No intent to meddle in Malaysia's affairs: China envoy

KUALA LUMPUR • In a bid to prevent a diplomatic row from developing, the Chinese envoy to Malaysia, Dr Huang Huikang, yesterday said that he never had any intention to interfere in the country's domestic affairs.

Dr Huang clarified that, up to now, he had not received any "summons" from Wisma Putra to explain his statement made last Friday in Petaling Street - contrary to what had been reported in the media.

"My statements were blown out of proportion. This controversy is stirring up a diplomatic row and friction between Malaysian ministers.

"I do not hope to see this happening as China and Malaysia are friends and partners," Dr Huang said at the Chinese Embassy.

He said his visit to and comments made at Petaling Street had been taken out of context and misinterpreted.

"The statement I made was sincere. I was hoping to tell the whole world - including Chinese tourists who are coming here in the tens of thousands - that Malaysia is safe despite the threat of a riot."

Dr Huang said he had met several Malaysian ministers and all reached the consensus that the close bilateral ties should not be affected by this "isolated" incident.

"I studied philosophy and international law. I know that the same language can be interpreted differently in different communities, at different times and in different cultures," he said.

According to Dr Huang, a reporter had asked him a hypothetical question on the possibility of race riots in Malaysia after his walkabout in Petaling Street.

"I told him I could only give a general and standard diplomatic reply without mentioning Malaysia."

He said Chinese diplomats had been repeating this statement for the past 66 years.

"It is our universal value," he said.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2015, with the headline 'No intent to meddle in Malaysia's affairs: China envoy'. Print Edition | Subscribe