PM firm on Palestinian stance, raises issue in front of US president

Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: It is inappropriate to accuse the government of only championing the plight of Palestinians and not assisting minority groups in the country, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic).

The Prime Minister said some parties had questioned why the government had focused on Palestinian issues, adding that the issue should be viewed as a humanitarian issue and not a racial or religious one.

"This is not an issue related only to Muslims or Islam as there are Christians who are also affected.

Although there are a lot of mosques that have been destroyed, there are about seven churches in Gaza, Palestine that were also completely razed,” said Anwar.

"So, I would like to stress the need to view this issue in a humanitarian manner," he added in reply to a question from Aminolhuda Hassan (PH-Sri Gading) during the Prime Minister's Question Time.

Aminolhuda had asked the Prime Minister to state the outcome of the Extraordinary Islamic Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Saudi Arabia regarding the Palestinian-Israeli crisis.

The resolution from the OIC Extraordinary Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Nov 11, 2023, mandates Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Indonesia, Egypt, Qatar, Turkey, and Nigeria to help start a political process to forge peace between Israel and Palestine.

It contains 31 strong points from the OIC on ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza.

In addition to condemning Israel's atrocities in Gaza, OIC leaders have urged the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to produce a resolution so that the atrocities can end immediately and humanitarian aid can continue to enter the region. They have also highlighted the importance of complying with international law.

On this, Anwar said that Malaysia had expressed its strong views before the summit as it wanted concrete, tangible and effective measures from the recently concluded meeting in Saudi Arabia.

"There were also calls by some European leaders for Egypt, Jordan and other neighbouring countries near Gaza to take Palestinian refugees, but Islamic countries rejected this as it would give space for Israel to continue with their invasion of Gaza,” said Anwar.

"So far, what has been done by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was to take those seriously injured, small children and babies for medical treatment in Abu Dhabi and Dubai," Anwar added.

The Prime Minister said that he had no other choice but to raise the ongoing atrocities and humanitarian crisis happening in Gaza at the 30th Apec Economic Leaders Meeting in San Francisco, United States in front of US President Joe Biden.

"Coincidentally, in the final session, Malaysia was seated in front of US President Joe Biden and on my right was Secretary of State Antony Blinken. I have no choice but to voice my firm views on the issue,” said Anwar.

He added that while Malaysia is asked to condemn Russia in the matter of Ukraine, it seems that many remain silent on brutal killings and violence that he referred to as atrocities

"And I mentioned this important fact - let the Western countries know that there is no longer a colonial hegemony that can determine our policies and actions,” said Anwar.

"I stated that they cannot force us to adopt their stance; and at the same time, I explicitly said that we must, at the very least, stop the attacks now," he added.

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