Dr Munir reminisces McCain's 2012 visit to Malaysia

Kalbana Perimbanayagam

KUALA LUMPUR: US Senator John McCain has left an "admirable impression" during his visit to Malaysia in 2012, Asean Business Advisory Council (Asean-BAC) co-chair Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid said today.

Recalling the visit, hosted by Kuala Lumpur Business Club (KLBC), Munir said he was deeply saddened by the news of McCain’s passing.

The celebrated US war hero died on Saturday following a battle with brain cancer. He was 81.

“It’s a great loss to humanity, as he was a great man who has defended many of the nation’s interest,” he said in a telephone interview from Singapore.

Having hosted him once with then KLBC’ president Datuk Seri Johan Raslan, Munir said his initial impression of McCain changed when he met the man in person.

”I was really honoured to have met him during the visit and indeed, what I had assumed about the six-term senator was wrong.

"Prior to his one-and-only visit to Malaysia, I always thought a Republican will be an outright American but only after meeting him face-to-face that I realised that he is a man of great honour,” he said.

He reaslied that McCain was a man who believed in principles, even if it meant going against fellow American leaders.

“He had ‘fought’ with former president Barack Obama and a strong critic of current president Donald Trump,

"But, he did all that because of what he believed in and not solely on political ideology. I believe he has always fought for humanity,” he said, expressing his heartfelt condolences to McCain's in Phoenix, Arizona.

In 2012, McCain visited Malaysia for four days on KLBC’s invite. During the visit, he met with then Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, the club’s Royal Patron as well as a distinguished alumnus of Oxford and Harvard universities in the United States. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd