(The Malaysian Insider) - A Malaysian diplomat observed the April 28 Bersih rally in Melbourne, in the same manner as three Singaporean envoys here the same day that raised the ire of Putrajaya.
A YouTube video from the day shows Melbourne’s Consul-General of Malaysia Dr Mohamad Rameez Yahaya at the Bersih rally there, where he also spoke to a reporter about his disagreement with some aspects of the event.
The recording suggests Wisma Putra also sent its diplomats to observe events that it might have an interest in, just as other embassies.
“I’m here to observe... You just know my official stand. For us, we cannot contain democracy in a sovereign nation. In Malaysia, if you follow rules of law, there will be no problem,” Mohamad Rameez was quoted as saying in the three-minute video.
Mohamad Rameez, like many other envoys, was sent to observe the rally and report back to his superiors, a common practice among his peers. Except that in Malaysia, foreign diplomats doing the same seem to have met with controversy after a pro-Umno blogger urged Putrajaya to take action.
Wisma Putra had last week chided three Singaporean envoys over unsubstantiated accusations from bloggers that they actively participated in the chaotic April 28 Bersih rally.
This forced the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore having to defend Wisma Putra’s move after a public backlash over the incident in the island republic, which is triggering another diplomatic headache for Malaysia with its southern neighbour even as it is fending off attacks from Indonesia over claims of cultural theft.
Singapore has officially responded to the accusations of its envoys’ involvement by pointing out that the three had only been on the streets of Kuala Lumpur to observe the rally, along with diplomats from many other countries.
But the island republic’s explanation appears to not have satisfied Malaysia’s diplomatic officials.
Read more and watch the video at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/putrajaya-upset-with-diplomats-yet-malaysian-envoy-tracked-bersih-abroad/