By Palestine Chronicle Staff
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) Malaysia, has criticized the cancelation of a talk by Australian academic Peter Slezak on Palestine, following what the movement called a group “lobbied the state government to ban his talk,” in a statement published on April 23, 2017.
The movement noted that it was a faith group that stood behind the cancelation of the talk although that “the conflict in Palestine is political not religious.”
“The moderator of Prof Peter’s night session with the much mixed audience at KLSCAH wrote, “We definitely need more forums like this to create greater awareness on the part of the Malaysian public. I would suggest we start with a dialogue between people of different faiths (including atheists) on the Palestine issue next round,” the statement read.
— Gerakbudaya Books (@GerakBudaya) April 14, 2017
Malaysia does not maintain official diplomatic ties with Israel although there is indirect trade links between the two countries. BDS Malaysia was founded in 2015 by a group of NGOs as part of the global BDS movement. The movement has been active since then organizing talks and activities, including a conference held at the University of Malaya in September 2015.
The Malaysia public tends to be supportive of the Palestinian cause, although there are small groups in the country, mainly Christian groups, which seems to be supportive of Israel, including organizing religious tours to Israel.