NZ Foreign Ministry head offers to resign


The move is over the mishandling of the case of the Malaysian diplomat facing charges of burglary and sexual assault

(Free Malaysia Today) – The chief of New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has offered to resign over the ministry’s mishandling of the case involving a Malaysian diplomat who is accused of sexual assault and burglary in Wellington.

According to the New Zealand Herald, John Allen (pic) offered to quit his post but Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully declined to accept it.

The diplomat, Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, 38, was a former defence staff assistant attached to the Malaysian High Commission.

He was arrested in New Zealand on May 9, and brought to court the following day to face charges of burglary and sexual assault of a young woman with the intent to commit rape.

Rizalman and his family returned to Malaysia on May 22, with the agreement of the New Zealand side.

McCully, however, said he was angry about the mistakes of his officials, which caused public embarrassment to him and Prime Minister John Key.

According to the report, McCully was completely in the dark about the charges against Rizalman until last Friday – seven weeks after the police detained him.

The minister also did not know that Rizalman had left the country with diplomatic immunity.

The ministry officials also sent out mixed messages to Malaysian officials which made them believe that New Zealand agreed to his repatriation to Malaysia.

Said Allen: “What is clear is that our Malaysian colleagues believed not agreeing to the waiver was a process the New Zealand government agreed with. That was clearly not the case.

“The ministry dropped the ball.”

The Malaysian government had yesterday decided to send back Rizalman to Wellington to face the charges there.