Gov’t denies claims of Israeli visa exemptions, Saifuddin denounces accusations

THE government has firmly denied allegations suggesting that Israel is granting visa exemptions to Malaysians, asserting that such claims are intended to tarnish the reputation of Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

Saifuddin clarified that a purported image circulating online, depicting him in the company of Israeli officials, was taken during his attendance at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

“I think the purpose of this post being revived is to fabricate an evil and slanderous narrative against me and the Malaysian government,” he said in a statement posted on X.

“My presence, as depicted in this picture, was in my capacity as one of the delegates listening to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s speech at the UNGA.”

The controversy stemmed from a post by an account named Kopitiam Malaya which alleged the possibility of visa exemptions for Malaysians by Israel. This post was a response to a statement made by Israeli MP Danny Danon on Sept 22, 2023, implying such exemptions as a gesture of appreciation for Saifuddin’s presence during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s UNGA speech.

“Anwar had unequivocally made clear Malaysia’s stance on the Palestine-Israel conflict during the United Nations (UN) meeting,” said the Home Minister.

Moreover, all Malaysian passports bear the inscription: “This passport is valid for all countries except Israel.”

According to Bernama, Anwar announced a significant increase in financial aid to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The decision comes in response to the withdrawal of funds by key nations, with Malaysia pledging an additional US$2.1 mil on top of its existing annual aid.

Furthermore, Anwar disclosed that several MPs from both the government and opposition factions are en route to Rafah to demonstrate solidarity with Egypt and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid from Malaysia to Gaza.

“Currently, several MPs from both the government and opposition blocs are on their way to Rafah to express support for Egypt and assist with the delivery of humanitarian aid from our country to Gaza,” he penned on a Facebook post. – Feb 23, 2024


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