Malaysia’s PM Visits Gaza
When I saw Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib in the news last night walking the red carpet on the soils of Gaza Palestine , I was touched by the historical humanitarian event. Throughout the years of strong support shown by Malaysia for the Palestinian cause, this was the first time ever that its Prime Minister had visited the Holy Land. In a war-struck area not only with the Israelis but also with its Muslim brethren Fatah, the Hamas ruled Gaza faces grave safety complications. It is indeed an audacious attempt by the PM for willing to jeopardize his life to show his support and see that a conciliation work head its way.
Although the opposition-thinking may view this visit as a measure of fishing sympathetic votes by fervent Muslims, the ruling government and its ruling party’s support towards Palestine has been an ongoing affair. The question if this visit had cause a stir among the Fatah leaders may arise. But still, its ruling party UMNO has a rock solid party to party relations with Fatah for so many years. In the most recent annual international conference held by UMNO in conjunction with its general assembly, both Hamas and Fatah representatives had sat together with Tun Dr. Mahathir and MILF Chairman, Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim. It depicts Malaysia’s position in encouraging peace and unity among states.
The avid support shown by Malaysia towards the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah does not imply that it is an extremist Muslim country. Despite that it bans its citizens from travelling to Israel, the government has lift bans for Christian to go there on pilgrimage. The government’s leniency in easing the ban laws resonates its stance of moderation.
The ruling government and various NGOs in the country has stepped up in its efforts of remedying tribulations of the Palestinian people. These includes the sending of humanitarian aids, life endangering visits and organising programmes in creating public awareness on the troubles of the Palestinians. The Prime Minister had even personally spoke to US President Barack Obama urging him to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict. Recently, the government had appointed Datuk Abdul Azeez Rahim as the honorary ambassador for Palestine.
It is unknown if the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah would for sure materialise. However, with Malaysia’s offer to be its mediator (as it does have the experience with the signing of the Framework of Bangsamoro), we know that at least there is a starting point for such efforts.