KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's recent visit to Saudi Arabia was not a failure as the opposition has claimed as much was achieved, says Datuk Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff.
"Anwar held meetings with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the World Muslim League in Mecca," said Mohammad Agus in a statement on Sunday (March 26).
He added that Anwar also witnessed the signing of various memorandum of understanding and was briefed on the involvement of Malaysian businessmen in Saudi Arabia's new mega project, the city of Neom.
"He also discussed issues faced by the Muslim world and initiatives to build a network based on shared values and cooperation," said Mohammad Agus.
He added that all of this was done in the course of a three-day visit.
"If that is not a success, I don't know how the opposition would measure it," said Mohammad Agus.
On Anwar not meeting Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud and the request for Anwar to extend his visit by two more days, Mohammad Agus said that Anwar had to decline and promise to return.
"He had to decline as he along with Cabinet had a breaking-of-fast event with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Saturday (March 25) as well as working visits to Cambodia and China on March 27 and March 29 respectively," he said.
He added that the claims by the Opposition that Saudi Arabia's King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince both dislike Anwar are false.
"The fact is they were among the earliest foreign dignitaries who congratulated Anwar on his appointment as prime minister after he took the oath of office on Nov 24 last year," said Mohammad Agus.
"Playing politics should not reach the extent of taking revenge or hating each other. If they are not satisfied with the results and cost of the trip, they should ask Anwar in Parliament," he added.
Responding to claims that Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had met King Salman when he was the Prime Minister, Mohammad Agus said that the two did not meet face-to-face.
"The reality is Muhyiddin did not even meet King Salman in person during his trip in March 2021. They only met online," he said.
This comes after Perikatan Nasional MPs demanded an explanation as to why Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim did not meet with his host during his three-day visit to Saudi Arabia.
In a statement on Saturday, Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal said that the meeting of the two Prime Ministers was scheduled earlier but there were no news reports about the event.
The International Affairs Committee of Perikatan MPs head then said that there was also no report stating that Anwar was invited to enter the Kaaba, as should be the usual courtesy given to a state leader on an official visit to the holy city,” said the Machang MP.
Wan Fayhsal added that such treatment was given to former Malaysian Prime Ministers Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Wan Ahmad Fayhsal, who is also Bersatu Youth chief, claimed that Anwar had also failed to meet up with his counterpart in Saudi Arabia's Finance Ministry during his trip.