Putrajaya stands firmly by its decision to ban Israeli athletes from the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships even after Malaysia was stripped of the hosting right, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said today.

The Muar MP said Putrajaya would not back down or compromise on its position about Israel and its treatment of the Palestinian people, in defiance of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) which called the ban unsporting.

IPC in a statement issued earlier today said barring Israeli athletes was a serious breach of its regulation.

“If hosting an international sporting event is more important than standing up for our Palestinian brothers and sisters who get murdered, maimed and tortured by the Netanyahu regime, that means Malaysia has truly lost its moral compass,” Syed Saddiq said in a statement.

“Malaysia stands firmly with our decision on the ground of humanity and compassion for the Palestinian plight. We will not compromise.”

The IPC, which organises the Paralympic Games, this evening announced that it had stripped Malaysia of the right to host the 2019 swimming competition following its decision to bar Israeli athletes from entering the country. The 2019 World Para Swimming Championships had been scheduled in Kuching, Sarawak, from July 29 to August 4.

The body noted that Putrajaya had signed a contract with the Paralympic Council of Malaysia in September 2017 to host the World Para Swimming Championships, and assured that all eligible athletes and countries would be allowed to participate in the event.

In a sharp a rebuke to the IPC, Syed Saddiq said Malaysia was morally upright to act against Israeli athletes, saying they represented a government that international rights groups labelled as a perpetrator of war crimes.

“Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have reported that the Netanyahu government is an active perpetrator of war crimes,” he said, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“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.”

Malaysia has no diplomatic relations with Israel, and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is among the most vocal critics of the Jewish state.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post recently, the 93-year-old politician labelled the Netanyahu administration as terrorists. He too stood by the decision to bar Israeli athletes from entering the country. – Malay Mail