Saturday, February 25, 2006

Malaysians Free to Travel RP

Malaysia has no plans as yet to stop its people from going to the Philippines following latest developments of a coup attempt to overthrow the government, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said Saturday.
He advised Malaysians to be careful while in the Philippines and not resort to any action that could jeopardise their safety. Syed Hamid said Malaysians intending to go to the Philippines could contact Wisma Putra to know the latest political developments and security situation there.
"There are no obstacles for Malaysians to visit the Philippines now. I hope Malaysians wishing to go to the country will be careful and not take any action that can affect their safety," he said.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared a state of national emergency Friday following an attempt by disgruntled army officers to mount a coup. In her Proclamation 1017, Arroyo cited the arrest by the military some senior army and police officers linked to the plot intended to overthrow her government.
Following the state of emergency proclamation, thousands of Filipinos demonstrated at several strategic spots in the country. The current situation in Manila, according to Syed Hamid, was an example of the importance of a government to ensure security and political stability.
Uncertainties would bring adverse effects that could undermine a country's position, he said.
Syed Hamid rejected assumptions the political crisis in the Philippines would derail the on-going peace negotiations between Arroyo's government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), with Malaysia mediating in the talks.
"The latest political crisis has nothing to do with the negotiations. Nevertheless, what's important is that we want to see a strong and stable government in the Philippines. Malaysia will continue to play the role of a go-between as negotiations have entered the final stage," he said. (BERNAMA)

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