Foreign Minister Hamid Albar should clarify about talk of postponement of OIC Summit in KL from October to April next year and whether OIC is facing multiple crisis of confidence, cohesion and leadership in the new Pax Americana after US war against Iraq
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Monday): Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar should clarify about talk of postponement of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) Summit in Kuala Lumpur from October to April next year, and whether OIC is facing a multiple crisis of confidence, cohesion and leadership in the new Pax Americana after the US war against Iraq.
Hamid had publicly berated Qatar, the current chairman of OIC, for failing to convene an emergency OIC meeting to discuss the organisation’s role in post-war Iraq, describing it as “a strange situation” that Qatar did not want to have such a meeting “at whatever level as they consider it still early”.
There is nothing strange at such a Qatar position, as despite hosting the controversial al-Jazeera Arab satellite network, Qatar also hosted the US Central Military Command in the US war against Iraq and has become the US military hub in the Middle East following the announcement of US pull-out of its major air operations centre from Prince Sultan air base in Saudi Arabia to the high-tech Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.
If the OIC Summit in October is being postponed to April next year, is it the consequence of the American redrawing of the military map of the region and of a new Pax Americana following far-reaching geo-political-security changes after the US war in Iraq? And is it because of disquiet by OIC members with the chairmanship of Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Malaysia at this juncture of the geo-political-security changes particularly in the Middle East?
Any postponement of the OIC Summit will also raise the local political question as to whether Mahathir’s transfer of the baton of Prime Minister to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi originally tagged to the OIC Summit would go on as scheduled or whether it will also be postponed to April next year.
An immediate unequivocal answer to such a question would be healthy all round, in view of the rising crescendo to feverish pitch of UMNO politicking in the intense jockeying for power in post-Mahathir UMNO.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman