Cabinet never discussed the proposal to allow the entry of Palestinian war refugees: Ewon
20 November 2023
By Nabalu News Journalist
KENINGAU: The coalition cabinet has never discussed any proposal to allow the entry of Palestinian war refugees into the country, said Malaysian Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Datuk Ewon Benedick.
According to him, the cabinet has also never discussed the issue of support for Hamas since the Israel-Palestine conflict escalated a few weeks ago.
"Many views have been expressed on various platforms regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict. I would like to state that the federal government cabinet has never discussed any proposal regarding the entry of Palestinian war refugees into the country or any support for Hamas.
"The cabinet only agreed to channel humanitarian aid through donations to help the people of Palestine, whether they are Muslims or Christians who have become victims of the war conflict in the region," he said.
Ewon, who is also the President of the United Progressive Kinabalu Organization (UPKO), expressed the party's position to prioritise the hardships of the Malaysian people, especially in Sabah, who require government protection and at the same time, learn lessons from the issue of foreign immigrants that began with the acceptance of Filipino war refugees into the state.
"If the issue of Palestinian war refugees is brought up in the federal cabinet meeting, I will certainly express my views and position.
"Firstly, in the context of Sabah, the government must learn from the issue of foreign immigrants in Sabah, which has become increasingly complex due to their initial acceptance as war refugees from the Philippines.
"Secondly, based on poverty data reports, eight districts in Sabah are listed as the poorest in Malaysia. Therefore, humanitarian aid and other government assistance should be focused on efforts to lift these districts out of poverty.
"These are the views and positions that I will convey to the cabinet if this matter is discussed. So far, the federal cabinet has never discussed any proposal to allow the entry of Palestinian war refugees into the country," he said.
Ewon made these statements while speaking at the "mirumo-rumo" program organised by UPKO Keningau Division here on Sunday.