Only 315 N. Koreans remain in the country: DPM

KRISTY INUS

TAWAU: Only 315 North Koreans remain in Malaysia at the present time, and they include students, Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) participants, as well as workers in various sectors.

They are the remnants of 2,453 North Koreans residing in this country between 2014 and this year, according to Immigration statistics, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi revealed today.

"Out of the 2,453, 11 were students and 801 were under temporary work visit permits, (including) 180 miners in Sarawak.

"But in our current records, only 315 are still here (as of today). The rest must have returned to their home country," he said to reporters after launching the ‘Jalinan Kasih’ carnival at the municipal field here.

Zahid said the movements of the 315 will not be monitored, but methods exist which can be used to oversee things, especially when “negative elements” surface.

In addition, Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said there is no need for a third country or party to intervene in the Malaysia-North Korea crisis, as he is confident that the matter can be resolved diplomatically and will not be prolonged.

On another matter, Zahid said the good chemistry between the federal government and Sabah ensures that assistance can be properly and continuously channelled to the state.

In his speech during the event organised by Kalabakan Umno division's Training and Research bureau, Zahid said the close collaboration between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has benefited the state.

"This close relationship is not for individual (advantage), but for the people.

"Close collaboration between the people and the leaders, between non-governmental organisations and politicians, between federal and state levels, must be strengthened to ensure continued development in the state," he stressed.

Zahid said the time of “zero-mistake government” has passed, and weaknesses must be identified, admitted and fixed.

"We should not have ‘denial syndrome’, instead, we improve on our weaknesses," he said.

The Deputy Prime Minister reminded the rakyat that the government's efforts are not only to cater to current needs, but also to the aspirations of Generations Y and Z.

"Gen Y has up-to-date tastes and may want something fresh; and Gen Z, those in preschool and primary school now – we need to care about how to shape them, as they will shape our future," he added.