PETALING JAYA: India’s Ministry of External Affairs has summoned Malaysia’s acting head of mission in New Delhi to convey its displeasure over remarks by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad about the Citizenship Amendment Act.
The Wire, an Indian news website, said “the summoning of the Malaysian embassy’s charge d’affaires took place a day after India had issued an official statement urging the Malaysian leader to refrain from commenting on India’s internal affairs, ‘especially without a right understanding of the facts’.”
India’s Parliament recently approved the Citizenship Amend-ment Act, which offers citizenship to non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.Citizenship will be allowed for others such as Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians from the three neighbouring nations. Demonstrations have erupted following the passing of the law.
On Friday, Dr Mahathir said the move was “regrettable” as the law was discriminatory to Muslims.
“Already people are dying because of this law, so why is there a necessity to do this thing when all this while, for 70 years almost, they have lived together as citizens without any problems?” Dr Mahathir said.
The Wire, quoting sources, said the Malaysian charge d’affaires was told that “such remarks are neither in keeping with accepted diplomatic practice of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, nor with the state of our bilateral relations”.
The report noted that this was not the first source of friction between India and Malaysia in recent months.
“In October, India had also asked Malaysia to ‘bear in mind the friendly relations between the two countries and desist from making such comments’ after (Dr Mahathir) had raised about Kashmir at the United Nations General Assembly, ” The Wire said.
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