Malaysians in Washington DC told to remain vigilant, avoid protest areas

by BERNAMA / pic by AFP

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysians in Washington DC and nearby areas were told to remain vigilant, avoid protest areas, and adhere to guidelines and safety instructions imposed by the local authorities following the issue of security concerns in the United States’ (US) capital.

The Malaysian Embassy in the US said this was necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of Malaysians, in line with the guidelines issued by authorities in Washington DC.

“So far, the Embassy of Malaysia has not received any reports from Malaysian citizens concerning the (security) issue.

“Nevertheless, the Embassy in Washington DC, as well as the Consulate General offices in New York and Los Angeles will continue to monitor developments and will advise Malaysians, including students, as and when necessary,” the embassy said in a reply statement to Bernama via WhatsApp.

The embassy said this when responding to media reports of planned protests in all 50 US state capitals in the final days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan 20.

The embassy, however, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had underscored that the news are mostly speculation, and that the relevant authorities in the US are enhancing the security ahead of the inauguration to ensure public safety.

“Overall, the security situation in Washington DC and the United States at large is under control.

“The state of emergency was approved by the President of the United States (Donald Trump) at the behest of the Mayor of Washington DC, to seek financial assistance from the federal government.

“With the support of federal agencies, Washington DC would be able to better prepare for President-elect Joseph Biden’s inauguration on Jan 20, 2021,” it added.

It was widely reported that on Jan 6, a group of Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol building, clashing with police, damaging property, seizing the inauguration stage and occupying the rotunda. The unrest took place after Trump urged his supporters to protest the legitimising by Congress of what he claims was a stolen election.

The embassy said to date, it has not received any reports of Malaysian students having difficulties with access to food or basic necessities.

It added that the relevant student affairs departments at the Embassy are also in touch with the students and will reach out to assist them wherever necessary.

Those in need of consular assistance from the Embassy or Consulate-General offices may contact via email: [email protected] / [email protected] or telephone: +1- 202-572-9700.

The contact details of the Malaysian Consulates in the US are as below:

Consulate General of Malaysia in Los Angeles Telephone: +1.213.892.1238, Email: [email protected]; and Consulate General of Malaysia in New York Telephone: +1 (212) 490 2723, Email: [email protected].