we appeal to

President Suharto to work towards an honourable resolution of the conflict in East Timor, not only as a matter of principle, but for the direct benefit of all peoples of our region."