Panel’s report on Palestinian ties approved

THE first Parliamentary Special Select Committee on International Relations and Trade report on bilateral ties of Malaysia and Palestine has been approved, says Wong Chen.

Wong, who is chairman of the committee, said several recommendations had been made.

One of them is to reject US President Donald Trump administration’s proposal for the “Deal of the Century”, an initiative to bring peace to the Middle East.

Others include expediting a free trade agreement with Palestine to encourage greater bilateral trade activities, increasing resources to improve human capital building for Palestine via educational scholarships, and increasing aid to a minimum of no less than RM10mil per year to Palestine from the current average of RM4.6mil per year.

The Subang MP said other recommendations included the completion of a school in Gaza, as promised by the Barisan Nasional administration back in 2013, and to enhance cultural exchanges with the local Palestinian community in Malaysia.

“The report was supposed to be tabled in the March meeting but due to the change of government and the suspension of all Parliamentary Select Committees, the report was delayed for eight months.

“The salient findings of the report are that the Malaysian contribution to Palestine is very small, at about RM4.6mil per year.

“We hope the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the International Trade and Industry Ministry will study these recommendations and give us their feedback within three months,” he said in a statement.

Wong said he hopes that following the suspension of all Parliamentary Select Committees since the movement control order in March, the Dewan Rakyat Speaker and the government must expedite the appointment of new members to the affected committees.

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