World Para Swimming Championships: Malaysia stands firm on excluding Israeli athletes

Last update: 27/01/2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is standing firm on excluding Israeli athletes from the World Para Swimming Championships.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said the decision was made on the grounds of humanity and compassion for the plight of Palestinians.

"We will not compromise," said Syed Saddiq in a statement via  the Whatsapp application to the media in responding to the International Paralympic Committee’s decision to strip Malaysia of the hosting rights of the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships scheduled for July 29 to Aug 4 in Kuching.

"If hosting an international sporting event is more important than standing up for our Palestinian brothers and sisters who get mudered, maimed and tortured by the Netanyahu regime, that means Malaysia has truly loss its moral compass.

"We would like to kindly remind the IPC that even Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have reported that the Netanyahu government is an active perpetrator of war crimes.

"As the leader of Israel, he represents the collective will of the Israeli government. The Israeli state is the locus of their collective moral actions," said Syed Saddiq.

According to IPC, the decision was taken during its Governing Board meeting in London after the Malaysian Home Ministry failed to provide the necessary guarantees that Israeli Para swimmers could participate, free from discrimination, and safely in the championships.

It includes full compliance with the IPC protocols related to anthems and flags, and where required the provision of relevant visas, according to the statement issued in its official website, www.paralympic.org.

-- BERNAMA