Malaysia to summon China ambassador over perceived interference in domestic affairs

Malaysia is expected to summon China's ambassador Dr Huang Huikang (centre, in red) on Monday over his statements made during his visit to Petaling Street on Friday.
Malaysia is expected to summon China's ambassador Dr Huang Huikang (centre, in red) on Monday over his statements made during his visit to Petaling Street on Friday.PHOTO: THE STAR

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia is expected to summon China's ambassador on Monday (Sept 28) over his statements seen as interference in domestic affairs.

Dr Huang Huikang was quoted by the local media as saying that China was against those who resort to violence to disrupt public order, an obvious reference to the threat by a group to hold demonstration in Petaling Street, where Chinatown is located.

"The Chinese government opposes terrorism and any form of discrimination against races and any form of extremism," he told reporters.

The Star Online reported that Wisma Putra, or the Malaysian foreign ministry, will seek an explanation from Dr Huang on his comments made during his visit to Petaling Street on Friday.

Dr Huang also warned that Beijing would not fear voicing out against incidents which threaten the interests of the country, infringe upon the rights of its citizens in doing business, or disrupt the relationship between Malaysia and China.

"Nobody has the right to undermine the authority of the law or trample the rule of law. The Chinese government has always pursued peaceful coexistence in international relationship and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries," Malaysiakini news portal quoted Dr Huang as saying.

"But with regard to the infringement on China's national interests, violations of legal rights and interests of Chinese citizens and businesses, which may damage the friendly relationship between China and the host country, we will not sit idly by."

Officials contacted by The Star Online questioned the ambassador's remarks.

"Malaysia views his remarks seriously. It's tantamount to interfering in Malaysia's domestic affairs," said an official.

It is understood that the Prime Minister's Office has been informed of the summon. Prime Minister Najib Razak is currently on a working trip to New York, reported The Star Online.

Dr Huang's comments came as a red shirt rally was planned for Saturday, sparking fears of violence in Petaling Street. But the rally ran into problems when Sungai Besar Umno chief Jamal Md Yunos was arrested for threatening to cause a riot in Petaling Street, The Star Online reported.

Another person, Mohd Ali Baharom, who claimed to be one of the organisers, had earlier vowed to attack Petaling Street every week until shop lots are allocated to Malays and Indians. But he later backtracked on his warning and called off the rally.