Up to billions worth, database shows Malaysia's tradings with Israel for the past 28 years

20 Dec 2023 06:16pm
Illustrative purposes. Photo from 123rf.
Illustrative purposes. Photo from 123rf.

SHAH ALAM - It has emerged that according to an economy website - tradingeconomics.com, Malaysia has been actively trading with Israel despite not having official diplomatic relations.

According to the United Nations Comtrade Database, Israel imports from Malaysia was US$10.69 million last year, while Israel exports to Malaysia shows US$74.41 million last year.

Mineral fuels, oils and distillation products were among the highest Israel exports to Malaysia marking US$48.24 million. While animals, vegetable fats and oil and cleavage products marks the highest Israel imports products from Malaysia with $9.73 million.

The website showed data of tradings for the past 28 years from 1995 up to present day, with 2018 being the highest at US$304 million in terms of import from Malaysia. As for Israel exports to Malaysia, the highest was in 2013 with US$1.46 billion.

Trades between Malaysia and Israel was part of a topic discussion during Sinar Daily's The Palestinian Diaries: Boycott Disinvest Sanction Companies Explicitly Involved with Israel [Episode 8] with Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Malaysia Chairman Professor Dr Mohd Nazari Ismail, who acknowledged the data, adding that the statistics would likely come from Israel.

"The statistics comes from Israeli website and trading economy has probably got it from Israeli websites.

"I did ask Subang Jaya Member of Parliament Wong Chen about this, on how come we are still having trading relationship based on the data we can get from the website, and he said he is not aware and he is going to ask the relevant Ministry to investigate maybe the value chain somewhere along the line," he said.

Nazari further cited an example where an Israeli brand jeans was sold in a local supermarket with Hebrew letters.

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"We found out the company is an Israeli company but when we ask the supermarket on how come you are stocking and selling Israeli jeans, they told us that product is actually imported from China.

"So the manufacturer is actually China, the brand is Israeli but if you look at the code its actually 729 so its Israeli.

"I don't know what's the truth hidden behind it but of course the supermarket has decided not to sell the jeans anymore but where actually the source comes from?," he questioned.

Commenting further, Nazari said there were allegedly shipping companies from Israel would swap their flags to another country when they are about to dock and unload goods in Port Klang.

"When they approach Malaysian waters, they change their flag from the Israeli flag to another country's flag, like Panama. The ship is owned by an Israeli company, but it sails under Panama's flag.

"Malaysian authorities allow the ship to proceed or unload when it bears Panama's flag," he added.

Nazari also did not deny that import and export between Malaysia and Israel were impossible as Malaysia hosted many major congolomartes and international companies on homesoil. The trading, he said, could have been done directly between business-to-business as opposed to the government or its agencies.

When contacted, Wong urged Sinar Daily to seek answers from the relevant ministry.

This morning, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that Israel-based shipping company ZIM has been banned from docking at any Malaysian port with immediate effect.

He stressed that the sanctions were a response to Israel's actions that set aside the basic principles of humanity and violate international law through the ongoing massacre and cruelty against Palestinians.