"Mr Najib entered Gaza from Egypt, at Rafah. He was accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor; Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman; and the junior minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.Which source had The Australian got the figure from? The Australian Trade and Industry Ministry? Or from Tel Aviv?
About 62 per cent of Malaysia's 29 million population are Muslims. Malaysia does not recognise Israel diplomatically, but trade has grown rapidly in recent years, to almost $1 billion a year."
I am not if Singaporeans who trade with Israel are extending their service to Malaysia but according to Bukit Aman and Custom Dept, such goods in any form are not allowed entry into the country. If there is any, it comes in small items which are smuggled out of the Republic.
So, there is no basis at all for the Australian media to speculate on Malaysia-Israel trade although there were efforts by some quarters to establish a link with them.
Malaysia has recently relaxed a stringent rule for its Christian citizens to go on pilgrimage in Tel Aviv, a decision lauded by many (including Christian organisations abroad) as proper, wise and fair by the Barisan Nasional government.
As for Najib's visit to Hamas-ruled Gaza, it was done in a true spirit of brotherhood with the Palestinians as a whole and not to support any form of Hamas' 'aggression' towards its neighbor Israel. Furthermore, it constituted a solidarity Muslim-to-Muslim personal link between Malaysia and the Palestinians.
Irrespective of what Mahmoud Abbas opined about the visit, he should be advised to safeguard the interest of each and every Palestinian - Hamas or not, Fatah or not - in the context of a Palestine statehood and not segregate them by their politics.
Malaysia has been most vocal among the non-Arab bloc in championing the rights of the Palestinians, and had never on a single occasion separate them in groupings such as Fatah or Hamas since the only objective is to get international recognition for an independence Palestine state.
Mahmoud, in this context, is deemed not fit to lead the Palestinians if he refuses to accept that simple fact. Even the leaders of Hamas had offered to cooperate with Mahmoud but the latter turned it down, afraid of losing his grip on the rest of the Palestine.
It was Fatah who all this while rejected all reconciliation effort initiated by third parties or by Hamas itself. During Israeli air raids on Gaza last year, Fatah and Mahmoud did not issue any statement to denounce it, let alone offered any assistance to them.
So, all parties should stop politicising Najib's visit to the Hamas-ruled areas. I believe the PM's office had tried to contact Mahmoud Abbas office prior to the visit but was taken out of context by Mahmoud's aides.
Whether its the US, Australia, Canada, France of any other countries, their concern for the Middle East conflict is on the well-being of the well-armored Israel and not the handicapped Palestinians. Is that the way to work out a peace plan?