KUALA LUMPUR, 5 Nov 2008: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today congratulated Barack Obama on his US presidential win, and said he should give immediate attention to bringing positive changes to the situations in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Palestine.
“These are important issues that have been with us for a very long time and we don’t seem to see any solution at all. I am sure the US president has enormous influence and I hope Obama will use this positive influence to ensure that these issues will be resolved as soon as possible,” he told reporters at a news conference at Parliament House, here.
Democrat Obama, 47, a senator from Illinois, beat his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain of Arizona, to become the 44th president of the United States today.
Abdullah said he was sure that Obama would get the support of the global communities which have always been waiting for such issues to be settled once and for all.
“I know it is going to be difficult but I think a good effort will be made by Obama,” he said, adding that he hoped Obama would also address the attitude and approaches to solving some of the problems facing the world today.
Abdullah said the world community also hoped that Obama, the first African-American president of the United States, would be fair in dealing with various groups, including Muslims and the Muslim world.
“I think this is important. I am sure he does not want to be biased because this will project a very negative image of him and not help solve the problems of today. Those involved in peace-making must be fair and not just support one side,” he said.
Abdullah said he also hoped that Obama would bring positive change to the affairs of the world as the United States has great influence with regard to international issues and the conduct of international relations.
On a bilateral basis, Abdullah said, he hoped for a new era of more friendly relations between Malaysia and the United States.
“But it is also our wish that these relations be maintained on the basis of full respect for each other as sovereign countries and that all aspects of the relations be enhanced for the purpose of mutual benefit.
Asked whether Malaysia would also see the emergence of a leader regardless of race as had happened in the United States, Abdullah said that could happen anywhere at all.
“It depends on the people. They will determine that. What happened in the United States was not determined by Washington or any group but by the American people themselves by election through the democratic process,” he said. — Bernama