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Monday, 21 October, 2002, 12:11 GMT 13:11 UK
Malaysia insists it is safe
A pro-Taliban protester makes his voice heard last autumn
Malaysia has arrested 70 militants over the past year

Malaysia's deputy prime minister has urged Western governments not to warn their citizens against visiting Malaysia.

He was speaking a day after the Australian government announced it is to postpone two events in Malaysia in the wake of bomb attacks in the region.

Malaysia is asking foreign governments to get in touch before issuing new travel advice following the attacks in neighbouring Indonesia and the Philippines.

Britain's Foreign Office is now warning visitors to Malaysia to exercise extreme caution in places frequented by foreigners.

Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi
Badawi is worried countries will be scared into issuing warnings

Australia's high commission in Kuala Lumpur has taken a similar line and announced on Sunday the indefinite postponement of an education trade fair and a film festival due to be held here.

Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi, said that other countries could be scared into following suit and stressed his belief that Malaysia remains a safe destination.

More than 70 suspected militants have been arrested in the last year, but aside from a kidnapping two years ago, Malaysia has so far escaped any serious attacks on foreigners.

New security measures

Meanwhile, the country's human resources minister announced over the weekend that foreign workers entering Malaysia will be required to have a letter from their governments saying they have no links with militant organisations.

Malaysia relies heavily on foreign labour, particularly from Indonesia and the Philippines in its construction and plantation sectors.

Earlier this year, Malaysia expelled thousands of illegal migrants in a move prompted by security fears.

The policy created a worker shortage and the government subsequently issued new permits allowing hundreds of thousands to return.

It is not clear whether Malaysia's neighbours have the means to meet its new security requirements.

See also:

18 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
17 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
16 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
24 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
04 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
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