Oct 26, 2002

German travel alert upsets Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 26, IRNA -- Malaysia is very disappointed that it has been put on a "highest caution" alert by Germany without any evidence in its latest travel advisory.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he would like to know from Berlin what evidence it had that caused it to issue the alert on Malaysia.
"It is their duty to inform us if they know of threats to (tourists in) Malaysia that we are not aware of," he told newsmen here after chairing his ruling party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) Supreme Council meeting here.
He said the impact of the move was that it would "of course" frighten off tourists and foreign investors and dampen the country's economy.
"It can amount to economic sabotage if it is not true," he added.
To a question on what Malaysia could do, the prime minister said: "We can protest."
Newspapers reported on Friday that a "highest caution" travel advisory had been issued to Germans intending to travel to Malaysia.
The safety reference posted on the German Foreign Affairs Ministry's website said that in view of the recent attacks in the region, "an increased threat exists also in Malaysia."