KL Sends Protest Note To EU Over Envoy Rommel's Remarks

November 17, 2007
MELAKA, Nov 16 (Bernama) — Wisma Putra today sent a note of protest to the European Union (EU) office in Brussels over the remarks made by its former ambassador to Malaysia Thierry Rommel which it considered as tantamount to meddling in the country’s domestic affairs.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar described Rommel’s criticism of Malaysia as unreasonable and outlandish.
“As a diplomat, he should be more cautious when issuing statements, what more when his opinion reflects bias,” he told reporters at Seri Negeri here today.
Earlier, Syed Hamid had received the Darjah Gemilang Seri Melaka (DGSM) award which carries the title “Datuk Seri” from Melaka Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob, bestowed in conjunction with the latter’s 69th birthday celebration last month.
In an interview with Reuters, Rommel had claimed that Malaysia was living under “an effective state of emergency” after police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse an anti-government protest in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday.
Rommel, who completed his tour of duty on Tuesday, also criticised the elections in Malaysia, describing them as unfair, and chided the government’s affirmative action to assist bumiputeras.
Syed Hamid said that as Rommel had ended his tenure, Wisma Putra had sent the “aide memoire” (memorandum) through the EU charge d’affaires here.
“We feel that it is appropriate that his term has ended. While here, he had not helped to enhance the relations between Malaysia and EU. We are very happy that he has left Kuala Lumpur,” he said, adding that he hoped that Rommel’s successor would be able to forge closer relations between Malaysia and the EU.
“And, it should not be somebody that likes to put his fingers into our domestic affairs,” said Syed Hamid.
On the 13th Asean Summit in Singapore next week, he said key among the issues was forging the Asean Community in an effort to strive towards a cohesive cooperation, collaboration and union.
“We will also deliberate on global warming, energy and environmental issues, and a declaration on them would be issued,” he said.
He said a blueprint on the economy would be signed by Asean economic ministers while its declaration would be signed by the Asean leaders.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would attend the four-day summit beginning Monday.