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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 April 2019

Malaysia defiant after being stripped of Paralympic event

Kuala Lumpur is a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause and does not have diplomatic relations with Israel

Mohd Mazarin Bin Ismail, left, chairman of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Malaysia, hands over a memorandum to Malaysia Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah before a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia. AP
Mohd Mazarin Bin Ismail, left, chairman of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Malaysia, hands over a memorandum to Malaysia Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah before a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia. AP

Malaysia's government has remained defiant despite losing the rights to host the World Para Swimming Championships after it banned Israelis from competing in the event. The event is a qualifying competition for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Malaysian Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman was unapologetic. He says that Malaysia will not compromise on its decision "on the ground of humanity and compassion for the Palestinian plight."

The ban prompted the International Paralympic Committee on Sunday to withdraw Malaysia's hosting rights. The event involves some 70 countries and was to be staged from July 29 to August 4.

The government earlier this month said no Israeli delegates can enter Malaysia for sporting or other events in solidarity with the Palestinians.

A mainly Muslim country, Malaysia is a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause and does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

Updated: January 28, 2019 09:24 AM

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