DAP MP says Speaker binned motion to discuss N. Korea row

BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY
Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said that two North Koreans applied and was approved in 2013 while two others applied and were approved a year later. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has rejected a motion tabled by DAP MP V. Sivakumar to discuss Malaysia's diplomatic row with North Korea, citing concerns for the safety of Malaysians trapped there.

In a statement today, the Batu Gajah MP said was informed of this in a letter he received from Pandikar this morning.

“Some of the contents of the letter is that, based on the current situation, it was pertinent to continue communications via diplomatic channels, so that the Malaysian government can communicate with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

“Especially to ensure that all of our country's citizens who are in North Korea, are safe and protected. Any action otherwise is feared to complicate matters and make it even difficult to settle the issue,” Sivakumar said.

He said his party accepted the decision to protect the safety of Malaysian citizens in North Korea.

Sivakumar submitted the motion two days ago, which Pandikar rejected in chambers.

North Korea imposed Tuesday a temporary travel ban on all Malaysians there following soured ties over the February 13 murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s older half-brother Kim Jong-nam here.

Malaysia later confirmed all 11 of its nationals in North Korea are safe. Two of them are United Nations employees there for a course related to the World Food Programme, while three are Malaysian embassy staff and the remaining six are their family members.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today said Putrajaya was doing everything in its powers to ensure the safe return of the Malaysians.