Published: Friday June 22, 2012 MYT 8:45:00 PM
S'pore envoy summoned to Wisma Putra over diplomats' participation in illegal rally
PUTRAJAYA: Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman summoned Singapore High Commissioner Ong Keng Yong to Wisma Putra Friday afternoon to convey the Malaysian Government's displeasure over the participation of three Singapore diplomats in the illegal Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28.
He said his ministry had received reports from the Malaysian authority on the participation of the three diplomats in that illegal rally, as as the Foreign Minister, he regarded the matter with utmost seriousness.
"When I met with the heads of Asean diplomatic missions in Kuala Lumpur on June 11, I had raised the issue of the involvement of foreign diplomats during the illegal rally. This is because such involvement is considered as an activity going beyond the boundary that may lead to negative perceptions to the existing good relations between Malaysia and their respective countries," Anifah said in a statement Friday.
"I understand that all diplomatic missions in Malaysia have the responsibilities to monitor developments in this country and report to their respective governments. Nevertheless, I, at the same time, believe that diplomats must be mindful of the sensitivities of the host country and how countries in our part of the world maintain good relations for common good. I also believe that diplomats need not be directly involved in the illegal procession," the statement said.
"During my meeting with Ong Keng Yong this afternoon, I again explained the position of the Malaysian Government that the direct participation of diplomats in the illegal rally is an inappropriate move.
"Such inappropriate move had indeed given rise to negative perceptions on the bilateral relationship between Malaysia and Singapore when in actual fact, the ties between the two neighbours and as partners in Asean are expanding. The leaders of Malaysia and Singapore have shown strong commitment to further strengthening and elevating the partnership between the two countries to greater heights for mutual benefit.
"I also stressed to Ong Keng Yong that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would not hesitate to take stronger diplomatic actions against diplomats who are found to have stepped beyond the diplomatic norms applicable under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961 and Malaysian laws.
"I have also communicated over the telephone with my counterpart, His Excellency K. Shanmugam, to inform him about my meeting with Ong Keng Yong.
"During that positive telephone conversation, the Foreign Minister of Singapore and I agreed to move the constructive efforts forward to further strengthen the relations and cooperation between Malaysia and Singapore," Anifah said.