KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir has described one of the significant achievements of the Ministry in the country’s diplomatic arena throughout the year of the Madani Government as successfully putting Malaysia back on the right track, both regionally and internationally.

He said this has helped Malaysia be perceived as a respected nation, especially when recently invited and given the opportunity to attend two crucial United Nations (UN) meetings.

The first was to state the country’s position on the Palestinian issue at the 78th Plenary Session of the UN General Assembly, and the second was at the High-Level Open Debate of the UN Security Council (UNSC) from Nov 28 to 29.

His participation, representing Malaysia in both meetings alongside member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Arab Group, and like-minded nations at the UN platform, has increased momentum and exerted pressure to restore the rights of the Palestinian people.

“Therefore, I believe that in this one-year period, the Foreign Ministry has made significant strides in efforts to place Malaysia back on the international stage, supported by several visions of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,“ he said in an interview with Radio Televisyen Malaysia and Bernama on the talk show ‘Naratif Khas,‘ produced by RTM, with moderator Ismail Adnan here on Monday night.

In the talk show, Zambry said Malaysia’s struggle to support the formation of Palestine as an independent and sovereign state is not a recent trend but a consistent and continuous cause since the country’s independence.

Regarding the cynical views of some parties claiming that Malaysia’s voice cannot resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestine, Zambry believes that even though Malaysia is a small country, Malaysia’s leadership should not be disappointed with such views.

“With each struggle, we need to be consistent. Let us not be disappointed with what happens, and even though we are only a small country, our firm and consistent voice to stop oppression and establish an independent state for the Palestinian people is a long struggle,“ he said.

He mentioned that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs often issues statements almost every month on the Israel-Palestine conflict, including the issue of illegal Israeli settlements displacing Palestinians from their homeland.

Regarding the diplomatic achievements established by Malaysia with foreign countries in the past year, he highlighted how Malaysia is working to enhance trade and tourism cooperation with Kazakhstan to leverage the potential of bilateral relations with the former Soviet Union republic.

During this year, Malaysia’s relations with Kazakhstan have strengthened, with several proposals made to enhance economic cooperation and the number of flights between the two countries.

Moreover, he also stated that Ghana views Malaysia as a role model and that bilateral relations should be strengthened.

Regarding allegations that the OIC appears to be silent on the violence in the Gaza Strip, Zambry said that Malaysia desires to see a more thorough and firm stance from the OIC on the issue and ‘does not want to see an organisation that is perceived as non-functional’.

This time, almost all OIC member states, regardless of their leadership and ideologies, including those with diplomatic relations with Israel, spoke out, stating that serious action needs to be taken in Gaza.

As a follow-up step, the OIC has called for a summit at the level of heads of state to discuss Israel’s continued attacks and atrocities against Palestine.

Regarding the South China Sea issue – a topic of dispute among various parties, especially major powers – Zambry said that Malaysia aligns with the position of ASEAN member states that want the South China Sea to be maintained as a free and safe zone.

“We want this region to be developed for business and as a good and safe trading region for everyone to enjoy the benefits of maritime movement in the area,“ he said. -Bernama

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