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Cablegate: Malaysia: Mfa Views On Non-Pro, Iaea, and Export Control Law

VZCZCXRO3801
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHKL #0049/01 0210854
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 210854Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3713
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 2685
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0231
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 2898
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0700
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0204
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1159
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY 0186

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 KUALA LUMPUR 000049

SIPDIS

FOR EAP/MTS, ISN, PM AND INR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/20/2030
TAGS: PREL KNNP PARM IAEA MNUC PGOV IR MY
SUBJECT: MALAYSIA: MFA VIEWS ON NON-PRO, IAEA, AND EXPORT CONTROL LAW

REF: A. 09 STATE 126209 -- U.S. APPROACH TO NPT CONFERENCE
B. 09 STATE 128736 -- NEXT STEPS WITH MALAYSIAN ON
PROLIFERATION
C. 09 KL 917 -- EINHORN MEETINGS IN KUALA LUMPUR
D. 09 KL 977 -- GOM STATEMENT ON IAEA VOTE
E. STATE 5003 -- PM A/S MEETING WITH MALAYSIAN
AMBASSADOR

Classified By: Political Counselor Brian D. McFeeters for reasons 1.4 b
and d.

Summary
-------

1. (S) The DCM met with MFA Deputy Secretary General Zainol
Abidin Omar on January 15 to convey Ref A talking points and
to discuss a range of other counter-proliferation and export
control-related issues (refs A and B). Referencing special
information that was provided to the GOM in early-November by
S/SANAC Einhorn, Zainol said that the GOM was still looking
into Malaysian companies suspected of illegal transshipment
activities involving Iran, but otherwise no concrete actions
had been taken. DCM urged the GOM to "redouble" its efforts
in this area. Zainol advised that his government was still
deliberating internally the disposition of dual-use
components and equipment that were seized by Malaysian
authorities on December 25 from a Middle East-bound vessel.
Regarding a new Export Control law, Zainol said that it was
now under near-final review at the Attorney General's office,
but he offered no timeline on when the bill might be
presented to parliament. On the fate of their Ambassador
(Arshad) to the IAEA, Zainol indicated that naming of a
successor was a sensitive issue and that it may take several
weeks (or longer) for a final decision. Zainol did state
that, in the interim, Arshad was still Chairman of the IAEA
Board of Governors. DCM encouraged the GOM to move quickly
on a replacement to clear up the "confusion" at the IAEA on
Arshad's status. Zainol welcomed the Jan 28 visit by ISN
acting Assistant Secretary Van Diepen and delegation. He
confirmed that the GOM would participate in EXBS-sponsored
training in March and expressed interest in sending officials
for additional export control-related training at the
University of Georgia in April. DCM briefly raised the
missing F-5 engines case. End Summary.

2. (C) DCM Rapson and Poloff Nathan met with Ambassador
Zainol Abidin Omar, the Deputy Secretary General in charge of
multilateral affairs at MFA on January 15. (Note: Zainol is
the no. 5 ranking officer in the MFA after the Foreign
Minister, two Deputy Ministers and the Secretary General.
End Note). Also in attendance from the MFA were Under
Secretary for non-proliferation Bala Chandra Tharman,
Principal Assistant Secretary for non-proliferation Shazryll
Zahiran, and Principal Assistant Secretary for United States
affairs Muhammad Radzi bin Jamaluddin. The discussion was
cordial and went for an hour-plus.

3. (S) The DCM recalled Special Advisor for Non-Proliferation
Einhorn's November 4 meeting with MFA Secretary General
Rastam (ref C), during which Einhorn provided the MFA a
special list of companies of concern that were engaging in
transshipment activities with Iran, and asked for a status
update on any GOM decisions or actions with respect to the
listed companies. Zainol replied "We have requested security
agencies to initiate their investigations," but added that,
thus far, "the investigation has not been able to unearth any
activities that are in contravention to UN resolutions." The
DCM emphasized that the U.S. has "strong concerns" about the
companies listed and their activities, and urged the GOM to
"redouble" its efforts in this area. Zainol acknowledged
this request and said the GOM would "welcome any additional
information on those companies." He noted that the Foreign
Ministry has the inter-agency lead on non-proliferation
issues, and that bilateral requests for cooperation and
assistance on these types of issues should be "funneled
through the MFA."

Update on the Christmas Day Seizure
-----------------------------------

4. (S) DCM thanked and briefly queried about the status of
the shipment of dual-usage parts and equipment seized by the
GOM from a middle east-bound vessel over the Christmas day
holiday. Zainol replied that all the information they can
share has been separately channeled to the relevant U.S.
agencies. Zainol did note that they (the GOM) are still
conducting their internal investigation on whether or not the
equipment and parts seized were of dual-use concern as the
USG is alleging. (Comment: Zainol declined to offer any info
on current disposition of the seized shipment, although his
comments clearly implied that the consignment was still under
GOM control. Moreover, he provided no indication that the
GOM would be reaching out to the UN Security Council for
guidance on evaluation and analysis and handling of the
seized shipment as had been indicated to us through liaison
channels. End comment.)

Export Control Law in Final Stages, but...
------------------------------------------

5. (C) Zainol confirmed that the GOM "is in the final stages"
of drafting the export control law bill, and said that the
draft is currently with the Attorney General's office.
Zainol did not want to speculate when the AG's office would
finish its review and when the bill would be presented to
parliament, given, he said, that there are a range of other
"urgent" issues on the PM, AG's, and Parliament's plate such
as review and revision of the controversial Internal
Security Act (ISA). Zainol opined that the process could
"take some time" as the AG's office needs to consider how an
export control law would tie into and affect existing laws.
Zainol concluded by noting that once the proposed bill was
finalized, it "would be introduced to parliament at the
appropriate time." DCM thanked Zainol for this update and
recalled the high priority both the PM and Foreign Minister
placed late last year on early passage of the export control
law. He noted that the USG stands ready to assist the GOM,
including through the provision of training and technical
assistance (see para 8, below).

Van Diepen Delegation Visit
---------------------------

6. (SBU) The DCM previewed the January 28th visit of ISN
acting Assistant Secretary Van Diepen and delegation,
thanking Zainol for agreeing to meet with the A/S and for
assembling an interagency team on the Malaysian side for that
meeting at MFA. The DCM confirmed that we are also seeking
separate appointments for the delegation at MITI, the
Attorney General's offices and the PM's office. Zainol said
he look forward to the discussions with A/S Van Diepen and
welcomed further engagement with the U.S. on
non-proliferation and export control issues.

IAEA and the Status of Ambassador Arshad
----------------------------------------

7. (C) The DCM asked Zainol for clarification on the status
of Malaysia's Ambassador to the IAEA (and co-current Chairman
of the IAEA Board of Governors) Arshad (Ref D), noting that
there have been some confusing signals of late emanating from
various sources about his recall and the naming of a
successor. Zainol was coy on providing a direct answer, and
would only say that "at the moment, we are unable to say
anything," other than that he (Arshad) "is still chair of the
IAEA Board of Governors" until a new Ambassador is
identified. Zainol explained that there is a delay because
"the nomination of a new ambassador is very sensitive,"
adding that "the process takes a few weeks." The DCM recalled
the Foreign Minister's public comments on this subject last
month and recent senior level communications we have received
from the GOM.

Training and Enhancing Engagement
---------------------------------

8. (SBU) Zainol welcomed increased interaction and engagement
between the USG and GOM on the non-proliferation front. He
confirmed that the GOM planned to participate in an
EXBS-sponsored non-proliferation workshop in March 2010, and
was interested in sending two candidates to the University of
Georgia within the next few months for more specialized and
extensive export control-related training. Zainol commented
that the MFA has been preparing for the Nuclear Security
Summit in Washington this April, which PM Najib will attend.
DCM Rapson noted USG interest in having Malaysia's Attorney
General visit Washington for discussions on a range of
bilateral issues, including the export control law.

Missing F-5 Engines
-------------------

9. (C) Following up on PM PDAS Countryman's January 14
meeting with the Malaysian Ambassador to Washington about the
missing F-5 engines case (ref E), DCM reiterated to Zainol
the seriousness with which we view this issue and that we
look forward to a full report/accounting by the GOM. This
was necessary to ensure the US has the "fullest confidence"
in Malaysia's ability to handle and account for sensitive
defense equipment. Zainol replied that "we are seriously
concerned" and that the GOM "fully understands that this is
an obligation we have to undertake," but also added that "my
department is only concerned with nuclear non-proliferation"
and that "we (MFA) are not the lead on the issue." When
asked about those arrested for their alleged involvement with
the F-5 engines, Zainol replied that the issue "is now before
the court, so it's difficult to offer any further comment."
KEITH

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