KUCHING: Ambassador-Designate of Malaysia to the Holy See, Westmoreland Edward Palon presented his credentials to Pope Francis yesterday, dressed in a black traditional Baju Melayu.
According to news portal Rome Reports, Westmoreland, a Bidayuh who hails from Kampung Duras here presented the pope with an intricately designed beadwork from Sarawak and received a selection of the pope’s most important magisterial texts, as well as rosaries.
The two could be seen smiling and exchanging pleasantries during their meeting, with Westmoreland taking the opportunity to have the artifacts he received blessed by the pope.
Malaysia re-established diplomatic relations with the Holy See in 2011.
Westmoreland, 50, started his career as an Administrative and Diplomatic Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1996. He was the Consul General at Consulate General of Malaysia in Melbourne, Australia since 2015 prior to his appointment as Ambassador of Malaysia to the Holy See.
He previously served as Assistant Secretary (West Europe) from 1996 until 1999, Assistant Secretary (Information) from 1999 to 2000 and Second Secretary at High Commission of Malaysia in the Republic of Singapore from 2000 to 2004.
He later served as First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Malaysia in the United Nations in New York, United States of America from 2004 until 2007 and Principal Assistant Secretary (America) from 2007 until 2010.
He had also served as Counselor at Embassy of Malaysia in Santiago, Chile from 2010 to 2013 and Director at Asean-Malaysia National Secretariat from 2013 to 2015.
Westmoreland received his Letter of Credence from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah with two other Heads of Mission of Malaysia in a ceremony held at Istana Negara, Kuala Lumpur on March 21.