Phnom Penh (FN), Sept. 2 – Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad stated that Cambodia has an older civilization compared to that of the US, thus Cambodia’s leadership must be in accordance to its customs, traditions, and people’s livings and thinking.

The statement was made Monday at the open dialogue on “Balancing Relations with the Superpowers in the Context of ASEAN”, held at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) on 2 September 2019, attended by diplomats, government officials, and approximately 700 university students.

“US is a young country compared to Cambodia. Cambodians should be proud of their civilization, culture, living, and thinking,” Dr. Mahathir Mohamad answered a student’s question “Should country in ASEAN, particularly Cambodia, democratizes based on Western standard or local situation?”

At the dialogue, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad also advised youth to improve their research and analysis skills.

“Be aware of what is happening around and avoid things that are bad for your countries. Try to build good value system. Be sympathize and avoid killings,” he stated.

He also urged youth to use alternative dispute resolution as a tool to solve problems, rather than favour wars.

“War is primitive. It is useful back in 2,000 years ago. Today, to solve problems, we need communications and peaceful confliction resolution, arbitrations, and diplomacy on the table,” Dr. Mahathir Mohamad added.

It is worth noting that Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and spouse landed Cambodia on Tuesday 9:40 a.m for an official visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia from 2-4 September 2019, at the invitation of Prime Minister Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

“During the visit, H.E. Prime Minister of Malaysia will pay separate courtesy calls on Samdech Say Chhum, Acting Head of State of the Kingdom of Cambodia; and Samdech Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly,” according to the foreign affairs’ press release dated Friday.

“Dr. Mahathir Mohamad will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen during which various aspects of bilateral will be discussed. The two Leaders will also exchange views on regional and international matters of common interest. Thereafter, the two Prime Ministers will preside over the signing ceremony of a number of documents and hold a joint press announcement.”

The official visit of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to Cambodia will significantly contribute to further strengthening and deepening the excellent bonds of friendship and close cooperation between Cambodia and Malaysia in bilateral, regional and international frameworks.