Updated 11:55pm, 9 Jan 2009
KUALA LUMPUR, 9 Jan 2009: Malaysia is unhappy with the resolution of the Security Council of the United Nations (UN) which calls for an ‘immediate and continuous’ ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and a ‘total withdrawal’ of Israeli troops subsequently from the Palestine territory.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said Malaysia’s unhappiness was because the resolution, which was approved by 14 of the 15 members of the Security Council, only emphasised on the ceasefire but was silent on humanitarian aid.
In fact, it did not mention clearly the total withdrawal of troops and coordination by an international peace mission, he told reporters after witnessing a cheque presentation to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Foundation, here today.
At the function, foundation chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad received a cheque of RM 3.5 million from the Albukhary Foundation and RM100,000 from Tabung Haji.
Rais said the Security Council’s resolution was seen as merely paying lip service although 14 council members had voted for it except for the United States.
In addition, the passing of the resolution had shown that many countries were no longer cowed by the United States when approving any resolution.
Rais said although Russia, France and China supported the resolution, the decision reached was still inadequate to meet the aspiration of the international community who wanted something even more than just a ceasefire.
“So, we will try as far as possible to reach a world consensus on a resolution or several other decisions that touched on human rights in Gaza, for example, and on compensation,” he said.
On 5 Jan, 14 members of the UN Security Council voted to support resolution 1860 which calls for “an immediate and lasting ceasefire that must be complied with fully, and subsequently lead to a total withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza”.
The United States, however, abstained from voting.
At the same function, Mahathir suggested that the Special Parliament sitting on 12 Jan could forward a resolution to the UN General Assembly to create a tribunal to hear war crime cases committed by Israeli leaders.
“The suggestion had been made by a human rights lawyer in the US, Francis Boyle, who wanted countries to pass a resolution via the general assembly so that a tribunal could be formed like the one that tried Serbians who had murdered large numbers of Bosnians,” he said.
Earlier, speaking at a campaign for a “Selective Boycott of Jewish Products” at the National Mosque after the Friday prayer today, Mahathir called on Malaysians to “refrain from eating McDonald, Ramly burger tastes better.”
He said Israel must be taught a lesson, and among the efforts made by the people to protest against the Jewish violence in Palestine was to boycott products from the United States as well as Jewish products.
The campaign was participated by 1,000 people, including members of non-governmental organisations such as the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM), ‘Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia’ (Pekida) and Interactive Muslimah Association (Iman).
Meanwhile at the Jalan Tun Razak, here, Bernama reports that about 5,000 people from 127 NGOs and political parties joined a procession to hand over a memorandum calling on the United States government to pressure Israel to stop the war in Gaza.
The gathering, which began at 2.30 pm in front of the Tabung Haji building, here, walked in a procession carrying several banners and the Palestinian flag to the US embassy, here to hand over the memorandum.
The procession was carried out peacefully under tight security by police personnel from the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) as well as traffic police to control traffic flow.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Bar Council also weighed in on the Palestine crisis, condemning the “awful acts of aggression” of the Israeli government and the tacit complicity of the United States.
“Surely nations that actively support this lose the moral authority in issues of human rights and rule of law,” said Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.
Ambiga asserted that the events unfolding in Gaza were not only the concern of Muslims, but all right-thinking people.
The Bar Council, with the Malaysian Social Research Institute (MSRI) and Cakap-Rakyat, co-organised a public forum entitled Myth and Reality in Occupied Palestine this evening.
The forum featured four speakers including political scientist Dr Farish Noor and writer-director Hishamuddin Rais.
After the forum, a candlelight vigil to show solidarity with the people of Palestine, took place outside the Bar Council building. About 200 people took part in the vigil.