Minister hopes US will now favour Palestine

pic by TMR FILE

IN MONITORING the changes taking place in the US, Malaysia is hoping that Joe Biden’s new administration will have a positive outlook on the situation regarding Israel and Palestine.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar (picture) said based on Biden’s previous statements, he had given hope towards better changes in the situation surrounding the two countries.

“We want to see Palestine exist as a free country, and it must be continued with the new US administration,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

He was responding to a question from Ahmad Tarmizi Sulaiman (PAS-Sik) who wanted the ministry to state proactive measures taken by the government and international bodies like the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to oppose Israel’s unfair normalisation plan to recognise its colonisation of Palestine.

Kamarudin said the ministry closely follows and monitors the updates in the West Asian region including the matter involving those two nations and that the government will handle the issues cautiously.

He said a country’s decision to have diplomatic ties with any other country is its right as a sovereign nation and Malaysia will not interfere in other countries’ domestic matters.

Under the principle, it also will not affect Malaysia’s ties with countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel.

“In this context, Malaysia will continue to monitor any developments. We are also monitoring the implications from the administrative changes in the US.

“However, I would like to stress that any developments will not change Malaysia’s firm stance to support the formation of a sovereign Palestine country via a two-state solution,” he added.

Separately, Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Lim Ban Hong said Malaysia’s active participation in international trade had led to high demand for Malaysian made products.

He said although the country is still struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysia’s export has increased by 24% to RM260.6 billion in the third quarter of this year (3Q20) from RM210.3 billion in 2Q20.

He said the opening of markets through international trade should not be viewed as something that hinders the local industry’s development mainly in the high technology sector.

“Instead, it provides opportunities for the local industry to increase its capacity and growth in the sector while empowering local companies to compete internationally,” he said as a response to Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir (Independent-Jerlun).

Mukhriz wanted the ministry to explain if the opening of the local market to imported goods without tariffs will hinder the growth of the local industry, especially the high technology industry.

He added that the entry of imported goods without tariff will lead to a more competitive cost of production.

This will increase local companies’ abilities while enabling them to grow and be a part of the global supply chain, he said.

Read our earlier report here