Tuesday, November 17, 1998 Published at 11:57 GMT
Malaysian anger at Gore rebuke
Al Gore rebukes the Malaysian Government over reforms
Mr Gore said that Washington heard many calls for democracy and reform in nations suffering economic crises - including the calls from what he called the brave people of Malaysia.
"From Thailand to South Korea, eastern Europe to Mexico, democracies have done better in coping with economic crisis than nations where freedom is suppressed," he said.
The Indonesian trade minister said Mr Gore's address was the most disgusting speech she had heard in her life.
Mr Gore had been speaking to business leaders on the eve of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit hosted by Malaysia, which has been rocked by weeks of protests against the ousting of deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim.
Concern about Ibrahim
Foreign leaders visiting Malaysia for the Asia-Pacific economic summit have voiced concern over the case of the detained former finance minister, Anwar Ibrahim, who is on trial on charges of corruption and sexual misconduct.
The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, described his talks with the Malaysian leader as frank and courteous.
Azizah Ismail also met Canadian ministers and the US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on the same day.
Mr Howard's New Zealand counterpart, Jenny Shipley, was even more forthright.
"It's my belief that the best way we can help the Anwar family is to make it clear to Mahathir that we do feel strongly about the rights of people to enjoy political freedom and also the rights of people to have a fair trial," she said.
The case was not raised, however, during Mr Mahathir's talks on Monday with the Philippines president, Joseph Estrada, who has previously expressed support for Mr Anwar.