Monday, April 13, 2009

Najib: Summit disruption has far-reaching effects

Najib: Summit disruption has far-reaching effects
Apr 13, 2009
The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia: The abrupt ending to the East Asian Summit in Pattaya has far-reaching consequences to people in South-East Asia, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Najib blogged about his encounter with the "red shirt" protesters, when leaders of 16 Asian nations were forced to evacuate by helicopter after the anti-government protesters swarmed into the meeting's venue.

"As we took off, I reflected great concern how domestic political challenges like these can impede the good work of a regional grouping like Asean and delay the benefits of closer integration for hundreds of millions living and working in South-East Asia," said Najib in his blog on Saturday.

Najib said it was unfortunate that his meetings with other leaders had to be cancelled as they could not leave or enter the conference venue.

"Luckily, with the assistance of the Thai armed forces and police, we made it safely to the airport," he said.

During the incident, Najib was holed up in his fifth-floor hotel room. While some leaders left by helicopter to the airport, Najib went by car and flew off at about 6pm Malaysian time. He was back in Kuala Lumpur at 7.30pm.

On another matter, Najib also blogged that he would like Malaysians to share their thoughts on the new Cabinet line-up.

"I invite everyone to share your thoughts on the line-up and the new performance-based approach which I intend to enforce.

"I am also interested to know what your hopes are for the new administration to ensure that the welfare and development of all communities are looked after," he said, adding that he hoped everyone would be respectful and constructive in leaving their remarks. -The Star/ANN

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