prime minister, medical doctor, statesman, author and plenty more, Dr Mahathir Mohamad is a legend in Asia and renowned for his straight-talking ways, especially concerning the West.
And for the crowd who arrived at Traders Hotel in Yangon to hear his business talk on November 2, Dr Mahathir did not disappoint.
“Europe is bankrupt and so is the United States. I tell you this – if you buy those US government treasury bonds you’ll never see that money again,” he said.
The discussion was jointly organised by Malaysia’s Federal Land Development Authority, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, the Malaysian embassy in Yangon and the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Described by author and former Wall Street Journal Asia editor Barry Wain as the “Malaysian Maverick”, Dr Mahathir kept participants entertained throughout his talk with a number of enlightening stories from his 23 years in power before finishing with a question and answer session.
Dr Mahathir’s speech was preceded by an introduction by Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry president U Win Aung, a speech from the Malaysian ambassador and a video entitled “Building Bridges”, which said Dr Mahathir was known for his “unabashed criticism of the West”.
Dr Mahathir was seen as instrumental in Myanmar’s admission to ASEAN in 1997.