PM urges caution on calls to withdraw from Rimpac naval exercise

The Royal Malaysian Navy corvette KD Lekir firing an Exocet missile during the Rimpac 2022 naval exercise off Hawaii. The Lekir is also due to take part in this year’s Rimpac. (Bernama pic)

LABUAN: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has called for a rational approach to be taken in responding to pressure for Malaysia to withdraw from a US-led naval exercise in which the Israeli navy will also take part.

Anwar said there was a need to thoroughly consider the matter and the potential implications of skipping the Rimpac 2024 exercise. A total of 29 countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei, are taking part.

Anwar said the government’s actions should not compromise the interests of the people and the nation’s trade. “If we were to follow the suggested approaches, we would need to halt the operations of companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple and Facebook,” he said.

The prime minister said Malaysia’s stance in support of the Palestinian cause was firm. “No country is as vocal as Malaysia on the Israel issue. We protest every day,” he said.

However, the country must “act carefully and not be driven by anger.” He said an Israeli ship had docked at a Malaysia port when Perikatan Nasional was previously in government,

“When we (Pakatan Harapan) took over the government, we were the ones who stopped Israeli ships from anchoring here, despite facing criticism,” Anwar told reporters after visiting the Labuan ferry terminal here today.

“Malaysia will continue to voice out against the cruelty faced by the Palestinian people,” he maintained.

Yesterday, 15 groups led by the pro-Palestine group BDS Malaysia demanded an immediate withdrawal from the Rim of the Pacific exercise (Rimpac), from June 26 to Aug 2 in the waters around the Hawaiian islands.

The Royal Malaysian Navy corvette KD Lekir is listed among the participating vessels. The Lekir also took part in Rimpac 2022, and fired an Exocet missile.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *