PETALING JAYA: Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has paid tribute to Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe in the wake of his death, recounting the role that Abe and his family played in ties with Malaysia.
He said Malaysia’s Look East policy was launched by Abe’s father in 1982, while his grandfather began forging ties between the two countries by visiting Malaya in 1957.
Anwar expressed his grief over the assassination of Abe earlier today, describing the former prime minister as “one of Asia’s stalwarts”.
Abe died in hospital today, hours after he was shot by a lone gunman at a political campaign event. He was 67. Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, having been in office from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020.
Other Malaysian leaders have also expressed their condolences over Abe’s death.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is on a four-day official visit to Turkiye, said he was very saddened to hear of Abe’s death. He said Abe, whom he had last seen at the beginning of this year, had played an important role in fostering close ties between Malaysia and Japan.
He had been a major advocate of the Look East policy.
Former prime minister Najib Razak said he and Abe both had the same vision when it came to public policies, which is to put growth and the people first. He said “Abenomics” and “Najibonomics” had been the subject of university studies.
“His contributions to our bilateral relations will be remembered,” he said.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, also expressed his condolences to Abe’s family, describing Abe’s death as a huge loss to Japan and its people.