Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad urged the United States and other economic powers Thursday to decide on a stable architecture for the international monetary system at the upcoming Group of Eight economic summit to prevent a recurrence of the financial turmoil in Asia.
Speaking at a Tokyo hotel, the Malaysian leader said the Asian economy is slowly bottoming out and entering an early stage of full recovery.
However, Mahathir said the ongoing economic recovery in Asia is not as important as changes that need to be made in the international financial system.
Even if Asia recovers, it could experience another speculative attack as was seen in the economies of Brazil, Mexico and Russia, he said.
“There’s no guarantee that before we can fully recover, another attack will be mounted and we’ll have to begin all over again,” he said.
Expressing interest in Japan’s intent to partially guarantee Asian government bonds, Mahathir said Malaysia may soon issue yen bonds because of the sound market situation.
Mahathir indicated he would like more assistance from Japan under the so-called Miyazawa Plan and said reviving the idea of establishing an Asian Monetary Fund would be useful to speed up the recovery of regional economies.