JOHOR BARU, Sept 3 — The struggle to find a peace process in southern Philippines will continue despite the loss of individuals who contributed to the process such as the late Tengku Datuk Abdul Ghafar Tengku Mohamed.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the demise of Tengku Abdul Ghafar was a big loss, especially in the context of finding peace in Mindanao with the new Philippines leader President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Whoever is involved in the earlier peace process, needed to carry on and the loss of those who left earlier do not mean the mission for peace undertaken thus far cannot proceed,” he told reporters here today.
Hishammuddin said the government would continue to monitor closely the development of the peace process in southern Philippines.
“The peace process in southern Philippines has implications not only in Mindanao because if it is not properly handled, it can affect the security and stability of the region,” he said.
Earlier, he conveyed his condolences to the family of the late Tengku Abdul Ghafar who passed away at his residence yesterday.
Tengku Abdul Ghafar was the Malaysian facilitator for the peace process between the Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Earlier, Hishammuddin who is Umno vice president, declared open the Johor Baru delegates’ meeting, which was also attended by its division chief Tan Sri Shahrir Samad. — Bernama