Issues raised during a meeting between Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders and European Union (EU) ambassadors last Thursday (Jan 25) have jeopardised Malaysia's sovereignty and dignity, the country's Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said.
In a statement on Sunday (Jan 28), Anifah said that the meeting invites foreign intervention and impacts Malaysia's efforts to defend the national palm oil industry.
Anifah said he understood that it was not the EU ambassadors' intention to listen to PH's "negative accusations" against the government, but he criticised the party's move to involve foreign powers as "unpatriotic" and eroding Malaysia's dignity.
"What is clear is that the efforts taken by PH is desperate because it invites foreign intervention and pressure on the principles and democratic values that are practised by Malaysians," Anifah said.
"This is (an act of) hypocrisy and a trick from Dr Mahathir Mohamad which puts the nation's importance and its people (at risk) to gain power," he added.
Anifah also said that the meeting was hypocritical given PH leader Mahathir's critical stance toward the west during his time as Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Anifah said Malaysia would not stop ambassadors from practising norms of international diplomatic relations, in line with the Vienna Convention. However, when it comes to safeguarding its citizens' interests, and the sovereignty and dignity of the nation, Malaysia would not hesitate to take action against any foreign party if they contravene the Conventions' norms and values, Anifah added.
But PH deputy president Mohamad Sabu told Channel NewsAsia that it was the European Union who had invited the coalition's leaders for the meeting.
No agenda was set but PH had used the meeting to raise the issue of sending election watchdogs to Malaysia as independent observers for the coming polls, he added.
The EU, he said, had brought up the bloc's move to back a ban on palm oil being used in biofuels. The proposed ban had raised protests in Malaysia, the world's second-biggest palm oil producer after Indonesia.