Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nazri: We're not at the beck and call of the US

The government has never compromised its principles just to get close to the United States, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohamed Nazri Aziz.

"We are not at the beck and call of the US. That is not true because we are a nation which has its own stand.

What we are trying to do is establish closer ties with the US but without compromising our principles," he said when winding up the Supplementary Supply Bill (2010) 2010 for the prime minister's department in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He also said Malaysia's stand was very clear that it supported Iran's nuclear programme for peaceful purposes but did not agree if it was for military use.

Earlier, responding to a question from Tian Chua (PKR-Batu), Nazri explained that the government's contract with Apco Worldwide Sdn Bhd did not end following the meeting between Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and US President Barack Obama in Washinton on Monday.

He said the services of Apco Worldwide, which was based in the US, were secured to boost ties with the US in view of the culture of lobbying in that country.

He also admitted that US-Malaysia ties were not emphasised previously because of differing priorities by past prime ministers.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Koh Tsu Koon, when winding up the debate, urged all quarters, including Mps, not to play up issues relating to the Inter-Religious Committee to avoid causing confusion.

He said the committee was set up to promote inter-religious harmony and did not have executive powers.

The committee involves the participation of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department, Institute of Islamic Understanding, Malaysia and the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism nd Taoism.

The Dewan sits again tomorrow.
- Bernama

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