Buck Stops With Saifuddin Says Umno Veep On Uae Debacle
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob upon his arrival in Dubai on March 29 for a visit to the United Arab Emirates. (Bernama pic)PETALING JAYA: Umno vice-president Khaled Nordin says foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah must take responsibility for the debacle over Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last month.
In a Facebook post, Khaled criticised Wisma Putra for failing to ensure that Ismail was given an honourable welcome, adding that the failure to make proper arrangements for the prime minister’s visit was “very embarrassing”.
“Blaming everything on our diplomats is very unprofessional. The foreign minister must take responsibility for everything that has happened. (Saifuddin) forgets that he is the one leading Wisma Putra.
“Malaysia clearly needs a new and more competent leader in the foreign ministry. The performance of our current foreign minister does not suit Malaysia’s experience, position and global interests,” he said.
The former Johor menteri besar said Malaysia seemed to have shrunk in stature at the international level since 2018, when Saifuddin first took over as foreign minister in the Pakatan Harapan government.
Saifuddin later became communications and multimedia minister in Muhyiddin Yassin’s Cabinet while Hishammuddin Hussein took over in Wisma Putra. When Ismail became prime minister, Saifuddin returned to the foreign ministry.
Wisma Putra confirmed yesterday that two Malaysian diplomats were recalled for failing to make proper arrangements for Ismail’s visit, with the prime minister made to undergo a long wait for passport and immigration clearance at the airport.
The ministry said the prime minister was also not provided with security coverage or a motorcade as was usual following standard procedures.
However, it maintained that the two officials’ recall was “nothing out of the ordinary” and that it was made following discussions with other relevant parties, including the public service department. - FMT
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