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Members of Rõivas-led trade delegation accused of harassment

Rõivas talking to a local journalist during his recent trip to Singapore and Malaysia.
Rõivas talking to a local journalist during his recent trip to Singapore and Malaysia. Source: (CNBC)

An official trade delegation of Enterprise Estonia visited Malaysia in late September. The delegation was lead by second deputy president of the Riigikogu and former prime minister, Taavi Rõivas (Reform). The behavior of some of the delegation’s members was “undignified”, daily Eesti Päevaleht wrote on Thursday.

The 34-strong delegation left for a ten-day trip to Malaysia and Singapore on Sep. 18. Rõivas’ wife, singer Luisa Rõivas, traveled with her husband at her own expense. While the delegation was in Malaysia she spent time in Bali, according to the paper.

While not all of the delegation’s members participated in the Malaysia visit, and they only spent the night of Sep. 21 there, the Estonian men apparently still managed to leave “an extremely bad impression”, as Päevaleht wrote.

After the official part of the visit was over, members of the delegation spent time in a local bar, where they were joined both by Estonian people working in Malaysia as well as others they met during their time in the country.

According to the paper, what happened that evening included one male member of the delegation pouring his drink over the woman he was talking to, saying “I wanted to make you wet”. At least one Estonian woman present fell victim to what Päevaleht described as “aggressive sexual harassment”, two more complained about unwanted advances made by delegation members.

In another incident that same evening, a drunk member of the delegation apparently pushed one of the women present into a swimming pool.

Rõivas apologizes, says woman that ended up in pool not part of delegation

Taavi Rõivas submitted an apology to Päevaleht on Wednesday. “As the leader of the trade delegation and in the name of all of the delegation I apologize to all those people who felt bad after what happened at the party in Kuala Lumpur,” Rõivas wrote.

Business development fund Enterprise Estonia, which had arranged the delegation’s trip, commented that outside of the official program of the delegation’s visit to Malaysia, a “regrettable” incident had taken place where a woman that didn’t belong to the delegation had been pushed into a swimming pool.

“The leader of the delegation decided to exclude the member connected with the incident from the remainder of the program,” Enterprise Estonia wrote, adding that the person in question would be barred from participating in trade delegations organized by the fund for a year.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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