PUTRAJAYA, Dec 16 (Bernama) -- Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar says the nude-squat video clip controversy is an isolated case and does not reflect Malaysia as a country which truly welcomes foreign visitors.
"And I think that any incident that happens, it is isolated and something that is not welcomed. In the recent (nude ear squat) case, the person involved is not Malaysian of Chinese origin, the person happens to be Malay," he said.
Syed Hamid was speaking to reporters after presenting two mock cheques, firstly, a RM200,000 cheque from the Malaysian government to the Philippines government for food aid and secondly RM100,000 from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to the Pakistani government for earthquake victims.
At the ceremony here Friday, the Philippines government was represented by Philippines's Foreign Minister's Charge de Affairs Luis T. Cruz, while Pakistan by its High Commissioner to Malaysia Talaat Munir.
Syed Hamid said Malaysia was not in the habit of mistreating its visitors, stressing that it treated any foreigners no matter where they come from with courtesy and full understanding.
Syed Hamid also said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had assured his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao yesterday that Chinese nationals were most welcome here.
Abdullah had assured Wen and his delegation to Malaysia at a luncheon yesterday that Malaysia is not only business-friendly, but also visitor-friendly.
Abdullah also told the visiting high-ranking Chinese government delegation who were here to attend the East Asia Summit that "Chinese tourists can feel at home here. After all, Malaysia's winning motto for tourism 'Malaysia Truly Asia', is not mere propaganda - it is the truth."
Echoing Abdullah's statement, Syed Hamid said even the Visit Malaysia Year campaign this year showed that the government was expecting more Chinese arrivals.
Describing the discussion between Abdullah and Wen yesterday as smooth, he said it demonstrated that the bilateral relation was meant for a long haul.
He also described the recent visits by the Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid and Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to China as successful in giving a true account of the incident to the Chinese authorities.
Being the first in Asean to establish diplomatic ties with China, Malaysia wanted to maintain and strengthen the existing relationship with the republic, in all areas which were mutually beneficial to both countries, said Syed Hamid.
Syed Hamid is also confident that both Malaysia and China would be able to face any problems head-on given the level of maturity that had been achieved thus far in their bilateral ties.
"But let us not limit it (the case) to viewing it as a general picture of the treatment of Malaysian authorities or Malaysian officials towards Chinese national because they are Chinese nationals," he said.
Parent site: "Focus on Malaysia"