‘It is time we recall third grades and do justice to our nation by only sending individuals of high and indisputable reputation, track record and integrity to represent our nation!’
MALAYSIA, ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE SAYS – TIME TO RECALL ALL OUR DIPLOMATS BOTH POLITICAL APPOINTEES AND OTHERS REPLACING THEM WITH TRUE PROFESSIONALS!
When Malaysian diplomats negotiate a treaty, attend a state dinner, or arrange a visa for a traveler or a trade delegation to spearhead trade with Malaysia, it is part and parcel of their mission—to represent the interests and policies of the Malaysia!
At least that is what is expected!
And I would not be wrong to say that beyond that the diplomats’ roles and responsibilities are immensely varied.
An ambassador is a nation’s highest-ranking representative to a specific nation or international organization abroad.
As such, to be effective, not to drop the ball, and proactive, an effective ambassador or consul general has to be a strong leader—a good manager, a resilient negotiator, and a respected representative of the nation which send them.
They will have to carry themselves with dignity and decorum!
They cannot be part of any controversy!
We cannot forget that a key role of an ambassador is to coordinate the activities not only of the Foreign Service Officers and staff serving under them but also representatives of other agencies from the same nation in a foreign jurisdiction!
At some overseas posts, personnel from many federal agencies work in concert with embassy staff.
It is a vital responsibility on foreign soil!
So are we choosing the right individuals for this posting!
Or is it of late given to any political appointee irrespective of one’s professionalism?
Or are there as in the past – an appointment given for one’s political support from one’s crony or party member?
But the Foreign Service Officers are expected to be professional, trained diplomats who represent Malaysian interests abroad under the direction of the ambassador.
All Foreign Service Officers listen to and observe what is going on in the host country, analyze it, and report to the ambassador and Putrajaya!
This facilitates policy deliberations to align one’s nation with the country of station and globally in totality!
In Malaysia’s case it is highly critical and of utmost importance that the right blend of character, academic background, experience and stature be selected in view the major issues from this part of the world from with international concerns on China’s expansion herein, to bilateral trade, trade wars, to political and state extremism, fanaticism, terrorism, corruption, trafficking issues, international money laundering scandals and so forth!
To be effective there should be five types of Foreign Service Officers and among them, Negotiators, Trade Representatives, Economic Officers, Management Officers,
Political Officers, Public Diplomacy Officers, Consular Officers!
And the pertinent question is do we have them?
Or do we have warm bodies being sent over for diplomatic functions who are more interested in kickbacks, initiating private and personal business and advocating their own financial and personal interest rather than the country as I found out in several countries I visited and confirmed with from my friends in high places in the diplomatic circle?
I am not just speaking about the countries I have personally visited in the APEC, ASEAN and South India continent but others where feedback are just so despicable and an embarrassment!
For example in the last country I visited both in Delhi and most importantly, Chennai the smell of stench far too difficult to ignore!
Why are we shortchanging ourselves by sending third rate individuals to represent a nation when all they do is look after their personal and private interest!
In Chennai, there are allegations of abuse at the highest levels!
There are allegations of the usage of the staff car and driver by the wife of an official and he instead takes the Huber?
There are allegations of no clock in and out?
When I visited the office the rest of the staff were there but not the point man!
His assisting was there a person of great integrity and decorum!
By the way, among the growing allegations, why should one bring one’s baby to office?
Have all Malaysian embassies now suddenly become baby friendly diplomatic offices, YB Minister of Foreign Affairs?
There are allegations that staff is abused verbally, their positions sabotaged, and ultimately they, victimized!
Is it true that there are some officials asking for kickbacks for tenancy agreements from local agents?
Is the allegation true that Malaysian visas are being outsourced and worked with conduits within the embassy raking in between INR1000.00 to INR5000.00 for fast track?
Who is raking in this money?
Who were the three immigration officers (as if I don’t know their names already!) who have since returned to Malaysia who are alleged to have abused their office while there and among them alleged to have brought back three or more ‘Bullet Motorbikes!”
I have their names already from sources in Chennai!
Questions are raised why is this Consulate General entertaining, singers, actors and actresses?
I have those photos as well!
In views of these allegations I immediately urge the Minister of Foreign Affairs, dear comrade Saifuddin Abdullah – to initiate an investigation and if true initiate a call back of the present Consul General at Chennai and spearhead investigations on the three immigration staff whose names are being mentioned in the corridors of other diplomats and locals!
This is embarrassing!
I will try my very best to have a word with him too during this parliamentary session privately!
It is time we recall third grades and do justice to our nation by only sending individuals of high and indisputable reputation, track record and integrity to represent our nation!