Malaysia sev­ers di­rect diplo­matic ties with Py­ongyang — Ani­fah

The Borneo Post - - FRONT PAGE -

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Malaysia will not be send­ing its am­bas­sador again to Py­ongyang, North Korea at this mo­ment.

In­stead, the Malaysian Em­bassy in Bei­jing, China will be em­pow­ered to han­dle the coun­try’s diplo­matic mat­ters with North Korea.

For­eign Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Ani­fah Aman said Wisma Pu­tra will be seek­ing the cabi­net’s ap­proval to ac­credit the Malaysian Em­bassy in Bei­jing with such pow­ers.

“At the mo­ment, there will be no am­bas­sador to be sent to Py­ongyang. It will be han­dled from Bei­jing,” he told re­porters here yes­ter­day af­ter a talk at De­tar Pu­tra, Univer­siti Malaysia Sarawak (Un­i­mas).

Ani­fah was asked to elab­o­rate a point he made in the talk when he said a cabi­net pa­per was be­ing pre­pared to ac­credit Malaysian Em­bassy in Bei­jing to han­dle diplo­matic mat­ters with North Korea.

Malaysians have re­cently been banned from trav­el­ling to North Korea.

Ten­sion between Malaysia and North Korea es­ca­lated af­ter North Korean leader Kim Jong- Un’s es­tranged half brother was killed at Kuala Lumpur In­ter­na­tional Air­port 2 ( klia2) in Fe­bru­ary.

Af­ter the in­ci­dent, Malaysia re­called its am­bas­sador to North Korea as Wisma Pu­tra sum­moned Py­ongyang’s am­bas­sador to Malaysia fol­low­ing his strong crit­i­cism against the govern­ment.

On an­other mat­ter, Ani­fah said Bangladesh has wel­comed the idea of set­ting up a field hospi­tal by Malaysia to han­dle Ro­hingya refugees from Myan­mar.

He re­vealed that Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi would be go­ing to Bangladesh this Sun­day (Oct 15) for fur­ther dis­cus­sion on this mat­ter.

He, how­ever, did not want to elab­o­rate fur­ther as he pre­ferred the hon­our to be given to the Deputy Prime Min­is­ter to make the an­nounce­ment.

Dur­ing the talk, Ani­fah re­vealed the plan to set up the field hospi­tal to help Bangladesh pro­vide med­i­cal aid to the Ro­hingya refugees, while stress­ing that Malaysia’s po­si­tion on the Ro­hingya is­sue has been con­sis­tent.

“We be­lieve that the mat­ter is no longer a do­mes­tic con­flict. Re­cent ex­pe­ri­ence shows that if not ad­dressed, it will re­sult in a full-blown re­gional hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis re­sult­ing in hun­dreds of thou­sands more flee­ing Myan­mar in fear of per­se­cu­tion,” he had said dur­ing the talk.

When asked about the United States visa waiver pro­gramme for Malaysia, Ani­fah said Malaysia is stlll work­ing on achiev­ing this which may re­quire amend­ments to cer­tain leg­is­la­tions. He said Malaysia has met six of the seven con­di­tions laid out by the US.

“I’m not too overly con­cerned on the visa waiver as it is still quite rea­son­able. We have yet to ful­fil cer­tain con­di­tions be­cause I think there are cer­tain leg­is­la­tions that we need to amend... We will look and see,” he said.

The visa waiver pro­gramme for Malaysia, mooted dur­ing talks between Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Tun Razak and the then US pres­i­dent Barack Obama in April 2014, would en­able Malaysians to en­ter and stay in the US with­out a visa for a max­i­mum of 90 days for tourism and busi­ness.

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