PETALING JAYA: The appointment of Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai (pic) as the Prime Minister's Special Envoy to China is now official.
In confirming this, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the Cabinet had decided to appoint Tan as the envoy and chairman of the Malaysia-China Business Council.
The council is to promote relations between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.
On Tuesday, Saifuddin told The Star that Tan was only appointed as the council chairman.
But Saifuddin clarified on Friday (Aug 31), saying at the time of the interview, the ministry had yet to receive Tan's appointment letter and terms of reference as Special Envoy.
On Aug 14, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong told Dewan Rakyat that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had agreed to appoint Tan as Special Envoy to China.
Liew was replying to Ayer Hitam MP Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong's question on the rationale behind the appointment.
The MCA deputy president had raised the matter, pointing out that Pakatan Harapan had criticised Barisan Nasional for such appointments in the past, citing "wastage and redundancy".
Dr Wee added that Pakatan had also said that it was not proper for political figures to be involved in diplomatic related jobs between countries.
"Before this, Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, who was the special envoy to China, took the job without any salary," he said.
Ong was also the council chairman.
He served as the prime minister's special envoy from November 2011 to January this year.
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