No discussions in Cabinet to bring Palestinian refugees in, support Hamas - EwonASYIKIN ASMIN
KENINGAU - The proposal to permit the entry of Palestinian refugees into the country has not been discussed in any Federal Cabinet meetings.
Malaysian Entrepreneurs and Cooperatives Development Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick also stressed that the cabinet has also never discussed the issue of supporting Hamas since the Israeli aggression on Palestinians peaked a few weeks back.
"Many views are expressed on various public discussion platforms related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I would like to state that the federal government cabinet has never discussed any proposal regarding the entry of Palestinian war refugees into this country or any support for Hamas.
"The Cabinet only agreed to channel humanitarian aid through donation collection to help the Palestinian people whether they are Muslims or Christians who are victims of the war conflict in the region," he said this while speaking at the 'mirumo-rumo' (relaxing) programme organised by UPKO Keningau Division here, on Sunday.
Ewon, who is also the President of the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO), expressed his party's stance to prioritise the hardships of Malaysians, especially in Sabah who need protection from the government.
He said the government should take lessons from the problem of foreign immigrants that started from the admission of Filipino war refugees into the state.
"If the issue of Palestinian war refugees is brought to the federal cabinet meeting, of course I will express my views and position.
"First, in the context of Sabah, the government must take lessons from the problem of foreign immigrants in Sabah which is increasingly complex because it starts from their acceptance as refugees from the civil war in the Philippines.
"Secondly, based on the poverty data report, eight districts in Sabah are listed as the poorest in Malaysia. So humanitarian aid and other government aid should be focused on efforts to bring these districts out of poverty.
"This is the view and position that I will convey to the cabinet if this matter is discussed.
"However, so far the federal cabinet has never discussed any proposal to bring in Palestinian war refugees into this country," he said.