Nazri appointed Malaysia’s ambassador to US

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Former Padang Rengas lawmaker Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz has been appointed Malaysia’s ambassador to the United States, Wisma Putra said.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong presented Nazri and nine other new heads of diplomatic missions their letters of credence at a ceremony at Istana Negara today.

Wisma Putra said Nazri, a graduate of Lincoln’s Inn in the United Kingdom, has extensive experience in government.

Among the cabinet portfolios he has held are tourism and culture and industrial development. He was also a deputy finance minister and the minister in charge of legal affairs in the Prime Minister’s Department.

It was reported last year that Nazri had backed PKR president Anwar Ibrahim to be prime minister in 2020, saying it was the right thing to do.

Then, Nazri had defended the Umno MPs, himself included, who had signed declarations of support for Anwar.

Since last year, speculation has been rife that Nazri will be appointed as Malaysia’s Ambassador to either Switzerland or the US.

Nazri previously said he refused to be the Ambassador to Switzerland, as he needed to resign as an MP first.

He did not defend his Padang Rengas seat in GE15.

Meanwhile, Datuk Syed Md Hasrin Tengku Hussin @ Syed Hussin has been appointed Malaysia’s ambassador to Indonesia.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Syed joined the Foreign Ministry in 1994 and served as Malaysia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York since 2019.

He was also the former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates from 2017 until 2019.

Wisma Putra today also announced the appointment of other Malaysian ambassadors and high commissioners, including:

  • Hafizah Abdullah (Sweden)
  • Suzilah Mohd Sidek (Czech Republic)
  • Hendy Assan (Holy See)
  • Gloria Corina Peter Tiwet (Brazil)
  • Ruzaimi Mohamad (Kenya)
  • Alauddin Mohd Nor (Kuwait)
  • Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino Anthony (Philippines)
  • Amarjit Singh Sarjit Singh (Timor-Leste)

It has been a practice by the government for senior or retired politicians to be named special envoys or ambassadors and some of them have enjoyed the same perks as federal ministers.

The late former MIC president Samy Vellu was made special envoy of infrastructure to India and South Asia while former MCA president Ong Ka Ting was appointed as a special envoy to China, both in 2011.

DAP’s Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai was appointed special envoy to China in August 2018.

Special envoys during the Perikatan Nasional government included Abdul Hadi Awang (Middle East), Tiong King Sing (China), Richard Riot (Japan, Korea, and Taiwan) and S Vigneswaran (India and South Asia).