Malaysia warns EU ambassador

Malaysia has warned the EU ambassador here not to meddle in its affairs after remarks criticising affirmative action policies that favour the country’s majority ethnic Malays.

Malaysia warns EU ambassador
Malaysia has warned the EU ambassador here not to meddle in its affairs after remarks criticising affirmative action policies that favour the country’s majority ethnic Malays.

Weekend news reports said Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said the envoy, Thierry Rommel, should not comment on internal politics.

“An envoy should not make any comments pertaining to the policies of the country he is attached to,” Najib said, according to the Star daily.

“This can be construed as trying to interfere in the internal administration of the country,” he added.

“The duty of an envoy is to foster closer bilateral ties.”

Rommel had on Thursday criticised Malaysia’s racial quota policy favouring Malays, saying it was detrimental to the country and could hinder a free-trade agreement.

He said Malaysia’s attractiveness to foreign investors had weakened because of education and economic policies favouring Malays and indigenous groups.

Rommel urged Malaysia to roll back the racial quota policies, saying that protectionism in the policies narrowed competition and efficiency.

Najib said that he would consult with the foreign ministry before deciding if Kuala Lumpur would formally protest Rommel’s comments.

Malaysia since the 1970s has used affirmative action policies to help close a wealth gap between Malays and the minority Chinese community.

The country’s 27 million population is 60 percent ethnic Muslim-Malays, 26 percent Chinese and eight percent Indian.

Last Mod: 24 Haziran 2007, 14:28
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