KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has a clear policy regarding diplomatic relations with Israel and DAP should not breach that policy, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
“We have a clear stand from the angle of diplomatic relations with Israel and the remark by DAP is something against our policy,” he said, adding that the party’s views are also not in line with broader national sensitivities.
Dr Ahmad Zahid was asked to comment on Perak DAP leader Chong Zhemin, who criticised the move by the Youth and Sports Ministry to deny visas to two Israeli windsurfers who were scheduled to compete in the International Sailing Federation 2015 world youth championships in Langkawi which began on Sunday.
It was reported that the two were originally subjected to demands by Malaysia to restrict the use of Israeli flags and symbols during the participation.
Chong has reportedly withdrawn his statement and expressed support for the Palestinian struggle.
Malaysia does not have diplomatic ties with Israel, and also regularly condemns it over its attacks on Palestinians there.
More than 400 athletes from 80 countries are participating in the World Sailing (formerly known as the International Sailing Federation or ISAF) Youth World Championships which will be held until Jan 3.
In Langkawi, Khairy said the withdrawal of the two athletes has not affected Malaysia as the event host.
“We can see that the participants are happy and satisfied with us. I have also not received any feedback on the matter from World Sailing on the matter.
“They know our Government’s stand. We do not have diplomatic ties with the country (Israel) and this is clear.
“That is one of the considerations that needs to be looked into by any world association that wants Malaysia to host an event,” he said at a press conference after opening the event at Lagenda Park, Langkawi.
Khairy said that World Sailing can continue to investigate the matter.
“We are just executing the stand which has been agreed by the Cabinet,” he added.
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