Kit Siang: Mahathir-Anwar reconciliation ‘creating waves’ in Indonesia

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KUALA LUMPUR: DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has disclosed in a statement that former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad patching up with his onetime deputy, Anwar Ibrahim, was creating waves in Indonesia.

“It was the subject of inquiry among many leaders and intellectuals I met during a four-day visit to Jakarta and Yogyakarta,” added Lim who is also DAP Parliamentary Leader and Gelang Patah MP.

Among the personalities he met was veteran journalist and acclaimed author Goenawan Mohamad, the founder of Tempo and former Nieman fellow at Harvard University.

Lim, who was accompanied by other DAP leaders, visited the Indonesian Parliament as well.

He had wide-ranging discussions on developments in Indonesia in particular, and elsewhere in general, particularly with reference to Islam and politics.

During discussions with leaders of Muslim organizations, there was consensus on a tolerant, moderate and inclusive Islam. “They were against the Islamic State (IS), an Islamic Caliphate, or any exclusive, intolerant and extremist expression of Islam,” said Lim.

IS was not about the future, peace, harmony and justice, they agreed, according to the DAP veteran.

The discussions included Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf, Secretary-General of Nahdatul Ulama (NU) and former presidential spokesman for President Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur); and Ahmad Syafi’i Maarif, the former Chairman of Muhammadiyah (1998 – 2005) and recipient of the 2008 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Peace and International Understanding.

Three MPs accompanied Lim on his Indonesian visit, Teresa Kok (Seputeh); Zairil Khir Johari (Bukit Bendera); and Steven Sim (Bukit Mertajam).

This is the third such overseas visit by DAP leaders.

The countries first visited were Jordan and Egypt in April last year, followed by visits to Tunisia and Turkey last October.