Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Saturday said while his "contentious" remarks on the Kashmir issue have led to strained ties with India, he would not apologise for them.
"What transpired since my contentious speech at the UN General Assembly in September last year only served to prove that what I had said were mild and to a certain degree, restrained," Mohamad said in a series of tweets. "I offer no apology for what I had said though I am sorry that it had affected our palm oil export to India. I don’t know if that is a high price to pay for speaking out against such injustices."
I offer no apology for what I had said though I am sorry that it had affected our palm oil export to India. I don’t know if that is a high price to pay for speaking out against such injustices.— Dr Mahathir Mohamad (@chedetofficial) August 8, 2020
Mohamad on Friday had admitted that his country's ties with India have been strained due to his remarks on Kashmir, but said other than that the relationship between the two countries was very good, under his leadership.
In September 2019, Mahathir raised the Kashmir issue while speaking at the UN General Assembly, drawing strong reaction from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), which said India "completely rejects the references made in respect of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India".
"We once again call upon the Malaysian leadership to develop better understanding of the facts, including that Pakistan which remains an epicentre of global terrorism, continues to recruit, train, arm and finance cross-border terrorism against India," the MEA had then said.