Malaysian National News Agency
Don't Meddle In Malaysia's Domestic Affairs, Warns Najib
June 23, 2007 20:03 PM
KUANTAN, June 23 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak expressed regret over the statement by the Ambassador and Head of the European Commission Delegation to Malaysia with regard to the New Economic Policy (NEP), saying that the envoy should not interfere in Malaysia's domestic affairs and policies.
Refuting the facts presented by the envoy, the Deputy Prime Minister said that as an ambassador accredited to this country, Thierry Rommel should play a role to forge closer relations between the two countries.
"Normally, an ambassador or envoy does not comment on the affairs of the country they are accredited to. This has been the practice because when we comment on the policies adopted by the country concerned, it means that we are interfering in the affairs of the host country," he told reporters after launching the national level Campaign On Early Intervention To Prevent Children's Disability, here.
Najib said this when asked to comment on Rommel's remarks on Thursday which were carried by foreign wire agencies.
A foreign wire report quoted Rommel as saying that the government was using the NEP as an excuse to practise "significant protectionism of its own market" and urged the Malaysian government to roll back its affirmative action policy for the Malays.
The foreign news reports had stated that the NEP gave a host of privileges in jobs, education, business and other areas to ethnic Malays.
As part of the NEP, all public-listed companies are required to allocate 30 per cent of their shares to the Malays. Companies without Malay directors or employees are excluded from lucrative government contracts, the report said.
On Malaysia's action or official protest against the statement, Najib said: "Wait first, I will seek the opinion of the Foreign Ministry."
"The role of an ambassador is to forge close relations between the country he represents and the host nation. In terms of diplomatic principles and practices, Rommel's remarks contradict the practice that we adopt.
"What was raised can certainly be disputed factually," the Deputy Prime Minister added.
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