Mahathir says Malaysia cannot accept Israeli athletes

Mahathir said that Israel were a ‘criminal’ country. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has reiterated that Malaysia cannot accept Israeli athletes, as they come from a “criminal” country. The Prime Minister said people who are undesirable to the country must be kept out, and this included those suspected of being terrorists and the like. “We […]

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Malaysia's newly-elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad addresses civil servants from the Prime Minister's office during his first assembly in Putrajaya on May 21, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Manan VATSYAYANA

January 23, 2019

Mahathir said that Israel were a ‘criminal’ country.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has reiterated that Malaysia cannot accept Israeli athletes, as they come from a “criminal” country. The Prime Minister said people who are undesirable to the country must be kept out, and this included those suspected of being terrorists and the like.
“We don’t want to have anything to do with them (Israel), including their people. If they want to compete in sports, they can go to other countries. “But for Malaysia, they are coming from a criminal country, and we cannot accept them.

“Every country has the right to accept or refuse entry to other people. We have that right and we must exercise that right,” he told Malaysian and foreign reporters after delivering the keynote address at the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA) at Vienna International Centre (VIC) here on Tuesday (Jan 22).

He said that these athletes come from a country which does what it liked, including building settlements in other people’s territories. “They have raided our ship carrying aid to the Gaza people, there are many other things done by Israel that are against international laws and morality,” he said. On corruption, Dr Mahathir said leaders must be well chosen and if there were any signs that a leader was corrupt, action must be taken to remove the person.

Dr Mahathir had voiced the same sentiment when attending the Third International Conference on the Emergence of Africa (ICEA-III) in Dakar, Senegal, last week. Israel had objected to Malaysia banning its swimmers from competing in the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, scheduled to be held in Kuching in July. Malaysia has been an outspoken critic of Israel over its atrocities against the Palestinian people.

 

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