Tensions between Malaysia and India should be resolved amicably because it was important for the nation’s economy, Malaysian Member of Parliament and Leader of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Anwar Ibrahim said.
Anwar said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s refusal to retract his remarks on Kashmir was probably to represent the feelings of certain groups in Malaysia, the Malay Mail reported.
“He probably is representing the sentiment of some in the country. But I think we need to resolve this amicably because it is important for our economy,” said Anwar, the Port Dickson MP and PKR president.
Speaking to reporters at Parliament lobby on Wednesday, Anwar also said that Mahathir is a leader known to be “very consistent in his views”.
Mahathir had previously said that India and Pakistan should work together to resolve the Kashmir conflict during a UN General Assembly in New York.
On Monday, it was reported that an Indian trade body representing oilseed crushers had advised its members not to buy palm oil from Malaysia, echoing New Delhi’s protest against Mahathir’s remarks on Kashmir.
On Tuesday, Mahathir said it was necessary to speak out on issues, even if such remarks can be disliked by some.
Malaysian exported palm oil worth some $1.65 billion to India in 2018.
Anwar, 72, was designated as successor to Mahathir Mohamad after the two men set aside a bitter feud and united to capture a stunning victory in the May 2018 general election.
Mahathir has said he expects to step down in two years.