Malaysia investigates citizen for pro-Israel comments News
Kistara, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Malaysia investigates citizen for pro-Israel comments

Authorities in Malaysia have opened an investigation into a local man on Wednesday for expressing support for diplomatic relations with Israel during an interview with an Israeli media personality.

The Royal Malaysian Police confirmed in a statement that 36-year-old Victor Yong has been taken into custody to aid in their probe under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948, Section 505(b) of the Penal Code, and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. The Johor Bahru Magistrate Court has granted permission for Victor to be remanded for questioning from December 6, 2023, until December 8, 2023.

Victor’s alleged offense stems from statements he made to Israeli social media influencer Hananya Naftali during a video call uploaded to platform X (formerly known as Twitter). During the interview with Hananya Naftali, Victor claimed that the Arab community has been actively spreading radical Arab terrorism in Malaysia, aiming to manipulate the mindset of Malaysians and create animosity towards the Jewish state. He accused Hamas and Fatah of fueling hatred against Israel among Malaysians through the dissemination of false information on the internet. Moreover, Victor proposed that Malaysia should follow in the footsteps of Arab countries such as Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates by establishing diplomatic relations with Israel. He suggested the establishment of an Israeli embassy in Malaysia, emphasizing that it would foster cultural exchange and promote a better understanding of the Jewish state.

Malaysia has no formal relations with Israel and sharpened criticism of the nation during recent Gaza clashes. Last month, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim strongly condemned Israel’s bombing of civilians in tweets rejecting “all forms of terrorism.”