So Is Wisma Putra Still Meeting With The Chinese Ambassador? Things Are A Little Confusing

Following his controversial remarks at Petaling Street, Chinese envoy Dr Huang Huikang is supposedly summoned by Wisma Putra to explain himself but there is a confusion on whether the order still remains.

Cover image via Malaysiakini/Asia Sentinel

I totally support and respect the Malaysian government, says Chinese envoy

Chinese ambassador Dr Huang Huikang

Image via The Malaysian Insider

In a bid to prevent a diplomatic row from developing, Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang says he never had any intention to interfere with the country's domestic affairs.

"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," said Dr Huang at the Chinese Embassy here.

"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," said Dr Huang.

Huang also said that his statements from his visit to Petaling Street last Friday, 25 September, should not be twisted to an anti-Malaysian government issue

Huang reiterated that his visit was to show goodwill to the local community, as well as to find out whether is there any security concern, before deciding whether to issue a travel advisory to tourists from China.

In an interview with local newspapers, he expressed regret that his goodwill visit was misunderstood and made use of by certain quarters with an agenda, Sin Chew Daily reported today.

"I totally support and respect the Malaysian government. Isn't the message clear enough?"

"When you are talking about the context of this issue, there is no any person of clear mind who will say the China ambassador is interfering in domestic affairs."

He went on to clarify that his controversial statement that "China will not tolerate terrorism and extremism" were meant for Chinese nationals

According to Huang's account, during the walkabout in Petaling Street, a reporter asked a hypothetical question about whether the Chinese government would interfere if there was an anti-Chinese riot in Malaysia.

“If such a situation occurs, and it affects Chinese interests, Chinese people and Chinese enterprises, undermine good diplomatic ties, China will not sit idle,” he said.

Huang was also reported to have said that Malaysia was a harmonious and stable country, adding that the statement was meant for Chinese nationals who viewed the country as being anti-Chinese.

“After my explanation today, I believe people with logical thinking will not doubt my sincerity and goodwill anymore,” Huang said.

28 SEPT: On 25 September, China’s ambassador Dr. Huang Huikang made headlines after he made several remarks on the Chinese government’s stand on racism and terrorism during his impromptu visit to Petaling Street

Huang was quoted 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.

Huang has told reporters that the Chinese government opposes terrorism and any form of discrimination against races and any form of extremism

“The Chinese government had always maintained non-interference in another state’s internal affairs. However, we will never turn a blind eye if there are incidents or threats that affect the Chinese community here or that disrupt the good relationship between China and Malaysia. The law is needed to protect and ensure stability in the country," he said.

“No one should violate the law, undermine public order or infringe the rights of others. The law must be strictly enforced and violators must be prosecuted."

The next day, several media reported that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also known as Wisma Putra, intended to summon the Chinese envoy to seek clarification on the remarks he made during his visit

Image via Straits Times

The meeting, according to a press statement from Malaysia's Foreign Ministry, will be held at Wisma Putra in Putrajaya on Monday.

"During the visit, he was interviewed by the media and subsequent media statements resulting from that interview has attracted attention and caused concern to the Malaysian public," said Wisma Putra.

"The Ministry hopes that this meeting will help clear the matter."

"Malaysia views his remarks seriously. It is tantamount to interfering in Malaysia's domestic affairs."

The China embassy has since released a statement to clarify that the Chinese ambassador's visit is nothing but an act of goodwill, and with no intention of interfering in Malaysia's domestic affairs

Image via NST

The Chinese ambassador's visit to Petaling Street was an act of goodwill and the envoy has no intention of interfering in Malaysia's domestic affairs, said the China embassy, following Wisma Putra's intention to call up the envoy for an explanation.

The embassy said ambassador Dr Huang Huikang's visit on Friday was in conjunction with the Mid-Autumn festival, and he gave out mooncakes to the traders and visitors of the tourist and shopping hotspot popularly known as Chinatown.

"Dr Huang was asked some questions from the media but he only expressed hopes that Malaysia stay united, prosperous and harmonious," the statement said, stressing that the envoy did not interfere in Malaysia's domestic affairs.

At 8.30am, Monday, several Chinese dailies reported that Wisma Putra has reversed its decision to call up the ambassador of China to explain his remarks

Ambassador of China, Huang Huikang

Image via Straits Times

Chinese dailies reported that the summon, issued by Deputy Foreign Minister Reezal Naina Merican, was overturned by Hamzah.

Hamzah was Deputy Foreign Minister until July's cabinet reshuffle, in which he was appointed domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism minister.

China Press also quoted sources as saying that Huang would not be heading to Wisma Putra in Putrajaya today.

Huang apparently did not know that he was called up by Wisma Putra, and he certainly did not receive the memo about the meeting that was set to take place today, 28 September

When asked if he was going to Wisma Putra, he said, “No, sorry. I only knew about it from the newspapers."

“I have a full schedule,” he said when met by reporters at the The Maritime Silk Road China-Malaysia forum at Hotel Istana today.

When asked if the problem was resolved, he said, “Since when has it become an issue.”

According to Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz, Deputy Foreign Minister Reezal Naina did not follow the protocol when he called up the ambassador of China

Image via The Rakyat Post

Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz said should Huang was to be called by Wisma Putra, it must first be by the foreign minister of Malaysia after having consulted the prime minister.

"Now both the prime minister (Najib Abdul Razak) and foreign minister (Anifah Aman) are overseas, so the acting foreign minister is Hamzah (Zainuddin)," he told Malaysiakini.

"The deputy minister cannot call the ambassador because the acting minister is Hamzah."

"That's why when I confirmed with him (Hamzah) that he hasn't received instructions from both the foreign minister or the prime minister (to summon Huang) that I concluded that there's no necessity for the ambassador to see Wisma Putra," he said.

However, at 10.30am, 3 hours later, there was a turn of events when The Malay Mail Online reported that the decision to summon Huang to explain his remarks is still in effect

Wisma Putra today rejected a report that it withdrew its summon of Huang Huikang, insisting the Chinese ambassador to Malaysia must still explain remarks he made in Petaling Street on Friday.

Denying a report by Sin Chew Daily that Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainudin — currently standing in for Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman — has cancelled the summon, a source said the summon was still in effect.

“Wisma has not cancel (sic) the summoning of Huang,” a ministry source told Malay Mail Online today.

By 12.30pm, local media reported that a meeting with China's ambassador Huang Huikang was indeed taking place in Putrajaya

The on-off meeting between China’s ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang and acting foreign affairs minister is currently taking place.

Huang, who earlier today, said he did not know anything about Putrajaya’s request to meet him about remarks he had made while on a trip to Petaling Street, arrived at Hamzah’s office at 11.35am. He came with an aide and met Hamzah at 12.20pm.

Hamzah's aide, however, said there would be no press conference and that a statement on the meeting would be sent out by Wisma Putra later.

Huang's visit to Petaling Street came one day before a planned rally by the "red-shirt" protestors at the historic landmark, which was later called off on police advice. Rally organiser, was also Jamal Yunos arrested for his threats:

Just less than 2 weeks ago, Petaling Street was the scene of chaos when police had to use water cannons to disperse a crowd of “red shirt” protesters who wanted to force their way into the area:

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