PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia stated on Friday (Dec 22) that it will not be cowed by a United States threat to cut financial aid to countries which backed a United Nations resolution on Jerusalem.
The UN General Assembly on Thursday voted overwhelmingly for a motion rejecting the US' decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Malaysia is not a recipient of huge economic aid from the US although it does receive technical assistance in the form of security and defence.
“In my opinion, the US should not use such threats because it is the opinion of the international community,” he told reporters at a Save Jerusalem solidarity rally at the Putra Mosque in Putrajaya.
Mr Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, was responding to a question on US President Donald Trump’s threat to cut financial aid to the countries that voted for the UN resolution on the Jerusalem issue.
In the aftermath of the US threat, 128 nations voted for the resolution, 35 abstained while nine voted against at the emergency special session of the UN General Assembly held at the request of Arab and Muslim states on Thursday.
Twenty-one countries were absent at the meeting.
Before the vote, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley repeated Mr Trump’s threat to cut financial aid to any country that supported the UN resolution.
Ms Haley also said that any UN decision would not change the US plan to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Mr Zahid said all member countries of the UN should abide by the UN resolution.
“Obviously, any violation of the resolution is a violation of the world body and disregard for the views of the international community,” he said.
Asked about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “promise” to reject the results of the vote, Mr Zahid said Israel was also a member state of the UN and had to abide by the resolution.
"(Israel’s) adamant stance has been there since the formation of that nation and it has often violated and rejected (UN) resolutions,” he said.
On a suggestion by Prime Minister Najib Razak for Malaysia to emulate Turkey and open an embassy in East Jerusalem to recognise the city as the Palestinian capital, Mr Zahid said the proposal would be raised at the Cabinet meeting in the first week of January next year.