Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Malaysia

Newsline: Man charged for sparking fire at embassy in Washington, vandalizing another

A man was arrested and charged after allegedly vandalizing the Embassy of Austria and setting a fire at the Embassy of Malaysia in Northwest Washington, D.C. Versie Segers is accused of throwing an incendiary device, including an alcohol-soaked T-shirt, over the fence of the Embassy of Malaysia on Saturday. Court filings reveal that Secret Service agents assisted dousing the fire. Shortly afterwards, a burglar alarm was set off at the Embassy of Austria. Shattered glass and a large rock were discovered toward the back of the embassy, an affidavit said. Harm to the Embassy of Malaysia building is minimal, a spokeswoman told NBC Washington. The ambassador does not live in the building, but 60 people do work there. Segers faces charges on two counts for violating the property of a foreign government. No injuries were reported.



Newsline: Airport video shows North Korean embassy official with Kim Jong Nam murder suspects

An North Korean embassy official and a manager of Air Koryo, the national airline, met suspects wanted for the killing of Kim Jong Nam shortly after the murder, according to video recordings shown at the trial in Kuala Lumpur on Monday. Two women, Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong from Vietnam, and four men who are still at large, have been charged in the murder of the half-brother of the country’s leader, using banned chemical weapon VX at Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb. 13. Defense lawyers have said Siti Aisyah and Huong were duped into thinking they were playing a prank for a reality TV show. The four suspects, who were caught on airport camera talking to the women before they attacked Kim Jong Nam, were identified as North Koreans for the first time on Monday, a month since the trial began. Three of them were seen meeting a North Korean embassy official and the Air Koryo official, both unidentified, at the main airport terminal within an hour of the attack, lead police investigator Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz told the court. North Korea has vehemently denied accusations by South Korean and U.S. officials that Kim Jong Un’s regime was behind the killing.


Newsline: Malaysia mulls shuttering embassy in North Korea

Malaysia may end diplomatic relations with North Korea over its continued military aggression, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced today. He said the position was adopted after consulting with US President Donald Trump during Najib’s visit in September, and following the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, here. “I have stated that Malaysia has taken all steps to abide by all United Nation resolutions relating to the North Korean threat, including the reduction of Korean diplomatic officers in Malaysia. “We are considering our bonds with North Korea including cutting political and economic relations. Malaysia is considering closing our embassy in Pyongyang and moving it to Beijing,” Najib said today in Parliament. He reiterated that Malaysia discontinued the visa-free arrangement with North Korea following the diplomatic row over Jong-nam’s murder.


Newsline: Malaysia eyes closing embassy in North Korea

Malaysia is considering closing down its embassy in Pyongyang months after bilateral ties cooled following the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said his ministry will propose to the cabinet to relegate the mission’s service to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing as it is not safe to assign a new ambassador to Pyongyang, according local news reports. Anifah was speaking on Thursday at a dialogue with university students in Sarawak, a state in the Malaysian part of the island of Borneo. “We may or may not sever ties with North Korea but we will have the [mission] accredited to the Beijing embassy,” Anifah was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times online news site. Malaysia imposed a travel ban to North Korea on Sept. 28, citing escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula and Pyongyang’s missile tests as reasons.


Newsline: Bali-bound Malaysians advised to contact embassy or consulate

Malaysians arriving in Bali for holiday or on business are advised to contact the office of the Malaysian Honorary Consul in Bali or the Malaysian Embassy here to inform of their whereabouts. Malaysian Ambassador in Indonesia Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim said this would enable the consulate or embassy to contact them in case of an emergency in view of the current status of the Gunung Agung volcano in Bali. The Indonesian authorities have issued a warning of high alert on the possibility of the volcano erupting after 50 years of being dormant. Zahrain also suggested that Bali-bound Malaysian aircraft to make a public announcement for its Malaysian passengers to inform the consulate of their whereabouts upon arriving on the resort island. The local media today reported that more than 200,000 people have been evacuated to safer ground since the volcano began emitting thick smoke.


Newsline: Malaysia summons Myanmar ambassador over violence in Rakhine State

Malaysia on Tuesday summoned Myanmar’s ambassador to express displeasure over violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, which has displaced nearly 125,000 Rohingya Muslims. Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said the latest incidents of violence showed that the Myanmar government had made “little, if any” progress in finding a peaceful solution to problems facing the Rohingya minority, most of whom live in the northwest Myanmar state near the Bangladeshi border. “Given these developments, Malaysia believes that the matter of sustained violence and discrimination against the Rohingyas should be elevated to a higher international forum,” Anifah said in a statement. Muslim-majority Malaysia has been particularly outspoken in its concern about the plight of the Rohingya. Myanmar says its security forces are fighting a legitimate campaign against “terrorists” responsible for a string of attacks on police posts and the army since last October. The latest violence began on Aug. 25, when Rohingya insurgents attacked dozens of police posts and an army base. In a separate statement, Malaysia’s foreign affairs ministry issued a travel advisory asking Malaysians to defer all non-essential travel to Rakhine State, and for Malaysians in Myanmar to “take all necessary precautions” and be aware of the security situation.


Newsline: Malaysia’s ambassador to Chile robbed in Santiago

Robbers entered the home of Malaysia’s ambassador to Chile, Mohamad Rameez Yahaya, on Sunday, getting away with money, jewellery and other valuables said to be worth about 39 million Chilean pesos (about RM250,000). The robbery which took place in Las Condes, an upmarket suburb in the Chilean capital of Santiago, saw Rameez, his wife and their five children tied up by five robbers, according to news portal SoyChile. Meanwhile, another Chilean news portal, Biobiochile.cl, reported the robbers had been violent and also threatened the ambassador and his family. “They hit me in the head and also tied our hands. One of them also threatened to harm my wife, and cut off her ear. “After the robbers had taken all the jewellery belonging to my wife and children, they then asked for all the cash we had at home. “They even threatened to kill my children if I refused to give them money,” Rameez was quoted as saying by Biobiochile. Rameez told Chilean media that while the family were still traumautised by the incident, they were all just relieved to have escaped unharmed.