Jong-Nam’s death an iso­lated case — Ah­mad Zahid

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From page 1 Asked if the body would be re­leased af­ter an au­topsy, Ah­mad Zahid said: “Yes, we have to fol­low med­i­cal pro­ce­dure, es­pe­cially the foren­sic part of it.”

When asked if Jong-nam’s death had been cat­e­gorised as sud­den death or mur­der, he said it was an op­er­a­tional mat­ter and the po­lice would give an of­fi­cial state­ment on the mat­ter.

Re­ply­ing to an­other ques­tion, Ah­mad Zahid said the death had not af­fected bi­lat­eral ties be­tween North Korea and Malaysia.

He said the gov­ern­ment would main­tain and strengthen diplo­matic re­la­tions with any coun­try that had their em­bassies in Malaysia.

“We recog­nise that diplo­matic re­la­tions will be strength­ened and we would like to fa­cil­i­tate if they have any prob­lem per­tain­ing to their se­cu­rity in our coun­try,” he said.

Ah­mad Zahid said the in­ci­dent was an iso­lated case which could have hap­pened in any coun­try.

He said no Py­ongyang of­fi­cial had con­tacted him di­rectly or sought his help but he was aware that they had been in con­tact with Wisma Pu­tra.

On spec­u­la­tion that North Korea was be­hind the death of Jong-nam, Ah­mad Zahid said it was merely spec­u­la­tion.

Ah­mad Zahid also gave an as­sur­ance on the safety at Malaysia’s air­ports, in­clud­ing KL In­ter­na­tional Air­port 2 ( klia2), say­ing it was at the high­est level and that the death was an iso­lated case.

“We have high- def­i­ni­tion closed-cir­cuit tele­vi­sion (CCTV) cam­eras, the (au­thor­i­ties’) om­nipres­ence and se­cu­rity sys­tem,” he said.

In Jong-nam’s case, he said, the Malaysian au­thor­i­ties were mon­i­tor­ing the footage of CCTV cam­eras and would be get­ting de­tails from those ar­rested.

Ah­mad Zahid said that at Wed­nes­day’s Cabi­net meet­ing, it was stressed that the gov­ern­ment would pro­tect visi­tors to the coun­try and would not com­pro­mise on any se­cu­rity is­sue cre­ated by Malaysians or for­eign­ers.

He said the Cabi­net also agreed that Malaysia would fa­cil­i­tate the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the death of Jong-nam. Asked when and why Jong­nam en­tered Malaysia, Ah­mad Zahid said Malaysia’s Im­mi­gra­tion Act al­lowed any le­gal vis­i­tor to en­ter the coun­try. “When he en­tered, why was he here and why was he fly­ing to Ma­cau, th­ese are op­er­a­tional ques­tions which the Di­rec­tor­Gen­eral of the Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment or the po­lice will be able to an­swer,” he said. — Ber­nama

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