PKR was never a member of Liberal International – PM Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR – PKR has never been a member of international organisation, Liberal International, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar, who is also PKR president, also hoped that the issue would not be politicised.

“On Liberal International, Your Honourable can check as we were never a member.

“We were initially an associate but because some of their decisions including recognising lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) and the stand of (supporting) Israel, we did not become members,” he said.

The Prime Minister said this in the Dewan Rakyat today during Minister’s Question Time, in reply to a supplementary question by Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (PAS-Pasir Mas) who wanted an explanation as to whether PKR had ever been a member of an organisation that supported Israel.

Anwar explained that he had attended and delivered the keynote address at the Liberal International conference in Cairo, Egypt, among which was the leader of the opposition party in Egypt at the time, Ayman Nour; Ikhwan al Muslimim (Muslim Brotherhood) representative, Mahdi Akif and Mohamed Morsi (before he became President of Egypt).

Anwar said Mahdi Akif, who also listened to the keynote address, congratulated Anwar on his firm stand on issues related to tyranny, rights to the people and Palestine.

“So despite the difference in some of our opinions, it’s true that I attended (the conference)… we are also present at the United Nations and at the UN which Israel is a recognised member.

“But our presence as a (UN) member does not mean we have anything to do with Israel. We have no relationship with Israel,” said the Prime Minister.

Regarding Liberal International’s support for Israel, Anwar said PKR had severed ties with the organisation and the matter had been reported to the Minister of Communications and Digital, who is also PKR’s Head of Information, Fahmi Fadzil.

“We broke off the relationship over the issue of supporting Israel and this was announced by the Minister of Communications and Digital as the Head of Information.

“If asked… in relation to several international bodies that I have attended… I was present, as the chairman but there are limits. When the issue of Israel’s recognition arises, I said (that) this is our limit but negotiations on all other issues, for example on ASEAN can continue,” he said.

On Friday, Fahmi announced that PKR has never been a member of international organisation Liberal International following allegations linking the party to the international organisation.

Citing the example of relations between ASEAN countries, Anwar said that each country’s stand on the struggle to support Palestine is different, but ASEAN member countries have good relations.

“The stand of different countries is different, the Philippines is more likely to agree with the stand of the United States (US) even though it is not as strong, but our bilateral relationship is still good with the Philippines. In the matter of Palestine, only Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei seem to be in complete agreement.

“The other thing is that we have a relationship and when I met with the new Prime Minister of Thailand Srettha Thavisin, I asked if it is possible not be too strong with the pro-US stand over Palestine because this will offend and cause anxiety in some Thai and Malaysian communities, ” he said. – BERNAMA