KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — The Malaysian government’s stout support of a free Palestine and its condemnation of Israeli atrocities in Gaza will not deter United States investors from doing business here, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.
Anwar said his administration had secured a total of RM63.02 billion in proposed investments that are mainly from technology giants at the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit, which he cited as proof that the American investment appetite in Malaysia remains strong.
“We used the opportunity to hold multilateral meetings with many countries... and also met with several companies including Google, Enovix, Microsoft, TikTok and TPG and have managed to get a committed investment of RM63 billion,” Anwar said during the Prime Minister's Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat this morning.
“This is important because there are some who have voiced concerns that our firm position when facing the US and several European countries would compromise our economy,” he added.
He said Malaysia’s political stability, clear economic policy and ease of doing business supersede other factors in drawing US investments into the country.
Anwar was responding to MPs who had expressed concern that his administration’s criticism of Western powers in response to the Israeli assault on Gaza could have economic repercussions for Malaysia.
He reiterated Malaysia’s call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during last weekend’s Apec Summit in San Francisco, the United States, where delivered a firm speech in front of US President Joe Biden and called out Western governments for practising what he felt were double standards.
Last month, Anwar said that Washington had exerted pressure on Malaysia, with the US State Department calling up the country’s ambassador in Washington over the matter.
His office also confirmed with the press that Putrajaya had received a démarche notice from the United States on the Palestine-Israel conflict on October 13, while the US Deputy Chief of Mission to Malaysia, Chargé d’Affaires Manu Bhalla, had called on a deputy secretary-general of Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on October 30.
Anwar previously alleged that he was "threatened" by several European lawmakers because of his vocal support for Palestinians and refusal to condemn Hamas, the group blamed for killing over a thousand Israelis in a daring October 7 assault that caught Israeli forces off guard.
What prompted the attacks remains unclear until today but observers believe the attack was likely a response to over a decade of Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip and illegal settler violence in the occupied West Bank.