RAUB: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday instructed the Foreign Ministry to present to the Cabinet an assessment of the diplomatic ties with North Korea.
This follows the “less-than-diplomatic” remarks by North Korean ambassador to Malaysia, Kang Chol, recently, claiming that Malaysia was in cohorts with Pyongyang’s enemies in the murder case of Kim Jong-nam, the older half-brother of the country’s leader Kim Jong-un on Feb 13.
“We leave our diplomatic ties to the Foreign Ministry to carry out an assessment and present to the Cabinet to decide.
“We hope it can be maintained…but at the same time, respect the laws of our country and respect the professionalism of our experts,” he said on Kang Chol’s allegations and investigation process conducted by Malaysia on the case.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, was speaking after a working visit to the Sungai Ruan Cure and Care Drug Addicts Rehabilitation Centre here yesterday.
The event was also attended by the state’s Cooperatives, Entrepreneurship and Consumerism Committee chairman Datuk Seri Shahiruddin Ab Moin, who represented Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob and National Anti-Drug Agency director-general, Datuk Dr Abd Halim Mohd Hussin.
Umno Youth recently called on the government to review the diplomatic ties with North Korea following remarks made by its leaders including Kang Chol which did not respect Malaysia’s sovereignity.
In a press conference held on Feb 17, Kang Chol claimed that Malaysia “had something to conceal” and was “colluding and playing into the gallery of external forces’ in the investigation into Jong-nam’s murder.
Commenting further, Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia was conducting the investigations professionally without any (external) influence or in cohorts with any individual, organisation or third country.
“Malaysia is not a third country which breeds criminals, Malaysia is not a country that protects criminals, Malaysia is a strict country and not in cohorts with any individual, organisation or nation which does that,” he said.
“We are among the countries which are strict about these things, don’t play reverse psychology…we do not want to be enemies with any country, but at the same time, we will also not accept accusations that we are in cohorts in this murder,” he said.
The Deputy Prime Minister also urged the parties concerned not to make any more statements accusing Malaysia of being involved and should respect the existing diplomatic ties.
“In this matter, the diplomatic ties must be respected, use more diplomatic language…because our PDRM (police), Health Department and Chemistry Department have acted professionally.
“Do not accuse us of working with any third country to confuse the facts,” he said. — BERNAMA