Tun M’s global insight: The world is on the brink of World War III

I HESITATE to write this article. I may be accused of apologising for the Russians. I am not. I think the present war between Ukraine and Russia is caused by the Europeans’ love of war, of hegemony, of dominance.

Russia was the partner of the Western Europeans (including US and Canada) in the war against Germany. The moment Germany was defeated, the west declared that Russia – their partner was their new enemy.

So, they must prepare for war against Russia. And NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was set up to form a military alliance against Russia. Russia then set up the Warsaw Pact. And a Cold war ensued. And the world had to choose between the west and the east.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

After the Russians disbanded the Warsaw Pact and allowed the countries of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) to leave the bloc, NATO did not disband. Instead, the countries freed from Russian hegemony were urged to join NATO as enemies of Russia. The pressure against the weakened Russia was heightened.

As the former socialist republics join NATO and the threat against Russia heightened, Russia rebuilt its military capabilities and confronted the powerful western alliance. Tension increased as NATO forces carried out exercises close to Russia.

Provoked, Russia pre-empted with the invasion of Ukraine. That invasion can be interpreted as the start of the Third World War. There is talk of using nuclear weapons. Already the world has to endure shortages of supplies due to sanctions against Russia and Russian retaliation.

There is also provocation in the Far East. A visit by a high US official (US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi) to Taiwan caused an increase of tension between China and Taiwan. Both are arming and the US has sold a lot of weapons to Taiwan while China became more belligerent.

Even Malaysia is experiencing shortages and inflation. It is important that the country prepares contingency plans to deal with what may be the beginning of a Third World War.


Two-time premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was Malaysia’s longest serving prime minister (22 years from July 1981 to October 2003 – first stint) and the world’s oldest serving state leader (he was 94 at the time of his resignation in March 2020 – second stint).

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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