Malaysian parliament member Nurul Izzah Anwar has hit out at the international trade and industries minister who said the government would reconsider its trade relations with multinational companies having links with Israel, saying it was a ploy to divert attention from the fact that local companies also have trade ties with Israel.
"This was not publicly known until the recent admission by the Minister," said Nurul Izzah, referring to the minister of trade Datuk Seri Mustapha Mohamed.
Mustapha announced yesterday that the government was reviewing its business with corporations from China, the United States and Japan operating here that have ties with Israel, in response to the escalating violence in Gaza against Palestinians.
In her statement, Nurul Izzah cited information from the Israeli Statistics Bureau that Malaysia in 2011 had exported palm oil, coconut and vegetable oil worth some USD19.41 million, rubber worth USD11.54 million and other products to Israel, which Malaysia does not recognise or have diplomatic ties with.
"The government must explain whether our products were exported to Israel directly, and which companies were involved, she said.