December 21, 2023
KUALA LUMPUR – The government’s decision to ban Israeli-owned ships from entering Malaysia is a bold and firm stance to put pressure on the regime to stop its humanitarian crimes against Palestinians.
Describing the decision as a reflection of the country’s spirit and courage, the director of Hashim Sani Centre for Palestine Studies, Universiti Malaya, Assoc Prof Dr Mohd Nazari Ismail said the action also signalled the government’s clear opposition to the violence and brutality of the Zionist regime.
According to him, Malaysia’s bold step will have a big and continuous impact on Israel’s economic chain, especially in its maritime economy and logistics services.
“The impact will be greater (on Israel’s economy) if Arab countries and other Muslim countries also follow Malaysia’s actions. Other countries, including those in the Asean region, should also ban Israeli ships from entering their countries,” he told Bernama on Wednesday (Dec 20).
Earlier, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that ships from an Israeli shipping cargo company as well as those en route to Israel or those hoisting Israel’s flag will be restricted from entering or loading cargo at Malaysian ports with immediate effect.
Mohd Nazari, who is also the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Malaysia (BDS Malaysia) movement chairman, suggested other restrictions such as the ban on awarding contracts to international companies that clearly support, conspire or contribute to Israel’s economy.
“BDS Malaysia also calls on all citizens and bodies, both in private and public sectors, to continue to be steadfast and unwavering in their boycott of products and businesses which have been identified to be facilitating the perpetuation of apartheid and oppression against the Palestinian people,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ulama Association of Malaysia (PUM) secretary-general Prof Dr Mohd Roslan Mohd Nor said the ban was the right decision to express the country’s solidarity with the Palestinian people.
He said the firm stance was necessary during Israel’s ongoing military offensive against Gaza.
“Malaysian leaders’ firm stance against Israel’s tyranny from the past until now is highly appreciated and something that should be respected by all,” he said in a statement. – Bernama