Malaysia sees Cuba as ally against Western domination

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 (AFP) - Malaysia's first ambassador to Cuba said Sunday he sees the communist state as an ally in attempts to counter Western economic domination.

"Cuba and Malaysia have a lot of common interest ... we have spoken up against Western domination and have the same thinking on globalisation," ambassador-designate Mohammad Kamal Yan Yahaya told the official Bernama news agency in an interview.

"There is also the potential to enhance trade ties ... the embassy can facilitate a bigger Malaysian business representation in Cuba," said Kamal Yan, who will leave for Havana in the middle of next month.

"I'll try to get Cuban President Fidel Castro to visit Kuala Lumpur ... the best opportunity would be during the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Bangladesh early next year," he said.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was in Cuba in April last year for the inaugural South Summit of the Group of 77 developing nations.

Kamal Yan, 46, was previously deputy permanent representative to the United Nations. He is also accredited to Jamaica, the Bahamas, the  Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Mahathir has sought to make Malaysia a champion of the developing world and frequently expresses fears that unfettered globalisation will create a new form of Western economic colonialism.