Palestinian students pursuing their undergraduate, postgraduate and post-doctoral degrees in 12 Malaysian universities stand to receive almost RM11.5mil in scholarships via the Palestinian Cultural Organisation Malaysia (PCOM), said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Among the 12 universities are Multimedia University, UCSI University, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Sunway University, Universiti Kuala Lumpur and Universiti Utara Malaysia.
Speaking at the 9th Annual Grand Iftar in the administrative capital of Putrajaya on Wed evening (22 May), Dr Mahathir, who had launched PCOM more than eight years ago on 14 Feb 2011, added that there is “nothing ambiguous or vague” about the “brutal occupation” carried out by the Israeli Defense Forces and the Israeli government as a whole.
Dr Mahathir rejected the use of anti-Semitism as an excuse for Israel to continue perpetuating atrocities against Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank and to penalise nations that speak against such atrocities, suggesting that it is not anti-Jew to protest the actions of Israel which have been “committed blatantly for the whole world to see” and are akin to modern-day colonialism.
He stressed that Malaysia will not “be silent” in witnessing “the hypocrisy of powerful nations” in aiding Israel’s “crimes against humanity” through their “continuous support” and by “providing weapons” to the regime.
“Standing up for Palestine is a moral obligation”, he added, as he reaffirmed Malaysia’s stance against Israel’s “aggression” towards Palestinians in the Territories.
“The international community must find a solution to the displaced Palestinians – the return of their land, which has been illegally taken by Israelis,” urged Dr Mahathir, adding: “Put an end to the genocidal Israeli military occupation of Palestinian land, and allow the return of Palestinians to their land.”
“For as long as the issue is not resolved, and the Palestinians are not given justice, the Middle East will forever be in conflict, giving birth to terrorism and militancy, and spreading to the rest of the world,” he warned.
The 9th Annual Grand Iftar was also attended by senior Palestinian leaders, including former Hamas (the Islamic Resistance Movement of Palestine) chairman Khalid Meshaal, as well as around 1000 members of the Palestinian community residing in Malaysia, officials, diplomats, and media practitioners.