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Reezal Merican

KEPALA BATAS – UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican has labelled Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad  as a traitor for joining Pakatan Harapan (PH) for personal gain.

Reezal  Merican, who is also Deputy Foreign Minister, said that the matter was based on the actions of former prime minister, who made a U-turn on the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim issue.

“Previously, Dr Mahathir found Anwar to be disgusting but today, he is saying the opposite. He said that Anwar’s imprisonment was done unfairly and not through the proper legal system.

“Dr Mahathir has betrayed UMNO, the party which he led for 22 years,” he said  at the opening of the Kepala Batas Wanita UMNO division delegates meeting by Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, here today.

Earlier, when opening the meeting, Zambry reminded the UMNO members and leaders to make thorough preparation for the 14th general election (GE14),  especially in dealing with the attacks by the opposition parties.

“The attacks by the opposition parties are like the work of Joseph Goebbels (Hitler’s propaganda minister). The propaganda is systematic and repeated for effectiveness.”

He reminded UMNO members not to be proud of the power and mandate given by the people and not to be complacent with the support for the party. – BERNAMA

Reezal Merican

PUTRAJAYA – Deputy Foreign Minister,  Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican will lead the Malaysian delegation to the 44th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire from July 10 to 11.

Wisma Putra in its statement said, Malaysia’s participation in the meeting showed its continuous commitment and support for the OIC’s efforts in addressing current issues and challenges faced by the Muslim ummah.

“The 44th CFM will discuss political, economic, and socio-cultural issues affecting the Muslim ummah under the theme, ‘The Role of Youth, Peace and Development in a World of Solidarity’.

“During the CFM, Datuk Seri Reezal Merican will deliver a country statement on the role of youth in
promoting peace and development,” the statement further said.

The deputy minister is also expected to hold bilateral talks with other heads of delegation on issues of mutual concern and interest.

According to the statement, the CFM is an annual meeting of OIC Foreign Ministers to review the progress of implementation of the decisions and resolutions adopted at the previous summits and Council of Foreign Ministers meetings.

The meeting will also consider and approve the programme, budget and other financial and administrative reports of the OIC General Secretariat and the OIC Subsidiary Organs.

Reezal Merican will be accompanied by senior officials from the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Department at  the meeting. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysians in Qatar have no problems to return to the country to celebrate Aidilfitri, said Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.

However, he advised those who have bought their flight tickets to come home to check the flight schedule and comply with the regulations set by the airline company there.

“I advise Malaysians in Qatar to check their flight schedule because I am made to understand that there are obligations imposed on Qatar Airways that there are certain air space which it has no permission to pass through.

“As such, there is a possibility those who have booked their tickets may have their flight rescheduled,” he told reporters when met after celebrating the birth of eight babies in conjunction with Nuzul Quran at Kuala Lumpur Hospital today.

The programme was organised by the Malaysian Women Unity Association (PERWIM) .

Reezal Merican said there were about 5,000 Malaysian nationals currently in Qatar and that there were safe and in constant contact with the Malaysian Embassy in Doha to obtain the latest development.

He said Wisma Putra was also monitoring the geopolitical development , as well as safety of Malaysians , in Qatar following the crisis in the Gulf region.

“At the moment, there is nothing to fear because the crisis has not caused Qatar to be a zone of conflict or war.

“The situation there is under control and we are always in contact with the Malaysian citizens there to ensure their safety,” he added. – BERNAMA

Reezal Merican

KUALA LUMPUR – Agreements on defence and agriculture will be signed during French President Francois Hollande’s state visit to Malaysia, says Foreign Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Hollande were scheduled to witness the sigining of the deals which included a defence-related agreement and another agreement on the establishment of a platform for ‘Sustainable Agriculture Landscapes in South East Asia’ tomorrow.

“Other topics of discussion that will be highlighted between the two leaders, among others, are cooperation in defence, counter-terrorism and trade.

“Both leaders will also discuss existing cooperation between the two countries, as well as exploring potential avenues for future (cooperation),” he told a press conference at the Dewan Rakyat here today.

Reezal said the two-day visit, beginning tonight, was part of Hollande’s first visit to ASEAN, which also included his state visits to Singapore and Indonesia.

“This visit is very timely, as it also coincides with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and France,” he said, adding that this was also the second presidential-level visit from Paris to Kuala Lumpur after President Jacques Chirac’s state visit in July 2003.

On the Kuala Lumpur-Paris bilateral relations, Reezal pointed out that it was strong as the collaboration covered a broad range of areas namely defence, trade, investment, education and culture.

“The recent arrival of A400M transporter aircraft is significant as Malaysia is the first non-North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) country to be equipped with the aircraft.

“This reflects the strength of our bilateral relations,” he said.

It was reported that the fourth and final Airbus A400M military aircraft was officially delivered to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) by Airbus on March 22 as the first RMAF’s A400M was delivered to Malaysia in 2015.

Reezal said last year, the bilateral trade between the two countries increased by 6.3 per cent year-on-year to RM15.23 billion, and France was Malaysia’s fourth largest trading partner within the European Union countries.

He said more than 60 per cent of Malaysia’s exports to France comprised electrical and electronic products, while the remainder included rubber products, machinery, chemicals and chemical products, textiles, clothing and footwear.

Reezal also revealed that out of 160 approved French investment projects in Malaysia, 117 manufacturing projects were implemented with a total investment of RM3.5 billion.

In terms of tourism, the deputy minister said 134,257 French tourists visited Malaysia last year.

“Moving forward, we foresee greater cooperation with France in the fields of defence, trade, investment, energy, higher education, training and capacity-building,” he added.

Hollande is scheduled to arrive in Kuala Lumpur this evening, accompanied by ministers, members of parliament, officials as well as a business delegation, and the visiting leader will be given a state welcoming ceremony at Parliament Square here tomorrow morning. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Eleven Malaysians including two United Nations World Food Programme participants who are presently in North Korea are

Foreign Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said besides the duo, others were three officers and staff of the Malaysian Embassy and their family members.

“There is no threat to their lives. Let us not come to that point yet. I will also contact one of them soon,” he told reporters at the parliament building lobby here today. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – The government feels it is too early to state the country’s stand with regard to the policies of United States President-elect Donald Trump, said Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.

He said the process of transition had only just begun and Trump would only take office as the US president on Jan 20 next year.

“Trump will only begin running the government after he is officially appointed,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat when replying to a question from Sim Tze Tzin (PKR-Bayan Baru) on the government’s stand and policy towards the newly-elected American president.

Reezal Merican said bilateral relations between Malaysia and the United States were based on mutual respect and close ties in trade, investment, defence and security.

“The bilateral relations with the United States reached the level of comprehensive partnership in 2014 in various areas of cooperation that have benefited the ties,” he said.

Reezal Merican said Malaysia would continue its cooperation with the new US administration to ensure the continuity of strong bilateral ties. – BERNAMA

KEPALA BATAS – The government will not entertain Philippines’ claim on Sabah as it is part of a sovereign nation recognised by the United Nations.

Foreign Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican noted that the neighbouring country had brought up the issue numerous times; the Cobbold Commission 1962 had already emphasised that Sabah belonged to Malaysia.

“Sabah is part of Malaysia through self-determination as endorsed by the Cobbold Commission under the UN which is recognised worldwide,” he told reporters after the Penang level KAFA Teachers Day celebration here Saturday.

He was commenting on a recent report by The Philippine Star newspaper that incoming Philippines Rodrigo Duterte had vowed to pursue the country’s claim over Sabah.

The president-elect who had served as Davao City mayor for 22 years is expected to be sworn in on June 30.

In another development, Reezal Merican hoped non Muslims would be more open and respect the proposed amendment to Act 355 of the Syariah Courts Jurisdiction.

“Our friends of other religions must be given an explanation on the matter which is provided for in the constitution,” he said.

He said the amendment was aimed at strengthening the existing jurisdiction of the Syariah Courts and is not a new law.

On Thursday, Marang Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi tabled a Private Member’s Bill, Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) 2016 at the Dewan Rakyat. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican is to participate in the United Nations Security Council and United Nations General Assembly sessions during his two-day working visit to New York beginning today.

Wisma Putra, in a statement today, said Reezal Merican would participate in UNSC Open Debate on ‘Countering the Narratives and Ideologies of Terrorism’ on Wednesday.

“It will provide a platform to discuss and exchange views on an international strategy for countering the narratives and ideologies of terrorist groups, particularly Daesh, and explore a possible mechanism to coordinate, follow-up and mobilise international action and resources in countering terrorism,” it said.

Malaysia is a member of UNSC for the 2015-2016 term.

Wisma Putra said Reezal Merican would also participate in the High Level Thematic Debate on ‘In a World of Risks: A New Commitment’ at the UNGA Tuesday and Wednesday.

The thematic debate, organised by UNGA President Mogens Lykketoft, will provide an opportunity for member states to engage and strategically address and examine ways to strengthen the role, coherence and performace of the UN architecture in peace and security.

“Malaysia attaches great importance to both debates and will continue to work closely with UN member states in the maintenance of international peace and security,” said Wisma Putra. – BERNAMA