KUANTAN: The appointment of DAP chairman Tan Kok Wai as special envoy to China will not disrupt or affect the existing duties of the current ambassador, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said.
He said the Cheras MP’s appointment came with specific tasks, which would “complement” the job functions of the ambassador to China, Zainuddin Yahya.
He said while the current policy was to do away with political appointees as envoys, there was a need to improve and forge better ties with China because of its size.
“This was the thinking when we wanted to appoint the special envoy,” he told reporters here.
Saifuddin said Tan was now waiting for the official letter from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Tan, who also took over as chairman of the Malaysia-China Business Council (MCBC) from Aug 1, had earlier confirmed his appointment as a special envoy to China.
It sparked a debate as the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition has criticised envoys who were political appointees.