KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it is not the intention of the Kuala Lumpur Summit (KL Summit) 2019 to take over the role of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Dr Mahathir said he took the opportunity to explain this to King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during a video conference with the Saudi Arabian monarch at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the venue of the Dec 18-21 summit, here today.
Speaking to reporters after the video conference session, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia is too small to do that.
It is to be noted that the KL Summit aims to, among others, deliberate on issues and find new and workable solutions to problems afflicting the Muslim world, and seek to revive the Islamic civilisation.
I said that if Saudi Arabia organises a summit to discuss the same matter, we're ready to go, he said.
Dr Mahathir said that during the video conference King Salman also explained to him why he could not attend the KL Summit.
Dr Mahathir said King Salman felt that it was better for issues involving Muslims to be discussed at the full OIC meeting instead of among several countries only.
His Majesty felt that such matters should not be discussed between two or three countries only, should have an OIC meeting, and I agree with him, he said.
Asked if he would not hold the summit in future, the prime minister said it had been held several times before without involving all Islamic countries.
We had scholarly discussions and it was okay. But we wanted this one to be slightly bigger and we did not want people to say they were not invited, he said.
In a statement earlier, the Prime Minister's Office said that the KL Summit, which is into its fifth edition, is a non-governmental organisation initiative, supported by the Malaysian government.
Dr Mahathir was supposed to attend a dialogue session at the ongoing Youth KL Summit, a prelude event to the KL Summit.
But the session could not take place due to his video conference with King Salman.
Source: Office of the Prime Minster Malaysia