KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's humanitarian visit to Gaza on Tuesday has made the world aware of Malaysia's concern for the Palestinians and the need to stop Israeli aggression, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said the ground-breaking visit by the prime minister would further strengthen Malaysia's role in leading international initiatives, particularly among Muslim countries, in fighting for freedom and peace in Palestine.
"The prime minister and his wife's (Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor) historic visit is a symbol of Malaysian's undivided support to the Palestinian struggle for freedom from the Zionist regime," he said in a statement Thursday.
Congratulating Najib and Rosmah for the successful mission, Muhyiddin said Malaysians should be proud of the courage shown by the prime minister to visit Gaza to see for himself the suffering of the Palestinians.
Muhyiddin said the visit reaffirmed Malaysia's continued support to the Palestinian cause by extending whatever assistance required.
"We are proud that Datuk Seri Najib's visit to Gaza was the first by a non-Arab head of government," said Muhyiddin.
The visit was also the first by a Malaysian prime minister.
"We hope the merging of the two organisations (Fatah and Hamas) through the unity government, the struggle to liberate Palestine from the clutches of the Zionist regime can be achieved faster," he said.
Muhyiddin said Najib's courage and commitment in the humanitarian mission to Gaza would inspire the people to continue to uphold the sacred struggle of the Palestinians to free their homeland.
"I pray that the prime minister and the people of Malaysia will always be given the strength by God to continue to support the Palestinian cause.
"May the continued support of the world community to the Palestinian cause, Palestine will become peaceful, free and independent again," he said.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin and his wife, Puan Sri Norainee Abdul Rahman expressed their condolences to the family of Chong Chung Ngen, who was killed in the hostage-taking incident at an oil and gas complex in Amenas, Algeria.
"We hope the family will remain patient in facing this test," he said in a statement.
Yesterday, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman confirmed that Chong, who was one of two Malaysians reported missing during the hostage drama, was killed and arrangements were being made to bring the body home.
Another Malaysian hostage, K. Ravi Kuppusamy, 48, was safe and returned to Penang yesterday.