Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad announced yesterday, 22 May, that the government is offering scholarships to Palestinian students to pursue higher education at 12 Malaysian universities
New Straits Times reported that scholarships worth RM11.47 million will be provided through the Palestinian Cultural Organisation Malaysia (PCOM). The funds are reportedly provided by the institutions themselves.
Mahathir was speaking at an Iftar event organised by PCOM at Puspanitapuri in Putrajaya yesterday. Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah, several cabinet ministers, and former Hamas chairman Khaled Mashal were also present at the event.
The universities named include Sunway University, UCSI, Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP), and more
Malay Mail reported that under an initiative by Education Minister Maszlee Malik, Palestinian students can now pursue bachelor, masters, and PhD courses in:
- Sunway University,
- AlBukhary International University,
- Mahsa University,
- Management and Science University,
- Kolej Universiti Islam Perlis,
- Multimedia University,
- UCSI University,
- Universiti Teknologi Petronas,
- Universiti Tenaga Nasional,
- City University Malaysia,
- Universiti Kuala Lumpur, and
- Universiti Utara Malaysia.
Mahathir also congratulated selected Palestinian students during the event.
"To all Palestinian students who are selected, congratulations and all the best in your studies," he was quoted as saying by New Straits Times.
The Prime Minister then reiterated Malaysia's stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and slammed western countries for their "hypocrisy"
"Standing up for Palestine is a moral obligation and Malaysia will continue to condemn Israel for its aggression and cruelties on Palestinians," Mahathir said, according to New Straits Times.
He then claimed that western countries have been "oblivious" to Israel's atrocities.
"Nations that insist on being the defenders of human rights seem helpless, or are intentionally being oblivious to Israel's murderous rampage and remain silent over the widespread belief of Israel's nuclear arsenal and weapons of mass destruction," the Prime Minister was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today.
He added that Malaysia will not be silent over the "hypocrisy of the powerful nations in dealing with the Palestinian plight and their continuous support for Israel's crimes against humanity".