Anwar Ibrahim reports that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received two démarche notices on 13 and 30 October, along with a call for Malaysia’s ambassador to the US on 18 October.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has disclosed that Malaysia received two démarche notices from the United States Embassy due to its refusal to classify Hamas fighters as terrorists.
Anwar revealed that these notices were conveyed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 13 and 30 October, in addition to a request for a meeting with Malaysia’s ambassador in the United States on 18 October.
“Due to our refusal to oppose Hamas and consider them as terrorists, I received information through the Foreign Ministry that we have received two démarche notes from the US Embassy, while another one to our ambassador.
“They have asked us not to continue with our stance, especially with our unwillingness to label Hamas as a terrorist (group)”, he said.
In response to inquiries about the nature of these communications, he elucidated that the US Embassy had applied pressure on Malaysia on three occasions to acknowledge Hamas as a terrorist organisation.
“However, I have already answered this during the recent solidarity rally (held in Axiata Arena), where I emphasised that Malaysia maintains its independent position based on humanitarian considerations and views the invasion as unlawful and against international norms.
“This is not new and it has been ongoing for decades since 1948,” he added.
This pressure arose from Malaysia’s steadfast stance, particularly its refusal to categorise Hamas as a terrorist entity, as conveyed during the Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMTQ) in the Dewan Rakyat.
What is a ‘Démarche’?
A démarche is a formal diplomatic communication in which one government conveys its official stance, perspectives, or desires on a particular matter to the relevant representative of another government or international organisation.
Typically, a démarche aims to convince, inform, or solicit information from a foreign government.
Unified Consensus Among Islamic Nations on Unrestricted Humanitarian Access
Anwar also highlighted a unanimous agreement among Islamic nations concerning the high priority of unrestricted humanitarian access to Gaza.
This consensus emerged during his official visits to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt, where discussions were held regarding Israel’s actions against the Palestinian population in Gaza.
Anwar also called upon Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, not to be divided by the Palestine-Israel conflict.
“I urged everyone to look at the issues from the historical and humanity perspective. We have experienced gaining independence from (British) colonization. Together, we rejected colonialism. Why are we not the same when it comes to the Israeli occupation of Palestine?
“Some might consider us being too harsh and contradictory with the exceptionality attitude. Yes, we support the principle of exceptionality. However, not when it comes to injustice and the deaths of children.
“Let’s not be divided over this issue. Yes, this issue is close to the Muslims, but at the same time it is also about humanity.”
Anwar said countries such as Ireland, Russia, China, and Brazil also stand together for the principle of humanity.
Moreover, Malaysia has expressed its willingness to collaborate with fellow Islamic nations and like-minded countries in the pursuit of a just and comprehensive resolution to address the Palestinian conflict.
Malaysia’s unwavering support for the Palestinian cause is also upheld by 119 member nations of the United Nations (UN), as evidenced during the Emergency Meeting of the UN Security Council on 27 October.
Wan Fayhsal Clarifies that US Démarche Is Not a Threat
In a separate development, Machang Member of Parliament Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal clarified that the term “démarche,” mentioned by PMX, does not constitute a threat.
He expounded that this is a technical term referring to the government’s official stance on the Palestinian issue.
He said, “The prime minister used the term démarche — a French term which refers to an official diplomatic stance of a government made toward another country.
“So what was mentioned [in Parliament] was not a threat, but an official stance by the US towards us, and I’m sure this is always done [in the past],” he said.
Wan Fayhsal made these remarks during a media briefing at the Parliament.
Simultaneously, Wan Fayhsal drew a parallel between the current situation faced by Anwar and the past experiences of ex premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad concerning the unequivocal expression of views on the Palestinian issue.
“The term threat is very serious and it is a threat to the country as the one who got threatened is the prime minister.
“So that’s why we asked and [the prime minister] replied with the term démarche, but I don’t think it’s accurate,” he said, adding that it has a serious impact towards the country’s international relations.
I read a lot, I write a little. I think.