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M’sian minister defends PM against Palestine criticisms

PUTRAJAYA (ANN/THE STAR) – Critics who have levelled accusations of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s supposed weakness on the Palestinian issue are facing a strong rebuttal from the Malaysian Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil.

According to him, characterising these criticisms as malicious is not unwarranted.

Fahmi Fadzil emphasises that Prime Minister Anwar’s involvement in addressing the Palestinian issue has been unequivocal, as evidenced by his active participation in international negotiations and unwavering commitment to seeking a legal resolution to the ongoing conflict.

“The Prime Minister has also denied several things about the slander made by some parties against him, as if he is weak on the Palestinian issue, so much so that there is a graphic linking him with the apartheid regime’s logo or flag.

“These, to me, are malicious accusations,” he told reporters after the Communications and Digital Ministry monthly gathering here Tuesday.

Earlier, in the Dewan Rakyat, Anwar also warned of taking stern action against any party that linked him with the apartheid regime and issued disrespectful statements.

He also called on all parties and members of the public to show solidarity in the issue of Palestine, rather than using it as political material.

Fahmi, who is also the unity government spokesman, explained that the statement by Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail on Oct 24 had been misinterpreted by several parties, as if the government planned to remove Palestinians “physically” from Gaza.

“He (Saifuddin Nasution) had said the government wanted to remove the Palestinians, whereby the sentence was misinterpreted. What he meant was to help them get out of the hardship and misery they faced due to the conflict. The PM (Anwar) had also made it clear (in Dewan Rakyat) today that that wasn’t what the Home Minister meant,” said Fahmi.

In another development, Fahmi said the ministry will introduce an internal report card assessment for him now that he had borne the responsibility for a year so that improvements can be made.

He asked all ministry personnel, not just department heads, to fill out the report card so that he could get an honest view and review the work performance of his team and himself in the one year that he has helmed the ministry.

“This December not only marks one year of the unity government but also the time I have served in this ministry. I hope all personnel will fill up this report card of me,” he said, adding that has asked secretary-general Datuk Mohamad Fauzi Md Isa to handle the matter.

He said the action was not to find fault but to see which aspects need to be improved through evaluation by the ministry’s staff.

Malaysian Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil. PHOTO: ANN/THE STAR