PETALING JAYA: Despite the uncertainties surrounding the blockade on Qatar by its neighbours, many Malaysians are heading back to the country after their Hari Raya holidays.
Malaysians who are working in Qatar are optimistic that there will be a positive resolution once the extended deadline for the oil-rich Middle East nation to respond to the demands of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain, expires.
There were 13 demands from the emirate’s neighbours, including closing down popular television network Al-Jazeera.
The Malaysian Association of Qatar (MAQ) has advised Malaysians to stay calm, with its president Mohd Redzuan Nordin urging Malaysians there to stay positive and refrain from listening to rumours.
“Everything should be all right. Let’s stay clam, be positive and pray for the best.
“We will see what happens in the next 48 hours, and wait for the response from our embassy there,” he said when contacted.
Mohd Redzuan, who is currently back in Kuala Lumpur for Hari Raya, is returning to Qatar next week.
He is a manager at Qatar Airways and has been living there for 11 years.
Maizatul Lina Mustapa, a secretary at the Hamad Medical Corporation in Doha, voiced the same sentiments, saying everything will turn out fine.
“I feel things will work out amicably between them (Qatar and its neighbours),” she said.
Maizatul Lina, who is also MAQ vice-president, will return to Qatar on Thursday after spending time in Kuala Lumpur for Hari Raya.
Over in Qatar, oil and gas company employee Ahmad Hasnan Mohd Zaki said life is going on as usual, without any sign of tension.
Qatar Defence Minister Dr Khalid Mohammad Al-Attiyah was quoted by Sky News as saying that Qatar is prepared to defend itself if necessary, as the deadline imposed by neighbouring countries to meet their demands was extended for another 48 hours.
He also hoped that it will not come to a stage where there is military intervention, and also warned its neighbours that Qatar has proven it was not an easy country to be “swallowed up”.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates have cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremist groups, a claim it has since denied.
In an earlier report, Qatar had dismissed the demands in return for an end to a three-week-old trade and navigation blockade.