NGO: Evidence shows Israeli ships at Port Klang

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There is evidence to show that ships belonging to a company once owned by the Israeli government have had free access to Port Klang’s West Port, according to PKR-linked NGO Jingga 13.

Revealing documentation today from the Customs Department, Westports Malaysia and the company Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd, Jingga 13 said the ship, Zim Atlantic , that docked at Port Klang on Feb 16 had come directly from the Israeli port of Ashdod.

"This trade contributes to the Israeli economy, and we believe that Malaysia has contributed the money that is used to pay for the ammunition that kills the people of Palestine," said Jingga 13 chief coordinator Fariz Musa.

According to a Customs Department document dated Feb 15, Zim Atlantic had transported timber for a German company.

Jingga 13 said another ship belonging to the company, Zim USA , had arrived on the same day at the Westports terminal.

Both ships are registered in Liberia and carry the Liberian flag, said Fariz, but a check found that Zim USA was previously registered to Israel and was re-registered in 2010.

“The headquarters of Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd are in Haifa, Israel,” he said.

Jingga 13 plans to hold a protest on Wednesday, when another of Zim's ships is due, and invites all pro-Palestine NGOs to join the demonstration.

According to the shipping company's website, more than 10 of its ships are due to arrive in Port Klang over the next two months.

The company, which was owned by the Israeli government’s investment arm Israel Corporation, had been privatised in 1999 when Ofer Brothers Group became the controlling shareholder of Israel Corporation.

“In 2004, the Ofer Group-controlled Israel Corporation acquired the Israeli government's remaining Zim shares, completing the privatisation of the company, and ushering in a new era of streamlined decision-making processes,” it said.

‘Government culpable’

Also present today was deputy PKR Youth chief Azmizam Zamanhuri, who said that the government cannot wash its hands off the matter by saying that this is private trade.

“Any ship that sets anchor here must get approval from the government. The cargo must be approved by the government, and the government collects taxes and customs duties,” he said.

Earlier this month, International Trade and Industry deputy minister Mukhriz Mahathir (right) had said that the government cannot stop private companies from trading with Israel, but discourages it.

“Will Mr I-support-Israels-right- to-security ban companies in Msia from trading w/Israel if God forbid he becomes PM?" Mukhriz had asked on Twitter, referring to PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar has been under fire for saying that he supports efforts to safeguard Israel's security, in an interview with Wall Street Journal .

He later explained that what he meant was that he supports the two-state solution.

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