Anwar’s Saudi trip defended as a success after opposition calls it a failure

Anwar's political secretary said the Saudi government requested the Prime Minister to extend his stay in the country to facilitate meetings.


March 27, 2023

KUALA LUMPUR – A lot has been achieved during the three-day visit by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to Saudi Arabia, says his political secretary Ahmad Farhan Fauzi.

He said the Saudi Arabian government had requested Anwar to extend his stay in the country to facilitate the meetings with the leaders of both countries.

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

Ahmad Farhan also said Anwar was scheduled to make an official visit to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, today as well as Hainan and Beijing in China on Wednesday to meet President Xi Jinping and his counterpart Li Qiang.

“There are some people who are trying to politicise the Prime Minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia recently.

“I urge them to stop such accusations and support the unity government’s efforts to strengthen Malaysia’s international relations,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Community Communication Department (J-Kom) director-general Datuk Dr Mohammad Agus Yusof said much was achieved during Anwar’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

He added that it was untrue that his visit to the Middle East country was deemed a failure by the opposition parties.

He said Anwar held meetings with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the World Muslim League in Mecca.

Anwar also witnessed the signing of several important memorandum of understanding (MOU) between companies in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, and was briefed on the involvement of Malaysian businessmen in the development of the futuristic megacity of Neom.

“The Prime Minister also held discussions on issues faced by the Muslim world and initiatives to build a network based on shared values and cooperation,” he said, adding that all these were carried out during the three-day visit.

“If that is not a success, I don’t know how the opposition would measure it,” he said.

Earlier, the opposition claimed the trip was a failure as Anwar was only welcomed by the Jeddah governor, he was not brought into the Kaabah and there was no meeting with King Salman or Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Perikatan Nasional MPs also demanded an explanation as to why Anwar did not meet with his host during his visit to Saudi Arabia.

“The Prime Minister is requested to explain this in the Dewan Rakyat,” said Perikatan’s International Affairs Committee head Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal.

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