KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has called on rich Muslim countries to invest in poor Muslim nations to establish a stronger alliance, while working together to upgrade the capacity of Muslims.
Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said Muslim countries would not be subjected to forced assimilation and trade sanctions if they were self-reliant and work with other Muslims nations to ensure that any punitive measure imposed can be circumvented.
“We are not rejecting investments from non-Muslim countries. But we feel Muslim countries so far have not invested enough in other Muslim countries who need their investments.
“We hope, as a result from this conference, many more Muslim countries which are rich enough invest in the poorer countries,” he said at a press conference after the conclusion of the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019 here today.
Earlier, in his closing remarks, Dr. Mahathir said the conference was not aimed at replacing other Muslim platforms such the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), neither intending to create different categories or classes of Muslim nations nor to undermine others.
“It is a congregation of a few Muslim nations (Malaysia, Qatar, Iran and Turkey) of which some of the leaders wanted to get together and discuss some areas that are possible for us to establish collaborations that will first benefit the nations involved and then taken onto a bigger platform and collaboration to benefit the Muslim world as a whole,” he said.
He said Malaysia, Iran, Qatar and Turkey shared the sentiments for the efforts to work together, while keeping the initial group small to pursue the objectives immediately without having to be distracted by too many opinions and conditions.
Dr. Mahathir said there were 1.8 billion Muslim population globally, representing almost a quarter of the total human population but Muslim countries lacked proportionate representation in all fields in the global platform.
“The idea was to come together, assessing our strengths and weaknesses as well as our assets. Then, we will use the strength of one another to overcome the weaknesses we have.
“Simply put, if one of us has an expertise in a particular area, we offer it to another or all the other participating countries and establish a realistic collaboration,” he added.
He said Malaysia needs to also have inflow of money from investments in properties and finance as well as in other areas where those who have the capital can invest.
“Some Muslim countries are very rich but the area that they can invest in Malaysia at the moment is quite limited. For example, we can have investments in the production of defence equipment from some Muslim countries,” he said.
Dr. Mahathir said poor Muslim countries should be ready to accept an investment, especially if the investment come from Muslim countries.
Meanwhile, he proposed to revisit the common trading currency for international trade backed by gold and barter trade among Muslim nations.
“We are seriously looking into this and we hope that we will be able to find a mechanism to put it into effect,” he said, adding that meeting with central banks on this proposal would held later.
Dr. Mahathir said the current US dollar as an international currency was also subject to fluctuation in value but the gold has a certain value for all countries in the world.
“If we use gold as a standard, we can call our currencies by whatever name but they must relate to the value of gold in your (particular) country.
“If you know the value of gold in your country, and the gold in the trading partner, then we know how much gold is worth during the trade and we can call that as the gold dinar as a standard,” he said.
Dr. Mahathir said Malaysia would study carefully on the potential use of the proposed gold dinar as the country was hampered by the use of one currency (the greenback) for international trade.
“Our focus is mainly on the economy, science and technology as well as the defence industry. But the most important aspect of all the foc
us is the need to be able to produce and create new indigenous technologies.
“For as long as we are dependent on the technology created by the enemies of Islam, they will forever be able to circumvent, dictate and control our efforts to improve our technologies and defence system in particular,” he said.
The KL Summit 2019 had also witnessed 18 successful exchange of instruments in various fields including advanced hi-technology; media collaboration; centre of excellence; food security and youth leadership and exchange programmes.
“We believe in carrying out things and in doing things, not in carrying out resolutions and having a long debate. We have signed 18 agreements among us particularly between Malaysia and Turkey, Qatar. It shows that we have actual things to do after this and we will implement them. But there are many areas we can work together,” he said.