Ex-Malaysian PM says he rejects ‘Jewish propaganda’ about six million dead

After his recent tour of Britain, Mahathir Mohamad claims that sympathy for Holocaust victims was 'wasted and misplaced'


SELANGOR, MALAYSIA - NOVEMBER 02: Former Malaysian Prime Minister and founder of the Gerakan Tanah Air coalition Mahathir Mohamad leaves a candidate announcement ceremony ahead of the 15th General Election at Bangi Convention Centre on November 02, 2022 in Selangor, Malaysia. The Gerakan Tanah Air coalition, comprising of Malay-based parties, NGOs, academics and individuals, is led by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, 97, who will be defending the Langkawi seat. Nomination day is scheduled for November 5, following which Malaysians will head to the polls on November 19. (Photo by Annice Lyn/Getty Images)

One of the world’s most prominent Muslim politicians, the former prime minister of Malaysia, says he rejects “Jewish propaganda” about the Holocaust and does not mind being labelled antisemitic.

Questioned by the JC after his recent controversial tour of Britain, Mahathir Mohamad claimed that sympathy for Holocaust victims was “wasted and misplaced” and that Jewish people “dominate the banking system”.

His comments came as one of the mosques that hosted the 98-year-old’s UK lecture tour apologised for its part in his visit.

Mohamad, who throughout his long political career has repeatedly attacked Jews and Israel, delivered a lecture at the Dar Ul-Isra Mosque in Cardiff as he toured Britain last month.

Mohamad Alamgir, the mosque’s spokesman, has now written to Jewish leaders in the area to apologise for its involvement.

“The mosque was asked to host a talk for [Mohamad] and no one thought to look at his wider views,” Alamgir wrote.

“I deeply apologise on behalf of both myself and Dar Ul-Isra Mosque. We did not mean to cause any offence or hurt,” he continued.

“Our relationship is extremely valuable and important, and I pray this can be overlooked as an error in our due diligence. We stand against anyone who holds antisemitic views.”

Despite the move, Mohamad was unrepentant. Asked by the JC about his history of antisemitic remarks, he wrote: “I sympathised with the Jews of Europe who were being oppressed by the Nazis, being arrested and killed in their concentration camps.

“That was then, before the creation of the state of Israel, the oppression of the Arabs and the seizure of Palestine land to build Jewish settlements.”

He continued: “Jews suffered greatly under the Nazis. That experience should make you understand the sufferings of others… But you oppressed the Palestinians, hounded them from their country, arrested them and jailed them.

Very often you kill them. That is what you are doing to them in Jenin.” Mohamed continued: “With all your arrogance and cruelty how can I keep sympathising over your suffering during the Holocaust?… It was a sympathy that was misplaced and wasted.”

He added that Jews today are “no longer being subjected to yearly pogroms — genocide”. Instead, he said they “invented and dominate the banking system”.

The former prime minister also claimed that Jewish people have gained control of “much of the Western media” and “invented” nuclear weapons.

While accepting that the Shoah did take place, Mohamad, who dominated Malaysian politics for decades, leading the nation for 22 years from 1981 and again between 2018 and 2020, also questioned the number of Jews killed.

He said: “Your figure is six million… How did you arrive at this exact figure?

“It could have been more; it could have been less. If I said it was four million, I may be right or I may be wrong.”

He went on to claim that Jewish people do not show adequate gratitude to those who fought the Nazis, and reiterated his belief that Jews have “hooked noses”, saying: “Malays have flat noses. So what?”

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive