Despite Critical Stance Us Not Against Inviting Dr M Over For Visit




The United States is not against inviting Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to the country for an official visit, according to US ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir. "Mahathir has lots of views," she told the media in an interview today. "Some are positive, some are critical, like any other leader of a country."As Lakhdhir explained, the US had previously invited Mahathir over for an official visit when he was in the country for the United Nations General Assembly last September, but his schedule did not permit at the time
"When he was there, I also encouraged him to travel to California, so that he could see some of the companies in the Silicon Valley on the West Coast
"But he already had travel plans to London. So he was not able to do that."I look forward to his travel plans this year, I cannot predict what they are," she said
Despite Mahathir being a frequent critic of the US, Lakhdhir (photo) said she actually considers the bilateral ties between the US and Malaysia to be "very strong in many ways"
"It was strong during Mahathir's first administration, and it is strong now," she said
Lakhdhir added that she is aware that Mahathir is sometimes critical about certain aspects of US policy, but said that her country was also at times critical of Malaysia in turn
"However, it does not mean that the fundamental, bilateral relationship between the two countries is not very strong."In March, Mahathir said that Malaysia would favour "rich" China over the "unpredictable" US, if forced to take sides in the geopolitical rivalry between the two superpowers
Several months later, when asked about Pakatan Harapan's performance after its first year in power, Mahathir quipped "I don't think I'm worse than (US President Donald) Trump
Asked if there was a reaction in the US when Mahathir made the remark, Kamala said she did not remember any. - Mkini

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