HL Deb 15 June 1988 vol 498 cc366-8WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in view of the detention without charge of five members of the Malaysian Parliament, including the leader of the opposition there, and the suspension without parliamentary authority of the head of the Malaysian judiciary on 26th May, they will hold talks with other Commonwealth Governments on changing the venue of the next Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference from Kuala Lumpur.

Lord Glenarthur

We are delighted that Malaysia has chosen to underline its commitment to the Commonwealth by offering to host the 1989 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. Recent events in Malaysia have given cause for concern and, in consultation with our European partners, we have been monitoring the detentions under the Internal Security Act, including those of the five MPs. Representatives of the Twelve have discussed the matter with the Malaysian authorities and have made known our collective concerns. My right honourable and learned friend the Foreign Secretary was also able to raise the question during his visit to Malaysia in April.

We shall continue to monitor developments and to ensure that the Malaysian Government remain aware of our concern. I believe that normal channels are wholly adequate for this task.