Anwar’s Saudi triumph turns Hadi Awang’s Middle East envoy role into a joke

PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s visit to Saudi Arabia is a success story, with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) leader wooing investors and businessmen to visit Malaysia to invest in the country and boost its economy.

This is in stark contrast to the significant role given to PAS leader Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang as special envoy of the governments led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, which turned out to be a political gimmick with no positive outcomes for Malaysia.

Altogether, Hadi became known as the friend of the Taliban in Afghanistan, something that tarnished Malaysia’s image in the international community.

Celebrating Anwar’s success in Saudi Arabia, Murray Hunter, a blogger tweeted the following:

On the other hand, writing on in May 2021, Fauzan A. Roslee said Hadi in his Middle East role, has mostly played a ceremonial role in representing Malaysia’s interests in the region.

“His appointment was more of a political move to strengthen the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition and secure parliamentary majority, rather than a functional diplomatic decision,” the writer said.

Hadi’s background does not necessarily align with the interests of key Middle Eastern players, such as Saudi Arabia, Fauzan added that his association with the International Union of Muslim Scholars, blacklisted by the Saudis and his close ties to Islamic political movements like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood have hindered his ability to effectively advance Malaysia’s interests in the region.

Meanwhile, Anwar said he asked Saudi Arabian businesses to invest more in Malaysia, which he said has a stable government with clear policies.

Speaking to hundreds of Saudi and Malaysian businessmen, he said the new government under his leadership was committed to making it easier to do business in the country with reforms that support businesses and the Madani agenda.

He delivered a keynote address at the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) headquarters too.

The Prime Minister along with his wife Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil arrived at the King Abdulaziz International Airport on Thursday (March 23) last week to start his three-day official visit to the kingdom. — March 25, 2023


Main photo credit: Malaysiakini

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