‘Malaysia should seek help from UN to re­solve cri­sis’

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia should seek the United Na­tions’ sup­port to pres­sure Py­ongyang to re­lease Malaysians “held hostage” in North Korea and to avoid the diplo­matic row from es­ca­lat­ing, in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions and hu­man rights ex­perts say.

Cen­tre for Hu­man Rights and Ad­vo­cacy (Cen­thra) chief ex­ec­u­tive Azril Mohd Amin said the move to ban Malaysians from leav­ing North Korea had in­fringed on the ba­sic right of free­dom of move­ment and pos­si­bly threat­ened the right of life and per­sonal lib­erty of the af­fected Malaysians.

He said there was an ur­gent need for the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil to con­vene and re­solve the cri­sis af­fect­ing in­no­cent Malaysians, given the her­mit king­dom’s bla­tant dis­re­gard for hu­man rights and hu­man­i­tar­ian con­cerns.

“In­no­cent lives con­tinue to be at risk. The United Na­tions 2014 Com­mis­sion of In- quiry re­port un­cov- ered sys­tem­atic, wide­spread and grave vi­o­la­tions of hu­man rights in North Korea,” he said.

Azril said it would not be sur­pris­ing if North Korea were to com­mit fur­ther wan­ton acts of ter­ror, such as ex­tra-ju­di­cial ex­e­cu­tions and sum­mary killings.

“The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity knows full well that the coun­try re­mains among the world’s most re­pres­sive coun­tries, where ba­sic free­doms have been re­stricted and de­nied to most of its pop­u­la­tion, who con­tinue to be brain­washed by un­ceas­ing Work­ers’ Party state pro­pa­ganda cour­tesy of the Kim fam­ily’s po­lit­i­cal dy­nasty,” he told the New Straits

Times yes­ter­day. How­ever, In­sti­tute of Strate­gic and In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies Malaysia (Isis) se­nior an­a­lyst Shah­ri­man Lock­man said it would be ir­re­spon­si­ble to seek the use of force and it would be fu­tile to get the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil to con­vene.

“Malaysia should seek the sup­port of the United Na­tions and coun­tries with diplo­matic mis­sions in Py­ongyang to pres­sure the North Kore­ans.

“The UN has, at the very least, a stake in the Malaysians work­ing for them in North Korea.

“Other coun­tries with diplo­matic rep­re­sen­ta­tion in North Korea would recog­nise that this el­e­vates the risks to their diplo­mats and cit­i­zens in the North,” he said.

Universiti Utara Malaysia In­ter­na­tional Pol­i­tics and Asean Re­la­tions se­nior lec­turer said the diplo­matic row with the reclu­sive state could only be re­solved if both coun­tries were open to diplo­matic dis­cus­sion.

“At the end of the day, this con­flict can only be re­solved through dis­cus­sion.

“There are many chan­nels we can use to avoid any es­ca­la­tion of the sit­u­a­tion.

“If we (Malaysia) fail to get North Korea to hold a dis­cus­sion with us, we can still try to talk with their al­lies, such as China and Rus­sia,” he said yes­ter­day.

“A diplo­matic so­lu­tion is the best way to han­dle things.”

Azril Mohd Amin

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