Indeed, both are long-time allies.
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia should welcome Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe if he goes into exile following elections in his country, but added that he expected the latter to accept the results of national polls in the African nation.
“If he wants to come here, the (Malaysian) government should welcome him. If he has lost, he has to accept the decision of the people, that is the best thing he can do”. (Malaysiakini)
I remember that in 2001, both won the same award: 10 enemies of the press on world press freedom day (Committee to Protect Journalists)
Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia. Mahathir Mohamad is openly contemptuous of press freedom. He has manipulated Malaysian media to cement his hold on power and has signaled plans to introduce even more stringent controls on a severely constricted media. Officials are now considering legislation to regulate the Internet, a crucial venue for independent news and opinion in a country where traditional media outlets are overwhelmingly controlled by Mahathir’s political allies. Notoriously thin-skinned, the prime minister regularly demonizes the foreign media for reporting he considers unfair. This past year he repeatedly blocked the circulation of international news magazines that featured articles about Malaysia.
Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe’s government has launched an all-out war against independent media, using weapons that range from lawsuits to physical violence. Since January 1999, two local journalists have been tortured and two foreign correspondents expelled, while the secret service screens e-mail and Internet communications to preserve “national security.” Bomb attacks twice damaged the premises of the independent Daily News; the second bombing followed close on the heels of a call from Mugabe’s information minister to silence that paper “once and for all.” Meanwhile, Mugabe makes liberal use of his courts to prosecute independent journalists for criminal defamation.