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Cablegate: Malaysia: Welcome Cable for Staffdel Grove

VZCZCXYZ0008
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKL #0957/01 3050846
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 310846Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1836
INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 3381
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2670
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 0144
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 4574
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2593
RUEHDN/AMCONSUL SYDNEY 0160

UNCLAS KUALA LUMPUR 000957

CODEL
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR H/PAUL RADEMACHER AND EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OREP AMGT ASEC AFIN TH BM SN AS MY
SUBJECT: MALAYSIA: WELCOME CABLE FOR STAFFDEL GROVE

REF: STATE 115338

1. Embassy Kuala Lumpur warmly welcomes the November 18-19
visit to Malaysia by Mr. Paul Grove and Ms. Michelle Wymer
from the Senate Appropriations Committee. The purpose of the
trip is to conduct oversight of State Department and Foreign
Operations. Post will be generating a notional schedule for
staffdel's review shortly.

2. Embassy control officer is Counselor for Political
Affairs Mark Clark, Telephone: (603) 2168-4946, Fax: (603)
2168-5165, Cellular: (60) 12-278-0125, E-mail:
Clarkmd@state.gov; assisted by Claudia Ellingwood, Political
Section, Telephone: (603) 2168-4843, Cellular: (60)
12-232-1101, E-mail: Ellingwoodcr@state.gov.

3. Hotel and Airport Transfer: Reservations have been made
at the Hotel J.W. Marriott in Kuala Lumpur for the night of
November 18, 2009 for a non-smoking room at US$101 net with
breakfast (183 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur 55100,
Malaysia, Tel: (603) 2715-9000 FAX: (603) 2715-7013).
Confirmation numbers are: 178698 and 178699. We have
requested late check-out on November 19. You will be met at
the airport by control officer and expeditor.

4. Malaysia Security Threat Assessment:

A. Crime: Malaysia's overall crime rate is medium and
violent crimes involving tourists are relatively uncommon.
Most criminal activity directed against foreigners is limited
to non-violent crimes such as petty theft, credit card fraud,
and residential burglary. Purse snatchings are common, and
usually perpetrated by thieves on motorcycles or in cars who
grab purses and then speed off. These thefts occur at all
hours and often in front of large groups of witnesses. Women
walking by themselves or with small children are the most
common targets. People have been injured or killed by being
pulled to the ground by their purse straps as the thieves
speed off. Purses or shoulder bags should be closed and
tucked under the arm and the strap held, but not wrapped
around your arm or shoulder. If your bag is grabbed,
immediately let go of it and do not put up a struggle. To
avoid becoming the victim of a purse snatching, be alert and
aware of your surroundings. Walk facing traffic, preferably
with a group of people, and avoid poorly lit streets and
narrow alleys. If possible, walk on the sidewalk away from
the curb. Keep a low profile and do not carry large sums of
cash or wear expensive jewelry. If possible, leave wallets
or purses at home and just carry necessary cash and ID in a
front pocket.

Credit card fraud continues to be a problem in Malaysia.
Travelers should avoid using credit cards, if possible.
Credit card numbers should be closely safeguarded at all
times. Visitors are encouraged to bring traveler's checks to
pay hotel bills directly. Unfortunately, the Embassy Cashier
does not have sufficient cash reserves to support cash
payment of hotel bills for visitors. ATM machines are
prevalent throughout Malaysia and there have been few reports
of fraud connected with their use. Travelers, however,
should only use ATM machines co-located with a bank. ATM
users should also exercise the same types of caution using
ATMs as in the U.S. Personal checks can be cashed at the
Embassy Cashier for daily operational needs.

If you need emergency police assistance, contact the Royal
Malaysia Police by dialing 999 or 03-2115-9999. The Fire
Brigade can be reached by dialing 994.

B. Terrorism: Travelers should consult the Department's
Consular Information Sheet for updated information concerning
travel to Malaysia, especially if travel to the coastal areas
of eastern Sabah or Southern Thailand is planned. Travelers
should also be aware of the Department's periodic Worldwide
Cautions re-emphasizing that US citizens abroad may be
targets of terrorist actions. The Consular Information Sheet
and Public Announcement are available on the Department
website at http://travel.state.gov.

C. Vehicle safety: Vehicles in Malaysia are right-hand drive
and traffic moves on the left side of the road. Traffic in
Malaysia is heavy, especially in and around the capital of
Kuala Lumpur. Motorbikes weave in and out of traffic, posing
a hazard for both drivers and pedestrians. Laws against
drinking and driving are strictly enforced with stiff
penalties. There have been recent incidents of road rage
from individuals in the aftermath of accidents. You should
avoid escalating any confrontations if you are involved in an
accident.

D. Criminal penalties: Many criminal penalties are quite
severe in Malaysia, and they are enforced uniformly.
Firearms offenses carry strict penalties. There is a
mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking.

E. Counterfeit and pirated goods, including CDs, DVDs,
software packages, and consumer goods, are widely available
in Malaysia. Transactions involving such products are
illegal and bringing back to the United States may result in
forfeitures and/or fines by U.S. Customs. For further
information, contact CBP (http://www.cbp.gov/).

F. Airline restrictions: Malaysia, as well as many other
countries in Asia and around the world, has imposed
restrictions on liquids in carry-on luggage. Travelers
should check on the current guidance at the airports they are
transiting and departing from prior to packing their carry-on
bag.

G. Emergency contact information: U.S. citizens are
encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
The Embassy can be contacted by telephone at (603)
2168-5000, or by e-mail at klconsular@state.gov. If you need
security assistance please contact the RSO at 2168-5111 or
2168-5033. After hours, contact the Marine Security Guard at
Post One at 2168-4959. For other after-hours emergencies,
please contact the Embassy duty officer at (012) 218-4691.


KEITH

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