Invited to discuss after his decision to exclude Israeli athletes from the Para-Swimming World Championships in Malaysia, Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad felt that his country had the right to close its borders to those who “do great harm”.
“There are many countries that see foreigners flocking in and are not satisfied with them,” continued the Malaysian official, quoted by Israeli television i24.
“Israel does a lot of bad things but is not made guilty because no one says anything bad about it,” Mahatir Mohamad also said.
While the Malaysian authorities have announced that they will not issue visas to the two Israeli swimmers who were to participate in the 2019 World Para-Swimming Championships in Kuching, Borneo Island, Kuala Lumpur is standing by its positions.
“We will not allow them to enter. If they come, it is a crime,” the Malaysian Prime Minister said last week. He justified his decision by explaining that it would be “contrary to national laws to grant visas to Israelis because the country does not recognize the existence of Israel”.
“Cruel and Oppressive Politics” of Israel
The former president of the Malaysian Olympic Council said that sport was supposed to foster a global fraternity but that Israel did not have this spirit, “applying a cruel and oppressive policy,” reported the Malaysiakini news website.
“In what direction would the spirit of goodwill and sport go in the context of relations between Israel and other countries, especially those that are Muslims? “Raja Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad, currently Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Government of Malaysia, was interviewed.
According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the Israeli Olympic Committee was concerned that Malaysia would not allow athletes from the Zionist entity to participate in the paranation competition, even before the official statements from Kuala Lumpur.