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Malaysian politicians hail Obama win

 | November 7, 2012

Najib hopes for continuing good relationship.

KUALA LUMPUR: Several Malaysian politicians today congratulated US President Barack Obama for winning a second term in the White House.

Most of the well-wishers conveyed their messages through Twitter.com.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said: “Congratulations @BarackObama on being elected to a 2nd term. I hope our countries’ relationship continues to go from strength to strength.”

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s tweet went as follows: “Pres BarrackHusseinObama: congrats-impressive victory! Support efforts towards peace, freedom and justice!”

Obama today secured a total of 303 electoral votes, 33 more than he needed to win his second term as US president. His rival, Republican Mitt Romney, received 206 votes.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department SK Devamany also offered his congratulations through Twitter. “Congrats to President Obama,” he said. “Capitalism with a soul must win. Politics with character must triumph. The world will be in harmony.”

Deputy Higher Education Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Obama was able to connect with a changing US electorate and maintain support from America’s youth.

He said Barisan Nasional could learn from Obama’s win, adding that he hoped for “enhanced” US-Malaysia cooperation in the years to come.

However, not everyone appeared pleased with the 44th US president’s win.

Taking issue with Washington’s relations with Israel, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz said that it did not matter to him who came to power in the White House.

“I’m not interested,” he told reporters covering Parliament.

“It doesn’t matter whether they’re black or white, they’re still behind the Jewish lobby. To me it does not matter who becomes president. This issue is more than 60 years old. I’m not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Engaging the Muslim nations

In a statement issued later, Najib said Obama now has a unique opportunity to realise his vision for the United States.

“It is my hope that President Obama will continue in his efforts to foster understanding and respect between the United States and Muslims around the world.

“Many Malaysians enthusiastically followed the presidential election campaign – and as a moderate Muslim nation, Malaysia stands ready to help the United States as it seeks to better engage with those of Islamic faith,” he said.

Anwar in his statement meanwhile also applauded the American people for backing a leader who reflected cultural and religious diversity.

“I urge President Obama to fulfil the pledges made some four years ago in his momentous Cairo speech particularly to the Muslim world. And as he himself has said, that he would fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.

“To fulfil his promise of not turning his back on the Palestinian aspiration for dignity and a state of their own, President Obama must do more to work towards a long term resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” said Anwar.


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