NO MORE VISA-FREE TRAVEL FOR N. KOREA
DPM makes the decision in his capacity as home minister
THE government has cancelled its visa-free policy for visiting North Koreans because of national security issues.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday said they would need a visa to enter Malaysia effective Monday, adding that he made the decision in his capacity as home minister.
“The move will be implemented by the Immigration Department and we will gazette the visa enforcement on North Koreans on Monday,” he said.
Zahid, who attended the monthly Home Ministry gathering here, warned North Korean diplomats not to take advantage of Malaysia.
“North Korean diplomats, whether in Malaysia or in international organisations, are reminded not to humiliate or manipulate Malaysia.
“We do not want to make enemies. We are a firm government and we want to maintain the peace of our country and the well-being of Malaysians.
“We urge these diplomats not to use Malaysia as a platform for their national agenda,” he said.
Diplomatic ties between the two countries have soured since the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, on Feb 13. He was poisoned by two women at klia2 while awaiting a flight to Macau.
North Korea has criticised Malaysia’s conduct of the investigation and demanded that the body be returned to the North.
“It is unfair to accuse Malaysia of conspiring with other organisations or countries.
“If North Korea has its own agenda, do not use reverse psychology on us. Do not tar the image of Malaysia internationally.”
At the gathering, Zahid presented Excellent Service Award to 357 ministry officers and personnel for their outstanding performance last year.
Meanwhile, no trade embargo has been imposed on Malaysian companies keen on doing business with North Korean companies despite Jong-nam’s murder, says International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
He said the government had no right to make any decision as it was entirely up to the private companies.
“Malaysia is not a state economy and (the trade with North Korea) is driven by the private sector.
“I believe there aren’t many Malaysian private sector companies operating in North Korea.
“So, we leave it to the Malaysian companies to make their own assessment of risks and opportunities,” he said after announcing Malaysia’s Investment Performance in 2016 here yesterday.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi presenting the Excellent Service Award to Firdaus Warni during the Home Ministry’s monthly meeting in Putrajaya yesterday.