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Perikatan wants PM to explain Saudi trip in Parliament

Publish date: Mon, 27 Mar 2023, 02:04 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should address questions by Perikatan Nasional MPs on his recent trip to Saudi Arabia in the weekly Prime Minister’s Question Time session, says Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal.

The Machang MP said an emergency motion on the matter was brought to Speaker Datuk Johari Abdul on Monday (March 27) morning.

“If the motion is not addressed by the Prime Minister on Tuesday (March 28), there will be a session the next morning.

“We hope the questions that we raised as the Opposition will be brought by the Speaker to be answered by the Prime Minister on Tuesday morning.

“We are here and we are not running away. We are not making any police reports too. We want to listen to the Prime Minister in this House,” said Wan Ahmad Fayhsal during a press conference at the Parliament lobby.

Anwar was on an official trip to Saudi Arabia from March 22 to 24.

Over the weekend, Perikatan claimed the three-day trip was a failure as Anwar was only welcomed by the Jeddah governor.

They said Anwar was not brought into the Kaabah and there was no meeting with King Salman or Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Presently, Anwar is in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for a one-day official visit on Monday.

Anwar is scheduled to make an official visit to Hainan and Beijing in China on Wednesday (March 29) to meet president Xi Jinping and his counterpart Li Qiang.

The Prime Minister’s Question Time is a 30-minute session every Tuesday morning in Parliament where the Prime Minister will take questions fielded by MPs.

Anwar’s political secretary Ahmad Farhan Fauzi had said much was achieved during the three-day visit and the Saudi Arabian government had even requested the premier to extend his stay in the country to facilitate meetings with the leaders of both countries.

However, Ahmad Farhan said Anwar had to respectfully decline the request as he was scheduled to attend a buka puasa function with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Raja Permaisuri Agong.

Meanwhile, Wan Ahmad Fayhsal said it was understood that Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir would answer the questions raised by Perikatan MPs on the matter.

“Let’s not repeat any diplomatic mistakes that are detrimental to the country,” said Wan Ahmad Fayhsal.

He said there was a clear concern over the recent trip to Saudi Arabia and the Opposition wanted answers from the government.

“We are not trying to blame Wisma Putra and even the Saudi Arabia government.

“We want to know why the Prime Minister’s Office made a trip in haste,” said Wan Ahmad.

“If there was an official invitation as stated by Wisma Putra, why wasn’t there an official meeting?” questioned Wan Ahmad, who’s also Perikatan’s International Affairs Committee head.

Wan Ahmad compared Anwar's trip with former premier Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s trip to Saudi Arabia in 2021.

Wan Ahmad said that Muhyiddin succeeded in obtaining an additional 10,000 haj quota for Malaysians and increased its palm oil exports to Saudi Arabia that’s worth almost RM1bil.

Wan Ahmad also asked if Malaysia and Saudi Arabia's relations have gone cold recently.

“Was it due to the cancellation of the King Salman Centre for International Peace project during Pakatan Harapan’s former administration?” questioned Wan Ahmad.

In 2018, the former Pakatan government cancelled the Saudi-backed anti-terrorism centre launched during Barisan Nasional’s administration under Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s former premiership.

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