by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 7th June 1993:
DAP disappointed that Dr. Mahathir Mohamed has decided to stay away from the United Nations World Human Rights to stay away from the United Nations World Human Rights Conference in Vienna
I have received confirmation that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, would not attend the United Nations World Human Rights Conference in Vienne and that the Malaysian delegation would be headed by the Foreign Minister, Datuk Adbullah Badawi.
DAP is very disappointed that Dr. Mahathir Mohamed is staying away from the UN World Human Rights Conference, as it cannot reflect well on the human rights record of the Malaysian government when the Prime Minister himself is not prepared to attend the first world human rights conference in a quarter of a country.
It is significant that Dr. Mahathir could attend the Earth Summit in Brazil last June and not the Human Rights Summit in Vienna, as it means that the Malaysian Government feels more defensive and uncomfortable with its human rights record as compared with its environmental record.
It is still not too late for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to change his mind and attend the final proceedings of the Vienna Human Rights Conference to demonstrate that Malaysia would not be left out of the mainstream of the struggle of humanity for greater democracy and more respect for human rights in the rest of this decade and in the 21st century.
Dr. Mahathir, like leaders of all nations whether Western, Eastern, North of South who attend the Vienna Human Rights Conference must be prepared to face criticism of the human rights record of every individual country – but what history and humanity demands is the commitment by every head of government to improve on his country’s record on democracy and human rights after the Conference.
Dr. Mahathir himself proclaimed ‘democracy’ as one of the nine strategic challenges which must be overcome if Vision 2020 of Malaysia Becoming a fully developed country is to be realized.
How can this strategic challenge of creating a democratic Malaysia in Vision 2020 be achieved if Dr. Mahathir is not even prepared to attend the UN World Human Rights Conference which is being held once in a quarter century?