Monday February 27, 2012
Othman picked as envoy to US
By PAUL GABRIEL
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Datuk Othman Hashim has been nominated to be the new ambassador to the United States.
The senior career diplomat is said to be the only one consi- dered to replace Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, who has returned following a two-and-a-half year stint in Washington.
Dr Jamaluddin will serve as Special Envoy to the United States with his ministerial ranking retained.
Diplomatic officials said the US State Department had already granted agreement to Othman's appointment.
Othman had previously served as deputy head of mission in China, ambassador to the Czech Republic and Wisma Putra deputy secretary-general (1) before his posting to Geneva in 2009.
His nomination will restore a career diplomat's posting to the United States after the political appointment of Dr Jamaluddin, a former minister who is the Rompin MP.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said he was confident that Othman would do well in Washington, adding that his UN experience in Geneva would be crucial.
“We thought that Othman was the right man for the job and the Prime Minister gave his approval,” he told The Star.
Othman will receive his credentials fr om the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and a date would be set for him to present them to President Barack Obama at the White House.
Anifah thanked Dr Jamaluddin for performing his tasks with distinction, saying his services were still needed as special envoy.
“He has done a great deal in furthering Malaysia's interests in the US and has helped put our relations on a firmer footing,'' he added.
Dr Jamaluddin pledged to complement the new ambassador's efforts to break new ground with the United States.
“I thank the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister for the continued trust placed on me and will continue to do my best in my new role,'' he added.