Did US impose sanctions on Malaysia as State Sponsor of Terror?!

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Did the US just impose sanctions on Malaysia, after listing it as a state sponsor of terror?! Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!


Claim : US Imposed Sanctions On Malaysia As State Sponsor Of Terror!

This message has gone viral on WhatsApp, claiming that the US just imposed sanctions on Malaysia, after listing it as a state sponsor of terror!

Reuters , 10th May- U.S has imposed sanctions on four Malaysian based companies, making it the first country in SEA to be listed as a state sponsor of terror, this comes after officials from the U.S State Department arrived in Malaysia over the week and held discussions with Malaysian officials including Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

According to sources who spoke under the condition of anonymity, the conversation between U.S officials and Malaysian officials were bitter and short as U.S attempts to curb Iran and its proxies of financing in the region.

According to the source who familiar with discussions, U.S officials have said to request Malaysian officials to tone down their support for Hamas and Gaza both publicly and privately and impose anti-terrorism measures.

In recent days the State Department has accused Malaysia of helping Iran to sell its sanctioned oil via ship-to-ship transfers in Malaysian waters and using sanctions busting methods to obscure the origin of Iranian oil.

According to sanctions official Nelson McBride “ We have seen in recent months on how Malaysia is playing a vital role in terrorist financing with Iran, Russia and Hamas. This include allowing terrorist individuals to access Malaysian banking system for the purposes of money laundering, allowing ship-to-ship transfers of oil in its waters and promoting terrorist groups like Hamas in the country.”

He further added that he found it strange on how Malaysia is able to export more oil than it produces, “ I find it quite strange that Malaysia which produces 300,000 barrels/month are able to export nearly 6,000,000 barrels/month to China and India. It far exceeds their production capacity.”

U.S State Department officials also commented that they will be monitoring closely the situation in Malaysia in the coming months and have said the U.S will not hesitate to impose harsher economic crippling sanctions on Malaysia if needed to.😟

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Did US impose sanctions on Malaysia as State Sponsor of Terror?!


Truth : US Did Not Impose Sanctions On Malaysia As State Sponsor Of Terror!

This is yet another example of fake news circulating on WhatsApp, and social media, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : US Did Not Impose Sanctions On Malaysia!

First, let me point out that the US government has not imposed sanctions on Malaysia, nor has it labelled Malaysia as a State Sponsor of Terror. If that happened, it would have been major news, covered widely across the world!

Yet, there was no such coverage by the mainstream media. Neither was there any announcement by the US government, nor the Malaysian government.

Fact #2 : Reuters Denied The Viral Report

On 11 May 2024, Reuters denied posting the viral news report, stating:

Any claims that Reuters reported that Malaysia is the first country in Southeast Asia to be listed by the United States as a state sponsor of terror are false. Reuters did not report this.

When I searched earlier, I could also find no such report by Reuters, or any other news agency for the matter.

Fact #3 : US Embassy Called It Fake News

On 11 May 2024, the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur labelled it as fake news, stating:

FAKE NEWS ALERT: The United States has not imposed any new sanctions on Malaysian companies nor listed Malaysia as a state sponsor of terror. The hoax below circulating on WhatsApp and other social media is fake news.

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Fact #4 : Malaysia Government Confirmed It As Fake News

On 11 May 2024, Malaysia Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil confirmed (translated) that the viral message is fake news:

I have received a viral message claiming Malaysia is the first ASEAN country to be sanctioned by the United States.

Based on the denial of the Reuters Press Team on X, and the confirmation I received from the US Embassy, I confirmed that the viral message is false.

Fact #5 : Four Companies In Malaysia Were Sanctioned In 2023

The US government only imposed sanctions on four companies based in Malaysia, which were accused of helping Iran produce drones. However, those sanctions were limited to those four companies, and were imposed last year – in December 2023.

The viral fake news may have been “triggered” by the US Treasury’s Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson’s interview at the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, 9 May 2024, in which he told the Malaysian media that those sanctions had been impactful:

This is a powerful tool that we find is effective, in the context of most of this activity is designed to drive profit or provide capital for ongoing operations, and our sanctions have the ability to disrupt both of those features. So from that perspective, we think of course that it’s impactful.

Nelson also confirmed that he had a meeting with Malaysia Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution over the matter.

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Fact #6 : Malaysia Rebuffed US On Iran Oil Sales

Brian Nelson also brought up the issue of Malaysian companies being involved in the sale of Iranian oil with Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution:

I would only say we have seen and we’ve promulgated some sort of guidance to the (Malaysian) marine sector about the type of services that they are engaging in.

These are ship-to-ship transfers, particularly at night, which we see from time to time. They are really designed to obfuscate the origin of the commodity, in this case, Iranian oil.

Nasution told Nelson that Malaysia will only recognise sanctions imposed by the United Nations, and not by individual countries like the United States:

I emphasised that we will only recognise sanctions if they are imposed by the United Nations Security Council. The delegation from the US respected our stance.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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