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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz said he had no intention to interfere in the affairs of Wisma Putra

Nazri: I made a mistake, had no intention to interfere


    PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz (pic) said he had no intention to interfere in the affairs of Wisma Putra after the Chinese ambassador was summoned over remarks made during a visit to Petaling Street. 
    In admitting his mistake, the Tourism and Culture Minister said that he told Dr Huang Huikang not to worry because the usual practice was for the foreign minister to summon an ambassador, and not the deputy minister.    
    “The normal practice in cabinet when one minister is not in the country, only another minister can act on his behalf, not his own deputy minister,’ Nazri told theStar Online Tuesday in a text message from Turkey. 
    Nazri added that this was the reason he thought that the Foreign Ministry did not make a decision to summon Dr Huang as Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. 
    “I thought our foreign minister will call the ambassador himself when he comes back because that is within his power and proper but not his deputy. Obviously, I am mistaken and did not know that the foreign minister has instructed his deputy,” he said. 
    Nazri had reportedly taken Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican to task for calling in Dr Huang over remarks made by the diplomat during a visit to Petaling Street on Friday. 
    Anifah said that it was regrettable that several Cabinet ministers had issued press statements and taken action without referring to him first. 
    He also said the matter could have been solved well by Wisma Putra without the interference of other ministers. 
    Nazri said that as a minister for 16 years who had previously covered the foreign minister many times on requests, he came to a conclusion that only a minister can act on behalf of Wisma Putra, which is strict on protocol.  
    “Certainly now that is all changed and I am not aware but one thing is sure, I’m a very experienced minister and interfering is certainly not my intention,” he added. 
    Dr Huang had a meeting with acting Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin on Monday.

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