JAKARTA • Indonesia will not be affected by US President Donald Trump's ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said, as he asked Indonesians not to worry.
He did not criticise Mr Trump's controversial move, with other leaders in the Asia-Pacific region also refraining from doing so.
In Malaysia, Prime Minister Najib Razak did not issue any public comments on the ban, drawing criticism from opposition politicians, who called his silence "disturbing".
In Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the White House had assured Australia that its passport holders would not be affected, as he resisted pressure to join other leaders in publicly denouncing the travel ban.
Responding yesterday to The Straits Times' queries, US Embassy in Singapore spokesman Camille Dawson said it had received several inquiries about the order, but added: "The suspension provided for in the executive order does not include Singapore, and the US Embassy in Singapore continues to welcome and encourage Singaporeans' travel and study in the United States."
We will not be affected by Trump's decision to ban refugees from Syria and six other Muslim-majority countries.
INDONESIAN PRESIDENT JOKO WIDODO
NO WORRIES FOR SINGAPOREANS
The suspension provided for in the executive order does not include Singapore, and the US Embassy in Singapore continues to welcome and encourage Singaporeans' travel and study in the United States.
SPOKESMAN CAMILLE DAWSON, of the US Embassy in Singapore.
On Monday, President Joko said: "We will not be affected by Trump's decision to ban refugees from Syria and six other Muslim- majority countries.
"There is no direct impact on Indonesia," he was quoted as saying by the Antara news agency.
Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi had earlier advised Indonesian nationals living in the United States to stay calm after Mr Trump signed an executive order last Friday that severely restricted immigration and suspended all refugee admissions.
Ms Retno instructed Indonesian representatives in Washington, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco to open 24-hour hotline services in anticipation of any possible impact.
"The Indonesian government, through Indonesia's representatives across the United States, will keep on monitoring the ongoing developments and will anticipate any impact on Indonesian citizens," said Mr Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, director of protection of Indonesian citizens and legal entities.
In Malaysia, the opposition criticised Datuk Seri Najib for staying silent, saying he is consigning his Global Movement of Moderates initiative to the grave if he is not prepared to be part of the global outrage.
In a blog post, opposition politician Lim Kit Siang blasted Mr Najib for his silence, noting that the Malaysian Prime Minister had lashed out at Myanmar and its leader, Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, over the Rohingya issue, but is "so tame and tardy" when the Muslim world is outraged by Mr Trump's executive order against refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Australian Prime Minister Turnbull also declined to join in the chorus of condemnation against the ban, The Guardian reported.
"When I have frank advice to give to an American president, I give it privately, as good friends should, as wise prime ministers do when they want to ensure they are best able to protect Australians and Australia's national interest," he told reporters.