Malaysia summons Chinese ambassador over racial harmony comments

Malaysia summons Chinese ambassador over racial harmony comments

Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Reezal Merican, speaking to Channel NewsAsia, said he will seek clarification from Chinese ambassador Huang Hui Kang on Monday morning (Sep 28) on the statements he made at Petaling Street.

China Malaysia Ambassador

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned Chinese ambassador Huang Huikang to Wisma Putra on Monday (Sep 28) to seek clarification on remarks he made during his visit to Petaling Street on Friday.

Ambassador Huang, who visited Chinatown to mark the celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, gave a news conference highlighting the importance of racial harmony in the country. He also touched on the rule of law in Malaysia and said no one should be above the law.

China, he said, is against any form of extremism, racism or terrorism and will not sit idly or tolerate them.

Mr Huang's comments, coming at sensitive times, have raised eyebrows and drew criticism from the ruling party's youth wing that has accused China of interfering with domestic affairs. The comments preceded a planned rally by a Malay-dominated, pro-government group that was reported to demand more Malay participation in Petaling Street, where most vendors are ethnic Chinese.

China's Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Malaysia's foreign ministry said it would meet Mr Huang on Monday to clarify comments that "attracted attention and caused concern to the Malaysian public".

Rally organisers said on Friday night they had cancelled the planned protest on advice from the police.

Mostly-Malay 'red shirts' had taken the streets with 30,000 marchers in the middle of September to show support for Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is battling allegations of corruption and mismanagement at indebted state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

But previous anti-government protests, critics said, led by a pro-democracy group called Bersih and which attracted many urban Chinese people, had insulted the country's Malay leaders.

Source: REUTERS/CNA/ec/cy