Malaysians did not hold back with their hostile comments when reacting to International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali’s visit to Austria, where he was seeking new investors.
Azmin, who has been widely criticized for numerous things including his alleged involvement in the collapse of Mahathir Mohamad’s government, was photographed meeting with Austrian Digital and Economic Affairs Minister Margarete Schramböck over the weekend to discuss investment opportunities. That photo was shared by Schramböck in an online post thanking Azmin for the meeting but was soon ambushed by Malaysians filling the comments section with words of caution against the minister.
“To the government of Austria. Please don’t trust this man who is the reason why the number of COVID cases rises sharply again. He is incompetent and a charlatan, the reason for the problems facing our own government and people. He can get lost anywhere in the world for all we care,” said Aminuddin Mahidin.
Azmin has been publicly blamed for allegedly being one of those responsible for the change in government last year after attending a not-so-secret meeting with other politicians at the Sheraton hotel. His ministry was also criticized for letting factories operate during the health crisis, leading to further COVID-19 outbreaks there, as well as preventing non-governmental organizations from distributing aid by considering them as not essential to operate during the Movement Control Order lockdown.
Another frustrated social media user said: “Madam, this man is a backdoor minister in Malaysia. While there are 70-80 people dying in Malaysia everyday due the virus, hundreds of thousands of businesses unable to operate, millions of people unable to travel across states and thousands unable to see loved ones, he flew to Europe for a meeting that can be done online. See that smirk on his face!”
“His political gang also shut parliament for close to 200 days already leaving no chance for pandemic policies to be debated. Hundreds of people have committed suicide due to various pandemic related stress and yet his government failed to act empathetically by according their own officials special privilege such as quarantine waiver. He is the most hated man in Malaysia, do not trust anything he says. He has zero integrity,” the user added.
Facebook user Ahmad Saifullah Razali labeled Azmin a “useless minister” in his comment to the Austrian minister: “Please keep him. Just give him permanent residence or quarantine him for lifetime. Just don’t let him come back to Malaysia. Thank you.”
En Anas joked to the Austrian minister about exchanging Azmin for anything, be it a loaf of bread or stone: “Her Excellency Dr. Margerete Schramböck, we want to trade Azmin Ali with anything convenient to you, a loaf… a stone, doesn’t matter. We’ll take anything for him to stay there. Please consider this trade, thank you.”
According to the International Trade and Industry Ministry on Saturday, several Austrian companies had expressed their interest in investing in Malaysia, citing its position as a gateway to the Asia-Pacific. The Establishment of Focal Points was signed on July 8 as a means to ramp up economic cooperation between both countries.
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