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Archive for Malaysia

Newsline: Israel barring Malaysian ‘Embassy to Palestine’ because of antisemitism

Israel has refused to grant officials from Malaysia access to Ramallah in light of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s antisemitic statements, The Jerusalem Post has learned. (https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Israel-barring-Malaysian-Embassy-to-Palestine-because-of-antisemitism-609646) As a result, Malaysia opened an “Embassy to Palestine” in Amman. Israel will not allow any Malaysian officials to visit Palestinian Authority offices in the West Bank, a break in policy toward other Muslim countries with which Israel does not have official relations. “Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has led an extremist anti-Israel and antisemitic policy, including prohibiting Israeli athletic delegations from entering his country, not allowing Malaysian citizens into Israel, and hostile declarations with an antisemitic tinge,” said the Foreign Ministry. “Such behavior does not allow for any possibility of a Malaysian foothold in Israeli territory.” Mohamad has called Jews “hook-nosed,” and said that “Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.” “Jews do a lot of wrong things,” the 93-year-old Malaysian prime minister said in June at Cambridge University, adding that if he could, he would invade Israel. Mohamad has said he is “glad to be labeled antisemitic,” and in a September event at Columbia University in New York asked why people think it’s a problem for him to criticize Jews.

Newsline: Caribbean officials linked to diplomatic passport sale

Politicians in the Caribbean are said to be involved in a corrupt trade of diplomatic posts in exchange for money, an Al Jazeera investigation has revealed. In Diplomats for Sale, Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit exposes politicians in Dominica and Grenada willing to accept secret campaign contributions from wealthy foreign businessmen in exchange for diplomatic passports. In Dominica, members of both main political parties appear willing to receive money in return for a political post, allegations they strongly deny. Undercover filming reveals how former Dominican Prime Minister Oliver Seraphin offered to broker a secret deal to hand out an ambassadorship in Asia for fees totalling $470,000. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/exclusive-caribbeanofficials-linked-diplomatic-passport-sale-191124104333064.html) The revelation comes days ahead of a general election in Dominica on December 6, in which Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is up for re-election. Al Jazeera’s investigation also reveals Skerrit allegedly took hundreds of thousands of dollars for his 2014 election campaign from an Iranian businessman named Alireza Monfared in exchange for an ambassadorship for Dominica to Malaysia.

Newsline: Malaysia to reopen embassy in Pyongyang next year

Malaysia will reopen its Pyongyang embassy in 2020, the country’s foreign minister announced, following its partial closure in the wake of a North Korean-orchestrated assassination in a Kuala Lumpur airport almost three years ago. A primary reason for the reopening is to “encourage” North Korean engagement with the U.S. and others, foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah said during a press conference in Moscow alongside Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. (https://www.nknews.org/2019/11/malaysia-to-reopen-embassy-in-pyongyang-next-year-foreign-minister-says/) “We look at the Korean peninsula seriously, we are very supportive of all efforts in trying to negotiate for peace, especially between DPRK and ROK,” Saifuddin said. “And because of that, Malaysia is very happy that there was this negotiation that has started between President Trump and Chairman Kim. We want this meeting to go on.” He added, however, that “for this kind of negotiation to proceed, you sometimes need to encourage people. And we thought we would want to encourage DPRK by showing our moral support, by reactivating our embassy in Pyongyang.”

An Indonesian migrant worker has died while lining up for a passport extension at the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, the embassy confirmed on Friday. He had been suffering from heart disease. At about 6:45 p.m. on Thursday Tamam Arsyad, 66, collapsed on the embassy’s doorstep at the front of the application line. The Bawean, East Java native had been a permanent resident of Malaysia for three years and was waiting for the consular office to open so he could extend his red identity card when he collapsed. “An applicant who was sitting behind him then laid him down on the floor. He passed away shortly after that,” the Indonesian Embassy wrote in a statement on its official Facebook page, noting that Tamam was immediately taken to the hospital. (https://www.thejakartapost.com/seasia/2019/11/01/indonesian-in-kl-dies-of-heart-attack-in-embassy-line.html) Indonesian Embassy coordinator for consular affairs Yusron Ambary said the line was not as packed as earlier reports had made it seem, as few other applicants were present.

Newsline: Malaysia to open embassy accredited to Palestine in Jordan

Malaysia will open an embassy accredited to Palestine to enable it to extend aid to the Palestinians more easily, says Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The Prime Minister said the embassy will be set up in Jordan. He was this when addressing leaders and representatives from 120 member countries of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) at the 18th NAM summit here on Friday (Oct 25). “We know that Israel will not allow Malaysia to open an embassy in the Occupied Territory. As such, we will open the embassy in Jordan,” said Dr Mahathir. (https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/10/25/malaysia-to-open-embassy-accredited-to-palestine-in-jordan-says-dr-m) The 94-year-old prime minister said the opening of the accredited embassy would allow Malaysia to extend aid to the Palestinians more easily, although he acknowledged that Israel will find a way to ensure no aid reaches Palestine.

Newsline: Security guard sacked from US embassy to ask if foreign missions immune to Malaysian law

A former security guard who says he was dismissed from employment at the US embassy here will write to the human resources minister to clarify whether foreign missions are immune to local laws. The man’s lawyer, Ragunath Kesavan, said this is to ensure that Malaysian employees get justice when they file action against employers who are from foreign states, whether in court or in a tribunal. “I will be writing to the minister (M Kula Segaran) to get an answer on whether foreign missions are shielded from action,” he told FMT. (https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2019/05/27/security-guard-sacked-from-us-embassy-to-ask-if-foreign-missions-immune-to-local-law/) Ragunath, a former Malaysian Bar president, was responding to the decision by Industrial Court chairman Gulam Muhiaddeen Abdul Aziz to adjourn proceedings to June 17. This came after the US embassy claimed that the court notice as well as the service to the embassy were defective. Ragunath’s legal firm is appearing for L Subramaniam, who was sacked 11 years ago. Kula Segaran only referred the case to the court last year. Subramaniam, who served the embassy for 21 years, is seeking reinstatement. The embassy, represented by Amerdeep Singh, said on May 24 that under Article 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the notice cannot be served directly to the embassy but must go through diplomatic channels. Amerdeep also said his client must be given 60 days to respond. According to him, the embassy also claims that the notice must be directed to the US government. Gulam instructed Subramaniam to respond to these objections on June 17. PSM central committee member S Arutchelvan, who helped Subramaniam file the case, said the embassy’s refusal to submit to local jurisdiction only revealed its arrogance.

Newsline: Malaysia looking to establish embassy in Palestine

Malaysia hopes to open an embassy in Palestine even though it may be tough going, said Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah. He said that while it is impractical to do so given the situation, the move is important to enable Malaysia’s extension of aid to the Palestinians, who have been oppressed by the Tel Aviv regime for decades. (https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2019/04/16/malaysia-looking-to-establish-embassy-in-palestine-says-foreign-minister/1743849) “When? That is the second question. But the ambition and commitment must be there, and preparations must start. “It is the duty and the responsibility of sovereign countries (such as Malaysia) to help the people in countries facing difficult situations and injustices for years, since 1948 (when Israel was formed),” he said.