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Tue, Nov 26, 2002 - Page 12 News List

Malaysia worries about impact of travel warning


Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday called for a detailed economic study of foreign travel warnings on the predominantly Moslem country.

The national Treasury Department will carry out the in-depth study following the recent issuance of travel advisories by several countries warning their citizens against visiting Malaysia.

The US State Department warned Thursday terrorist attacks, similar last month's bombings in Bali, Indonesia could possibly take place in Southeast Asia.

In a public announcement, the US State Department said it was worried the regional Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) network -- suspected of a role in the Oct. 12 Bali bombings -- could target Westerners outside Indonesia, and specifically mentioned Malaysia.

It warned US citizens to "remain vigilant with regard to personal security and to exercise caution" in travelling to Malaysia, particularly its eastern Sabah state on Borneo island.

Abdullah was quoted by the official Bernama news agency as saying the government was "very worried" the travel advisories would also affect the arrival of citizens from other countries.

Australia, Germany and Canada have also issued similar alerts.

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