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Buy Australian last campaign emerges in Malaysia we must mend fences with Malaysia or else: Tim Fischer

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T im Fischer mp Federal Member for Farrer ^

Leader of the National Party of Australia

Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources



Federal Leader of the National Party Tim Fischer who visited Malaysia recently has warned that the partial breakdown in relations between Australia and Malaysia has spilt over into the commercial arena.

HA subtle BUY AUSTRALIA LAST campaign is now operating at Government level and beyond in Kuala Lumpa and Malaysia generally to the disadvantage of Australian companies," Mr Fischer said.

"From my most recent visit and from the visit by Bruce Lloyd, Deputy Leader of the National Party in the last fortnight it is clear this campaign has gathered momentum.

"There is now considerable evidence indicating that Malaysian Ministers and Government officials are not, as a matter of policy, doing business with Australia in recent times.

"One large Australian company has recently been forced to resubmit its tender for a big project through an Indian

subsidiary rather than tender directly," Mr Fischer said.

"Another big project involving a scheduled opening on a grand scale suddenly found the opening was sharply downgraded.

"Many businessmen based in Malaysia have indicated that a subtle campaign is in operation leading to loss of business.

"A report in Friday's Canberra Times that Malaysia has moved to secure Fiji's oil and petrol requirements is indicative of a country that has grown tired of waiting and is moving to secure friends with a common interest," Mr Fischer said.

"We must have a circuit breaker, we must mend fences. That circuit breaker must be at the highest possible level, Prime Minister to Prime Minister.

"Clearly the Malaysian people have an unfavourable image of Australia either rightly or wrongly, however this cannot be allowed to continue," Mr Fischer said.

"We must do so to establish in the minds of Australians the sort of sensitivity that makes us better neighbours and aware of and sensitive to the feelings of others.

"If we do not make this move we will find an increasing number of Asian countries subscribing to the notion that Australia is just another bit of Europe located to the south of Asia.


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Mr Fischer said he wished Gareth Evans well as he completes his visit to Malaysia but hopes he will be more successful than his recent disastrous visit to South Africa. PTO

Notes Tim Fischer HP visited Malaysia in May, Bruce Lloyd MP visited Malaysia in June and Senator Rob Hill is one of the few Australian Parliamentarians to have driven around a large part of Malaysia.

ENDS 21/7/91

Mr Fischer can be contacted this evening on 02 665 5026