PHNOM PENH: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has expressed appreciation to his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen for the latter’s support in bringing back Malaysian victims of a job scam syndicate in Cambodia.

Anwar, who is on a one-day official visit to Cambodia, described Hun Sen’s leadership as ‘outstanding’ in giving full support and collaboration in resolving the job scam issue.

“I also must express my thanks to the Prime Minister (Hun Sen) because Cambodia is one of the countries most forthcoming and helpful when we have to deal with job scam issue which also affects your citizens, but then you were helpful in assisting us to bring back 287 Malaysian victims of a job scam.

“Thank you very much; it means a lot to hundreds of families affected by this scam,” he said in a joint press conference after a bilateral meeting with Hun Sen at the Peace Palace today.

It has been reported that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had received 572 reports involving Malaysians who were victims of job scam syndicates abroad as of Feb 20. The reports were received through the Malaysian embassies in Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Vientiane and Yangon.

Meanwhile, Anwar said he was looking forward to Hun Sen’s contribution of ideas in the next ASEAN Summit regarding a comprehensive framework to tackle the current Myanmar crisis.

According to Anwar, it was no longer an internal issue as more than 200,000 Rohingya refugees had fled Myanmar to Malaysia.

Anwar said the ASEAN communities understand the current situation in Myanmar but the country’s junta must also understand that the matter cannot remain unresolved.

He also expressed his trust in the wisdom of his Cambodian counterpart because Hun Sen had managed to secure peace when faced with a more complex situation in Cambodia as compared to the current crisis in Myanmar.

“This is a great example of how a country besieged by civil war and violence could achieve final peace. The prime minister (Hun Sen) with his wide experience of course is in a better position to deliberate on more complex issues like Myanmar,” he added.

Anwar also pointed out that Malaysia and Cambodia shared similar views on the South China Sea, Russia-Ukraine, Korean Peninsula and Taiwan-China issues.

He also expressed his gratitude to Hun Sen for organising a breaking of fast with thousands of Muslims in Cambodia tonight.

Anwar said this was a reflection of Hun Sen’s understanding of tolerance and respect for minority groups, a trait which Anwar said the world lacks for now.

“There is so much hatred, misunderstanding and intolerance, and you (Hun Sen) have shown that you are willing to accommodate the feelings and sensitivity of others and are kind enough to invite me to join you in this great festival,” he added.

Anwar said he was looking forward to Hun Sen’s next visit to Kuala Lumpur.

Earlier, Anwar and Hun Sen witnessed the signing of two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) between the Malaysian and Cambodian governments on the recruitment, employment and repatriation of Cambodian workers in the domestic and formal sectors to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the labour sector.

Later today, Anwar is also scheduled to have an audience with King Norodom Sihamoni at the Royal Palace, and pay a courtesy call to Cambodian Senate president Vibol Sena Pheakdev Say Chhum and National Assembly president Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin.

At the breaking of fast ceremony with Hun Sen, academicians and the Muslim community in Cambodia, Anwar will witness an event to donate 1,500 copies of the Quran that has been translated into the Khmer language and English, from Malaysia to the Muslim community.

He will perform the Tarawih prayers at Al-Masjid Al-Serkal here before leaving for home. - Bernama