Paralympic council says won’t fight Putrajaya’s decision to bar Israelis’ entry

SM Nasarudin (second from right) said the Paralympic Council of Malaysia will respect the IPC Governing Board's decision to terminate the country's hosting agreement. — Picture courtesy of Naza
SM Nasarudin (second from right) said the Paralympic Council of Malaysia will respect the IPC Governing Board's decision to terminate the country's hosting agreement. — Picture courtesy of Naza

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28 — The Paralympic Council of Malaysia said it would conform to the federal government’s decision to prevent Israeli athletes from entering, a move which has cost the country the World Para Swimming Championships 2019 in July.

Its president, SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin, also said that while his organisation has already prepared for the event to be held in Kuching, Sarawak later this year, it accepted the international body’s move.

“PCM will respect the IPC Governing Board's decision to terminate the Hosting Agreement based on their rights, while PCM will abide by any decisions of the Federal Government in regards to this issue,” he said in a statement.

The IPC announced the move yesterday after Putrajaya remained adamant that it would not allow entry to Israeli athletes attending the event.

Malaysia has no diplomatic ties with Israel that it refuses to recognise as a sovereign state and citizens of both may not legally travel between the two countries.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman previously said the government would not relent on the matter and asserted that allowing entry to Israelis would indicate that Malaysia has “lost its moral compass”.

The IPC, which organises the Paralympic Games, announced yesterday that it was stripping 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 had been assured that all eligible athletes and countries would be allowed to participate in the event.

Sarawak earlier said that it was saddened by the outcome but would similarly abide by Putrajaya’s policy on the matter.

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