MCA to Wan Fayhsal: Stop sabotaging national interests for political expedience

Letter to editor

This statement is in response to Bersatu Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal (PN-Machang) who questioned the success of Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s recent official visit to Saudi Arabia.

Wan Fayhsal deemed the official visit a failure because Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim did not meet the Saudi monarch King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the visit.

This statement shows the ignorance of Wan Fayhsal as he did not understand the basics of diplomacy in the context of international relations.

As a former diplomat who has served with the Foreign Ministry for 13 years, I consider the opposition’s accusations to be political in nature and it is an attempt to undermine the unity government’s credibility without solid reasoning. This is a very irresponsible and unpatriotic act.

Clearly, the PM’s official visit to Saudi Arabia was upon the invitation of the government of Saudi Arabia. In addition, the PM was accorded full guest status and courtesies by the Saudi Arabian government throughout the visit.

Moreover, Foreign Minsiter Datuk Seri Dr Zamry Abdul Kadir had also previously made a working visit to Saudi Arabia. Hence, there is no doubt that every detail has been carefully planned ahead of the PM’s arrival in Saudi Arabia.

As the opposition, Perikatan Nasional (PN) has a right to criticise and comment on the government based on the principles of check and balance under the democratic system. However, every piece of statement or criticism should be professional and objective.

The opposition should not be releasing misleading or factually wrong statements to influence the rakyat’s perception or play up issues that can jeopardise the diplomatic relationship between Malaysia and other nations.

Wan Fayhsal has served in the previous federal government, and surely many among the opposition are also familiar with the protocol aspect and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) when our leaders make official visits abroad.

Moreover, similar incidents also happened previously: when the eighth PM made an official visit to Saudi Arabia on March 2021 and when the ninth Malaysian PM made an official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on March 2022.

If Wan A Fayhsal is still not convinced, I urge him to refer to former PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (Pagoh MP) and former foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah (Indera Mahkota MP) in the opposition bloc. I am sure they are wiser in diplomacy and understand the real situation.

Ultimately, we should not be constantly looking backwards and trying to find fault in our opponents. While the people and the nation suffer from challenges and the uncertainties of the global economy, it would be better if all quarters pay more attention to issues relating to governance and improving the economy. – March 28, 2023


Neow Choo Seong is MCA’s International Communication & Diplomacy Bureau deputy chairman.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.


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