Saifuddin hopes US will remove Malaysia from 'K' list immediately

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KUANTAN (April 19): Malaysia hopes the United States will remove the country from the “K Indicator” list of the travel advisory issued by the US State Department as soon as possible, said Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.

“We hope Washington will change it immediately, although we understand that each country has its own travel advisory. We too have our own travel advisory.

“Anyway, we have lodged our protest (against the indicator) and hope to get a favourable decision soon as it’s not good for our tourism sector,” he told reporters after officiating the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) in the Prime Minister’s Department (JPM) Sports Carnival at Wisma Belia Indera Mahkota here today.

Last Wednesday, Wisma Putra summoned the US ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Shirin Lakhdir to hand over the Government’s protest note regarding the indicator, which was issued on April 9.

The US State Department listed Malaysia and 34 other nations as countries with “risks of kidnapping or being taken hostage by criminals and terrorists”.

Meanwhile, Saifuddin said that Malaysia’s Choo Yip Chean, 40, was in stable condition after suffering from injuries in the earthquake which hit the Hualien county in Taiwan yesterday.

“I was told by our officer who visited him that he also has insurance coverage. However, we will ensure he receives the best treatment,” said Saifuddin.

Speaking of the sports carnival, the Indera Mahkota MP said he wanted sports tourism to be featured in the country, considering the many sports facilities, including hockey stadiums, were already available.

He hoped that the old idea in implementing the sports infrastructure, such as having a futsal court in every area, was no longer practised and, instead, was made based on the policy of optimising the use of such facilities.

“The decision to build such sports infrastructure was previously made based on political leanings to please the leaders when they should have been built based on need,” he said.