Malaysia condemns move to make Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has condemned the United States' decision to recognise the city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying he strongly rejects it.

In a bold statement against the US government, Najib urged all Muslims in the country to also take his lead and make their voices of disapproval heard across the world.

Najib, who is also Umno president, said the party has never, and would never, compromise on any matters involving contempt against Islam, be it in the country or abroad.

"This week, we were shocked by the US' suggestion to declare Baitul Maqdis (Jerusalem), which is one of the three holy places of Islam, as Israel's capital city.

"I believe and am confident that we as Muslims will never be able to accept this fact forever.

"I, as the president of Umno and Malaysia's Prime Minister, call on all in the party as well as Muslims in the country, to make our voices heard, so the world can hear us.

"That we strongly reject the suggestion to make Baitul Maqdis as the capital of Israel!" he said in his policy speech at the Umno general assembly, here, yesterday.

US President Donald Trump, on Wednesday, recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, claiming that the state is a sovereign nation with the right to determine its own capital.

The decision was met with widespread opposition and condemnation across the Muslim world as well as from European nations, as leaders warned of the violence that could arise from the announcement.

While Israel has responded with satisfaction, several countries have come out publicly to voice their disagreement, with even US allies urging Trump to refrain from taking steps they fear could ignite unrest across the region.

Jerusalem's status is one of the most sensitive issues fueling the Israel-Palestinian conflict, with Israel claiming the city in entirety as its capital, while Palestinians want the eastern sector to be the seat of government for a future state.