Anwar brings Malaysia's voice to world stage, urging other nations to support Palestine

RIYADH: As vocal as he has been in supporting the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza at the national level, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has indeed maintained the same tone on the global stage. 

His objective was simple - to get other countries to accept his call to put an end to Israeli brutality.

The Prime Minister does not want to be a 'champion' in the issue that has been going on for more than seven decades, he's just not willing to see another Palestinian killed due to the tyranny of Israel.   

As a human being and a Muslim, he does not want the children and women in Gaza to continue to be oppressed and to suffer as a result of Israel's criminal acts.

Judging from his statements regarding Palestine, it looks like he has made it his personal mission to fight for the issue.

In fact, when asked if this was his mission, Anwar said: "We cannot set aside our responsibility as Malaysian Muslims (regarding this issue)."

During his working visit to Saudi Arabia to attend the inaugural Asean-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit, Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, has already planned a tight schedule, which included meetings with various stakeholders, including an audience with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Prime Minister utilised every space and opportunity available at the summit on Friday to raise the Palestinian issues with as many Asean leaders as possible, particularly those neighbouring Malaysia, and GCC leaders, which include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

In the summit chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed, all leaders were given only three minutes to deliver their respective country's statements.

Anwar seized this opportunity to urge the international community to put an end to the disproportionate treatment and flagrant hypocrisy against the Palestinians.

"The international community must no longer turn a blind eye to the atrocities and must address the root causes of the Palestine-Israel conflict. Without exception, human rights must be protected and international law must be upheld."

"The Palestinians must be returned their land, homes and properties. They must be allowed to live in peace and dignity in their own sovereign state in internationally recognised borders, based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital," he stressed.

Anwar said in this highly challenging time with an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that could widen into a regional and world conflict, Malaysia hoped that all nations would come together to find a long-lasting and just solution to this conflict.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict was among matters discussed by Malaysia with the Muslim World League here on Friday.

Anwar discussed the matter with the Secretary General of the Muslim World League Dr Muhammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa during a visit to the league's office here.

In a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed, who is Saudi Arabia's Prime Minister, at the Al-Yamamah Palace on Saturday, he agreed with Anwar's view that it was an important issue in need of a solution, in addition to facilitating the distribution of humanitarian aid to the people of Palestine.

At the end of his visit, the Prime Minister told the Malaysian media that Malaysia is aware and expects repercussions from Western countries for championing the Palestinian cause, but will continue to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people at the international stage.

"Yes..(I know there are) many risks. I don't have any choice," he explained.

Anwar's two-day visit to Saudi Arabia also saw Malaysia and Saudi Arabia reach an agreement to strengthen bilateral relations and bring economic cooperation to a new level, by increasing joint ventures across various fields including high technology, aviation and green energy.

Following this, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia agreed to form a ministerial-level committee which will monitor the development of trade, investment and economy between the two countries as well as the prospect of cooperation in the future.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and Malaysian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Datuk Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah accompanied the Prime Minister throughout the visit.

Saudi Arabia is Malaysia's largest trading partner among the West Asian countries, with US$10.26 billion in total bilateral trade recorded between the two countries in 2022, an increase of 159.2 per cent from 2021.

Among the prominent projects the Kingdom has in Malaysia is the Pengerang Integrated Complex in Johor, through Saudi Aramco.

The oil and gas company has expressed its commitment to expanding its facilities at the Pengerang Integrated Complex by adding petrochemical and gas downstream activities for it to become the largest hub in Southeast Asia.

The matter was discussed in a meeting between Anwar, Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Dr Majid Abdullah Alkassabi and the president and chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco Amin H Nasser.

The Finance Minister also received a courtesy visit from the governor of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, to discuss the prospect of cooperation in the field of investment.

PIF has also agreed to cooperate with Permodalan Nasional Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund.

Certainly, Anwar's two-day visit to Riyadh has succeeded in highlighting the Palestinian issues, enhancing diplomatic cooperation and bringing economic benefits to the country. -- BERNAMA

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