KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today clarified that his participation in international conferences where he raised issues related to Palestine does not mean that domestic problems, especially those affecting minorities, are ignored.
In addition to accepting invitations from world leaders, Anwar said he also saw these conferences as an opportunity for him to address humanitarian issues, emphasising that the concerns are not solely religious in nature.
“No minorities in our country are mass-murdered, no churches and temples are destroyed en masse, so while there are those who disagree with our support for Palestine, I don’t think it’s reasonable, sensible, and rational to bring up this issue of hatred.
“…this is not just about Islam (and Muslims) because Christian populations are also involved, even though most mosques are destroyed, seven churches in Gaza were also completely destroyed, (so) I hereby stress the need for us to look at this issue,” he said during the Minister’s Question Time at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.
Anwar said this in reply to Aminolhuda Hassan (PH-Sri Gading) who wanted to know the outcome of the recently concluded 8th Extraordinary Islamic Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Saudi Arabia regarding crimes and genocide committed by Israel against the Palestinian people.
At the summit hosted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Anwar also urged OIC member states to press for an immediate ceasefire, while humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza to be expedited.
At the same time, Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said that he had also raised the issues of Palestine at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) in San Francisco and called for the immediate cessation of genocide and atrocities in Gaza.
The Prime Minister said that during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Informal Dialogue, which he attended upon the invitation of United States President Joe Biden, he also reiterated Malaysia’s stand not to allow any party or world power to dictate the country’s stance on the issue.
“Don’t let the westerners think of this as colonial hegemony, determining our policies and forms of action, they cannot dictate our stance.
“That’s where I stated quite firmly, and I said that they must at least begin to stop the attacks now because I mentioned that one more day (of war) means more children, women, and civilians are being victimized,” he said.