PUTRAJAYA: A total of 12 local universities will offer scholarships to Palestinian students living here, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"The government has decided to offer scholarships through the Palestinian Cultural Organisation Malaysia (PCOM) for Palestinian students to pursue bachelor, masters, and PhD courses in 12 established Malaysian universities," he said.
The scholarships will be funded from RM11.47 million raised by the universities.
Dr Mahathir also reaffirmed the country's commitment towards the Palestinian struggle, when delivering his speech at the 9th Grand Iftar with the Palestinian community here on Wednesday (May 22).
"We have and will always stand by you. We will not keep quiet for as long as we see the atrocities and injustices committed by the Israeli regime," he added.
He noted that there is nothing ambiguous or vague about the plight of the Palestinians who have been oppressed for decades.
"It is a story about a once-free people who have lost their land forcibly through a brutal occupation committed blatantly for the whole world to see," he said.
Dr Mahathir said that standing up for Palestinians was a moral obligation.
"Malaysia will continue to condemn Israel for its aggression and cruelties on Palestinians," he said.
Also present were were Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and Khalid Meshaal, former chairman of Hamas (the Islamic Resistance Movement of Palestine).