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Date: 07 Dec 1999
+ rupa-rupanya MM ada cakap dengan Presiden Indonesia. Tak kan Presiden itu nak bohong. Atau majallah itu salah lapor. Tapi mengapa Syeh Hamid yang bising dan MM senyap sunyi? Jelaslah ada sesuatu yang tidak kena.
MM baruah Israel dan Yahudi.
Malaysia takes "strong exception" to reported Wahid comments on Israel
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 (AFP) - Malaysia said Tuesday it had summoned the Indonesian charge d'affaires to express "deep regret" at reported comments by President Abdurrahman Wahid on Malaysian relations with Israel.
Wahid said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had asked him during his visit to Kuala Lumpur last month to help foster closer ties with Israel, according to the Far Eastern Economic Review.
"They (Malaysia) know we are a friend of Israel," this week's issue of the magazine quoted Wahid as telling journalists travelling with him on a recent Middle East tour.
"If the statement made by President Wahid is true, we take strong objection to that statement," said Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar, who denied Mahathir made any such request.
"We look at this matter very seriously," Syed Hamid added.
"Dr Mahathir at no time during the discusssion whether formally or informally made any remarks to that effect."
"The position of Malaysia ... is very clear: we have no intention of establishing diplomatic or commercial relations with Israel."
Syed Hamid said Malaysia's ambassador in Jakarta would call on the foreign ministry to express concern at the reported statement.
Asked whether it had been confirmed that Wahid made the statement, the foreign minister said he hoped "they will come up with something to make the position clear."
It was the second time in two months the minister has denied attempts to foster warmer relations with Israel. On October 7 he accused the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) of lying about his meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
PAS had said that meeting "disgraced Muslims and Malaysians." It expressed fears it was part of Malaysian efforts to recognise the "terrorist" state.
Syed Hamid had said he used the informal meeting to explain why Malaysia did not have diplomatic relations, and to urge implementation of peace accords with the Palestinians.
Malaysia under Mahathir has been an outspoken supporter of the Palestinian cause.
PAS made big gains at the ruling party's expense in the November 29 state and parliamentary elections. Opposition parties have predicted the ruling party will now seek to compete with PAS on an "Islamisation" agenda to win back the sympathies of Muslim Malays.