N. Korea has no ba­sis for de­tain­ing Malaysians, says Rais

New Straits Times - - News -

North Korea must al­low Malaysians there to re­turn home as there is no ba­sis to bar them from leav­ing the coun­try, said for­mer for­eign min­is­ter Tan Sri Dr Rais Ya­tim.

Rais said the Malaysian of­fi­cials and their fam­i­lies stranded in Py­ongyang, had noth­ing to do with Kim Jong­nam’s mur­der.

He said Malaysians there were in­no­cent, and there must be some hu­man­ity in the Kim Jong-un-led gov­ern­ment to let them go.

“They have got noth­ing to do with this mur­der. And by virtue of hu­man­ity, since there is no nexus, why should they be for­bid­den from re­turn­ing home or go­ing to Bei­jing, China, or wher­ever?

So, if that is con­sid­ered by North Korea, it would au­gur well for the ob­servers of nat­u­ral law and nat­u­ral justice for hu­man­ity.

“Be­cause (whether) you like it or not, com­mu­nism or cap­i­tal­ism, the ba­sic ques­tion is hu­man­ity. When a per­son is not con­nected to the crime what­so­ever, we have no nexus, rhyme or rea­son to hold him in a spot and that must be recog­nised by ev­ery­body. Oth­er­wise, it can be seen as a ran­som un­der­tak­ing. You hold in­no­cent peo­ple, who have got noth­ing to do with the crime. You will be held re­spon­si­ble for not be­ing fair and just in the face of hu­man­ity.

“I hope the young dic­ta­tor can ap­pre­ci­ate that. Over here, our prime min­is­ter (Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak) has said we don’t want to hold any­body.

“But North Korea has other ideas, which is not fair. And the fair­ness must be just, also by the United Na­tions (UN). We could also pe­ti­tion the UN by virtue of hu­man rights but that would be te­dious and would not hap­pen very fast.”

Rais was com­ment­ing on the diplo­matic row be­tween Malaysia and North Korea, fol­low­ing the Feb 13 mur­der of Jong-nam, the half brother of Jong-un, at klia2.

He said this af­ter de­liv­er­ing a key­note ad­dress at the Third In­ter­na­tional Coun­cil of Is­lamic Fi­nance

Ed­u­ca­tors (ICIFE) an­nual gen­eral meet­ing and in­ter­na­tional fo­rum on Is­lamic fi­nance ed­u­ca­tion here yesterday.

Be­sides be­ing the ICIFE in­ter­na­tional ad­vi­sory board chair­man, Rais at­tended the event as In­ter­na­tional Is­lamic Univer­sity Malaysia (IIUM) pres­i­dent.

At the event, Rais launched two books au­thored by Dr Adam Ab­dul­lah ti­tled The Is­lamic Cur­rency and Is­lamic Lead­er­ship To­day, which was jointly writ­ten by Dr Ro­drigue Fon­taine, Pro­fes­sor Dr Khaliq Ah­mad and Dr Ga­pur Oziev, all of whom are from IIUM’s In­sti­tute of Is­lamic Bank­ing and Fi­nance.

Rais said Malaysia could not be too de­pen­dent on the Vi­enna Con­ven­tion on Diplo­matic Re­la­tions, say­ing that if more promi­nence was placed on it com­pared with do­mes­tic laws, the coun­try would fail in many as­pects in that fu­ture, and one in­stance would be the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the high-pro­file mur­der of Jong-nam.

In view of this, Rais said, there should be a change in the recog­ni­tion of do­mes­tic laws to su­per­sede those Malaysia is a sig­na­tory to.

“The ques­tion is: was the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure Code or the Pe­nal Code not used when the Vi­enna Con­ven­tion had su­per­seded it?

“It should have not been that way. But, be­cause we have not faced this be­fore, maybe now Par­lia­ment could weigh in on the su­pe­ri­or­ity of lo­cal laws.

“The pri­or­ity of do­mes­tic laws per­tain­ing to se­ri­ous crimes must be above the in­stru­ments we recog­nise diplo­mat­i­cally.

“We can­not al­low in­ter­na­tional pri­or­ity to take prece­dence over our lo­cal law.

“This is be­cause it in­volves a mur­der and not some­thing petty.

“As a coun­try, we must be able to de­ter­mine that if a mur­der or a se­ri­ous crime hap­pens, the coun­try’s laws must come first.

“This is be­cause this is our coun­try, not North Korea’s or other.”

Tan Sri Dr Rais Ya­tim

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