N. Korea has no basis for detaining M'sians: Rais Yatim

DAWN CHAN


SHAH ALAM: Former Foreign Affairs Minister Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim has called for the release of Malaysians in North Korea, as there is no basis to bar them from returning home.

Rais has described them as innocent people, saying that there must be “humanity in the Kim Jong-un-led government” to let them go.

"(The Malaysians) have got nothing to do with (the Kim Jong-nam murder-triggered crisis). And by virtue of humanity, since there is no nexus, why should they be forbidden from returning home or going to Beijing, or wherever. If North Korea (would take that into consideration), it would augur well for observers of natural law and natural justice, and for humanity.

"Because (whether) you like it or not, whether communism or capitalism, the basic question is humanity. When a person is not connected with a 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, they have got nothing to do with the crime. You will be held responsible for not being fair and just in the face of humanity.

"With that, I hope that (Jong-un will consider my appeal). Over here, our Prime Minister has said we don't want to detain anybody. But North Korea has got other ideas, which are not fair. And the (lack of) fairness (could be brought up at) the United Nations. We could also petition to the United Nations, (on the grounds) of human rights, but that would be tedious and that would not happen very fast," said Rais today.

He was responding to a question on the ongoing row between Malaysia and North Korea following the murder of the Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of Kim Jong-un.

Rais spoke to the press after delivering a keynote address at the 3rd International Council of Islamic Finance Educators’ annual general meeting, and international forum on Islamic finance education at the Hotel UiTM, here.

Rais also launched two books, authored by Dr Adam Abdullah, titled The Islamic Currency, as well as Islamic Leadership Today, jointly-written by Dr Rodrigue Fontaine, Prof Dr Khaliq Ahmad and Dr Gapur Oziev, all of whom are from the International Islamic University Malaysia's Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance.