Anifah meets M'sian detained in UAE (Updated)

PUTRAJAYA: Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman has met with a Malaysian civil engineer, Richard Lau, who was detained in Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since April last year on suspicion of stealing wages.

The meeting took place in conjunction with Anifah's one-day working visit in the UAE's northernmost emirate on Wednesday where he also paid a courtesy call on Ras Al Khaimah's ruler, Sheikh Saud Saqr Al Qasimi at the Khuzam Palace.

According to Wisma Putra, besides the development of bilateral relations between Malaysia and UAE as well as the current issues of mutual interest involving Asia and the world, the issue related to Lau's arrest were also touched during his meeting with the emir.

"The Foreign Minister (Anifah) expresses appreciation of the Malaysian government on the assistance provided by the Emir of the Ras Al Khaimah, as well as the spirit of brotherhood and trust showed by the UAE government in helping to solve the issue on the detention of a Malaysian, Richard Lau," it said in a statement today.

Anifah also conveyed regards from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak during the meeting.

The ministry also said Anifah held a meeting with Ras Al Khaimah authorities and sought consideration for Lau to be released on bail while waiting for the case to be brought up in court.

"The foreign minister (Anifah) has also asked for his (Lau's) case to be resolved the soonest possible," it said.

It was reported that Lau, 41, was sent to Ras Al Khaimah five years ago by a Miri-based marine transportation company as a project coordinator for its subsidiary over there.

The report also mentioned that Lau was arrested following a complaint lodged by an UAE citizen, who is a partner to the subsidiary company, claiming that the Malaysian man stole money for wages.

According to Wisma Putra, Anifah had informed Lau about UAE government's readiness to consider the bail application and to resolve the case as soon as possible.

The ministry also said Lau was now reportedly fine, and that he thanked Anifah and the Malaysian government for the help.

"The foreign minister has also stressed on the need for Lau to adhere to local laws until the case is fully solved," it said. — Bernama