Politicians no longer allowed to be appointed ambassadors, says Malaysian PM Mahathir

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said politicians currently serving as ambassadors or high commissioners would have their contract terminated immediately.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said politicians currently serving as ambassadors or high commissioners would have their contract terminated immediately.PHOTO: REUTERS

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Politicians will no longer be allowed to be appointed as ambassadors, said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

He said the government had agreed to a proposal on the matter made by the Foreign Ministry.

"The ministry requested that there should not be any political appointments as ambassadors. We will no longer allow this.

"Of course, there are many members of the government who would like to enjoy life as a diplomat," said Tun Mahathir at a press conference after chairing the fourth meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption.

He said politicians currently serving as ambassadors or high commissioners would have their contract terminated immediately.

However, when asked if the decision would affect Democratic Action Party chairman Tan Kok Wai, who is the government's special envoy to China, Dr Mahathir said Mr Tan's role was not the same as that of an ambassador.

"He is based in Malaysia and only goes over to China to do work," said Dr Mahathir.