Kuala Lumpur, Nov 27 — Foreign Minister Dato Saifuddin Abdullah today reaffirmed and reiterated Malaysia’s stand in its continued support of the Palestinian struggle against the illegal Israeli occupation and oppression.
“We stand firm in our support of the Palestinian cause and do not compromise, including on sports issues or other matters,” he said in a Tweet.
The tweet was in response to Haresh Deol, a journalist who disagreed with the Malaysian government’s stance to not grant visa exemption to the Israeli squash team for a tournament to be held in Malaysia in December.
According to Haresh, Malaysia’s action will adversely affect international relations and world corporations.
Since independence, Malaysia never established any diplomatic relations with Israel and Malaysia’s foreign policy has always been in support of the Palestinian struggle.
In October, Saifuddin had said Malaysia held to its unequivocal commitment in supporting the Palestinian struggle against Israel’s continued illegal occupation and systematic repression on Palestinian land and people.
The Malaysian government’s determination not to compromise on support for Palestine, including for sports, is nothing new.
Previously, Malaysia also banned Israeli athletes from competing in the 9th World Swimming Championships scheduled for July 29 to August 4, 2020, in Kuching, Sarawak.
The last time Malaysia allowed an Israeli sports team to enter the country was on March 21, 1997, for the international cricket tournament, which took place in Kuala Lumpur.