No plans to shut down 30 foreign missions abroad: Reezal Merican

MELISSA DARLYNE CHOW


KUALA LUMPUR: There are no plans in motion to shut 30 foreign missions abroad, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said for now, there is no decision on the matter yet.

Reezal (BN-Kepala Batas) said this in his winding up speech on the committee-level debate of the 2017 Supplementary Supply Bill (2016) of his ministry here today.

He was responding to a claim by Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad (PAN-Kuala Terengganu) that there had been a suggestion by the government to shut the foreign missions abroad.

Raja Kamarul, in calling it unprecedented, had said that at the most, the status of the foreign missions is downgraded or the number of staff is reduced.

“This proposal will jeopardise the operations and the trust of foreign countries on the presence of Malaysia there.

“Malaysia’s reputation is at stake, with less interaction with the countries we have operated in before,” he said during the debate.

To this, Reezal said a study on the need for foreign missions overseas, were done regularly and is “quite routine”.

“There are times where we do not see the need for foreign missions in certain countries, but that does not mean we do not have any representatives. We have accredited ambassadors,” he added.

Malaysia has 108 foreign missions overseas.