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Malaysia: Swimming

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 211363, tabled on 22 January 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Malaysian Government on the Malaysian Prime Minister's (a) comments on the State of Israel of the Jewish people and (b) decision to ban Israeli swimmers from participating in sporting events in that country; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

30 January 2019

We are aware of comments made by the Malaysian Prime Minister on the State of Israel and the Jewish people. The UK fully supports the modern State of Israel as a Jewish homeland and remains committed to the objective of a sovereign and prosperous Palestinian state.

We do not agree with the Malaysian Government's position on the banning of Israeli athletes. We believe it is fundamentally wrong. Israeli athletes should not be banned from competing. The UK government strongly supports the principle of inclusiveness of the Olympic movement.

We consider it right that the recent International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has decided to strip Malaysia of the right to host the tournament. The Championships must be open to all eligible athletes and nations to compete safely and free from discrimination. The Committee is now seeking to find a new venue for the event.

I raised our concerns with the Malaysian Minister for Education, Dr Maszlee bin Malik on the 22 January. The British High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur has done likewise with the Malaysian Foreign Minister. We will continue to raise our strong objection with the Malaysian authorities.