Malaysian envoys appointed by previous government told to return home: Sources

File photo showing the skyline of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on June 26, 2018. Several Malaysian envoys appointed by previous government have been asked to return home.
File photo showing the skyline of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on June 26, 2018. Several Malaysian envoys appointed by previous government have been asked to return home.PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Several heads of mission appointed by the previous Malaysian government have been told to relinquish their positions and return home.

Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim is returning to Malaysia on Saturday (June 30) as his stint ends on the same day.

An embassy source said Zahrain had made all his preparations to leave Jakarta a month ago.

"His bags are all packed, some are already in a container on its way to Kuala Lumpur," said the source.

Zahrain, the former Bayan Baru MP, was a Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) member but he quit the party following a tiff with then Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng over the latter's proposal to use a RM2 company to operate and manage Bukit Jambul Golf & Country Club.

He then became Barisan Nasional friendly and rejoined Umno two years later. He did not stand in the 2013 general election but was appointed as the ambassador a few months after the polls.

Sources in the Foreign Affairs Ministry said the contract of Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, Malaysia's first ambassador to the Vatican, was terminated on June 7, but allowing him a grace period ending today.

It is believed that he will be returning to Malaysia in another week.

The former Sabah chief minister was appointed for two years from March 2016. His political appointment was extended for another two years until April 18, 2020.

He had also held Cabinet positions as minister in the Prime Minister's Department and plantation industries and commodities minister.

Sources added that other political appointees on the chopping block are ambassador to Finland Puan Sri Blanche O'Leary, Malaysian Friendship and Trade Centre in Taiwan president Datuk Adeline Leong and the High Commissioner to Brunei Datuk Ghulam Jelani Khanizaman.

O'Leary is the wife of former MyPPP president Tan Sri M. Kayveas while Leong was former Sandakan Municipal Council president.

Ghulam was the permanent secretary of Sabah's Ministry of Rural Development prior to his appointment in Brunei.

Sources also said that Leong and Ghulam were close to former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman and his brother, former foreign affairs minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.

Meanwhile, former ambassador to the United States Tan Sri Zulhasnan Rafique resigned on April 23 before the general election.

He contested the Setiawangsa parliamentary seat but lost to PKR's Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

Former ambassador to Cambodia Datuk Seri Hasan Malek also resigned prior to the May 9 polls to contest the Kuala Pilah parliamentary seat.

He lost to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia's Eddin Syazlee Shith by 200 votes.

His last day with the embassy in Phnom Penh was March 31.