PM Anwar urges caution on calls for Malaysia’s withdrawal from US-led maritime exercise

LABUAN: Malaysia must adopt a rational approach in responding to calls from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to withdraw from a US-led maritime military exercise that includes the participation of the Israeli army.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim emphasised the need for thorough consideration of the matter and its potential implications.

"Our stance is firm; no country is as vocal as Malaysia on the Israel issue... we protest every day. We must act carefully and not be driven by anger or sentiment.

"Even during the previous Perikatan Nasional government, an Israeli ship docked at our port.

"When we took over the government, we were the ones who stopped the Israeli ship from anchoring, despite facing criticism," Anwar told reporters after visiting the Labuan Roll-on Roll-off Ferry Terminal on Friday (May 31).

Anwar stressed that the government’s actions should not compromise the interests of the people and trade.

"If we were to follow the suggested approaches, we would need to halt the operations of companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Facebook," he said.

"Malaysia will continue to voice out against the cruelty faced by the Palestinian people," he added.

On May 30, 15 groups led by the Malaysian chapter of the global anti-Israel movement Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS Malaysia) issued a joint statement demanding Malaysia’s immediate withdrawal from the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (Rimpac), scheduled to take place from June 26 to Aug 2. – Bernama

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