- Advertisement -

Now, Anwar under pressure to withdraw Malaysia's participation in military drill involving Israel

It comes as the prime minister ignored protests against the involvement of a company owned by controversial US firm BlackRock in an airport consortium.

2 minute read

Putrajaya has been asked to withdraw Malaysia's participation in a US-led maritime military exercise which will also see the involvement of Israeli army, in the latest pressure on Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to show his government's solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

In a joint statement led by the Malaysian chapter of global anti-Israel movement Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS Malaysia), 15 groups demanded Malaysia to immediately withdraw from the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (Rimpac), which will take place from June 26 to Aug 2.

"We call on the Malaysian government to immediately withdraw from the Rimpac 2024 military exercise to protest against the participation of the Israeli military in that exercise.

"Israel is a rogue and pariah state. Its actions against Palestinians for over 70 years and its current genocide in Gaza demonstrate a blatant disregard for international law and human rights," reads the statement which was signed by a plethora of local Islamic NGOs, including those seen as allied with Anwar.

Considered the world’s largest multilateral exercise, Rimpac this year will see the participation of more than 30 countries, involving 40 ships, four submarines, and 170 aircraft.

Yesterday, the Royal Malaysian Navy officiated the departure of its frigate KD Lekiu for the exercise.

The call for Malaysia to withdraw its participation follows controversy over the entry of a company owned by US investment giant BlackRock into a consortium to manage airports nationwide.

Under the deal announced this month, BlackRock's Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) will take 30% of the consortium, a move that sparked protests due to BlackRock's reputation as a company with close ties to Israel's economy and defence industry.

However, Anwar dismissed the protests and accused opposition politicians of spreading hatred against the government.

Similarly, he had also dismissed protests against the government's decision to allow several US defence companies accused of complicity in Israeli war crimes to participate in the Defence Services Asia and National Security Asia trade fairs in Kuala Lumpur.

Among the exhibitors was Lockheed Martin, the defence contractor in which BlackRock holds a 7.4% stake.

In their statement today, the groups cited grim statistics on Palestinian civilian casualties since Israel began its massive bombardment of Gaza, which has killed at least 36,000 people, mostly women and children.

The Zionist regime has continued to ignore rulings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). 

On Tuesday, Israeli forces attacked Rafah border crossing, which is an important channel for humanitarian supplies into Gaza, just two days after ICJ ordered Israel to halt its offensive.

"The world should stop treating it like it is a normal, law-abiding state if it wants Israeli criminality in Gaza and the West Bank to stop," the groups said.

"We reiterate our call on the Malaysian government to immediately withdraw from the Rimpac military exercise to drive home that message."