19 July 2013

Some 30 people, led by Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali, submitted a protest note to the embassy of the Holy See in Kuala Lumpur, demanding that the Vatican appoint a new envoy to Malaysia.

However, none of the embassy officials came out to meet the group, forcing Ibrahim to hand over a copy of the note to the police guard.

He also pasted another copy on the guard house wall.

Ibrahim, who was accompanied by Jati president Hasan Ali, said current ambassador Archbishop Joseph Marino's apology was insufficient.

Perkasa and other Muslim groups are upset with Marino's reported move to laud a local church's campaign to include the Arabic word 'Allah' to refer to God among Christians.The protest note, co-signed by Ibrahim and Hasan also demands that Vatican City withdraw Marino's statement and issue an official apology.

They claimed that Marino's statement "forms a grave breach of diplomatic etiquette and in particular breach of Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961 on the duty of ambassadors not to interfere in the internal affairs of the receiving state".

Marino is 'enemy of the state'

Speaking to media later, Ibrahim clarified that they were not demanding the embassy closure.

"I would like to pronounce that Marino ( below ) is a persona non grata. .. in Malaysia, he's not wanted and he should leave Malaysia.

"As far as I'm concern, he is an enemy of the state. We are demanding his departure but not the embassy's closure. We want the Vatican to appoint a new one (envoy)," he said.

Earlier, a small altercation ensued between Ibrahim and on-duty police personnel who had formed a cordon line about 10 metres in front of the embassy front gate.

Ibrahim was dissatisfied that the personnel only allowed five representatives from the group to approach the front gate.

"Even this is difficult!" he decried before proceeding to the front gate with his entire group.

The group later chanted Allahu Akbar twice after pasting the note at the guard house.


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