Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced on Wednesday that ships flying the Israeli flag will not be allowed to dock in Malaysia, effective immediately. Additionally, any vessels en route to Israel are also prohibited from loading cargo at Malaysian ports.

This measure notably affects Zim Integrated Shipping Services, an Israeli shipping company previously permitted in Malaysian ports. Prime Minister Anwar has instructed the country’s Transport Ministry to implement this permanent ban immediately.

Furthermore, the Malaysian government has decided to prohibit the docking of ships bearing the Israeli flag and any ship bound for Israel from loading cargo at Malaysian ports. These bans are effective immediately, presenting a significant dilemma for shipping companies with links to Israeli ports.

The decision by Malaysia is attributed to “rising global anger over the increasing number of Palestinian deaths in the Gaza Strip.”

This ban is expected to significantly impact Zim Integrated Shipping Services, which, according to its official website, operates 22 routes that connect Asia with other continents via Malaysian ports.

Despite the potential implications, Prime Minister Anwar stated that Malaysia’s trade is not expected to be affected by this decision.

According to a Bloomberg report on the 20th, Israel’s economy heavily relies on maritime trade. However, the country is not a major flag state compared to larger ones like Panama, Liberia, and the Marshall Islands, given its comparatively smaller fleet size.

On the other hand, Malaysia hosts the Port Klang, Southeast Asia’s second-largest port. This port is strategically located at the intersection of the world-renowned Maritime Silk Route, the Strait of Malacca, and serves as a key gateway and transshipment hub for cargo passing through the South China Sea. In 2021, Port Klang was ranked as the world’s twelfth busiest port.

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