Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad urged international donors Thursday to resume aid to Indonesia following the launch of a new administration headed by President Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie.

“A mere change of government does not mean that things can improve if other things that should accompany the change are not there,” Mahathir said in a speech at an international symposium in Tokyo. “Indonesia is very much in need of funds. Changing a government without funds is not going to help Indonesia.”

Mahathir said international organizations are withholding funds due to instability in the country. “So people in Indonesia today will not have enough food, medicine or milk for their children. They will get very angry with the government and there will be instability,” Mahathir said. “So we have to decide to break this cycle. You have to give them money now that they have changed the government.” He said he is confident the Indonesian economy will improve if its government receives support.

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