Malaysia's Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim delivers his speech to the crowd during the 'Malaysia Stands with Palestine' rally in solidarity with the Palestinian people at the Axiata Arena Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 24 October 2023. EFE/EPA/FILE/SADIQ SANI

Malaysia rejects ‘unilateral’ US sanctions on Hamas’ foreign supporters

Kuala Lumpur, Nov 7 (EFE).- Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on Tuesday said his country will not recognize “unilateral” sanctions by the United States on foreign entities and countries for supporting the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

Anwar said that Malaysia does not consider Hamas as a terrorist organization and intends to maintain relations with the group, regardless of Washington’s attempts to enforce sanctions on external parties supporting Hamas and other Islamist groups in Palestine.

“We will continue our relation with Hamas. We do not consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization,” Anwar told lawmakers in the Malaysian lower house of the parliament.

On Nov. 1, the US House of Representatives approved the Hamas International Financing Prevention Act.

The legislation, which is pending Senate endorsement, enables Washington to impose sanctions on foreign individuals, organizations, and governments that support Hamas and other Islamist groups operating in Palestine.

“The government does not recognize any decision by any country, including the US, to impose restrictions or sanction unilaterally,” the prime minister affirmed.

“We only recognize decisions made by the UN Security Council, which are made in a multilateral manner, so we do not agree with the US approach, and this does not affect our policies or decisions,” he reiterated.

Anwar said that he has been in talks with Islamic countries that share the same position regarding the “legitimate right and struggle” of the Palestinian people.

“Malaysia remains unwavering in upholding justice and supporting the struggle of the Palestinian people,” he said.

Anwar denounced the current situation, and underlined that “Palestine is a victim of policies of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and now even genocide.”

Both Malaysia and Indonesia, as Muslim-majority countries, have a long history of supporting the Palestinian aspiration for an independent state.

Since the onset of the conflict between Israel and Hamas on Oct. 7, both countries have held massive protests in support of Palestine.

Anwar himself participated in one of the rallies in mid-October in Kuala Lumpur. EFE