MCA claims double standards with Indonesian’s release in Kim Jong-nam murder

Indonesian Siti Aisyah (left), accused in the 2017 killing of Kim Jong-nam, and who was freed by the High Court, attends a news conference at the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2019. — Reuters pic
Indonesian Siti Aisyah (left), accused in the 2017 killing of Kim Jong-nam, and who was freed by the High Court, attends a news conference at the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2019. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 — Perak MCA today accused the prosecution of double standards by dropping charges against one of the accused in the murder of North Korean Kim Jong-nam.

Perak MCA chairman Datuk Mah Hang Soon in a statement accused the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) of succumbing to pressure from Indonesia by allowing Siti Aisyah to return to her home yesterday, while Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong was still in custody.

“Since the murder charge against Siti Aisyah has been dropped, why is there unequal treatment slapped on Viet accused Doan Thi Huong?” Mah said in a statement.

Mah claimed the AGC acted upon instructions from Indonesian Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly, who blamed North Korea for the assassination of Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

“Is Malaysia now allowing other nations to dictate and determine the outcome of criminal proceedings against its citizens?” Mah said.

“There seems to be double standards practised by the prosecutors in the application of the law.”

Siti along with Doan were both accused of poisoning Jong-nam with liquid VX, a banned chemical weapon, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) in February 2017.

However, the courts decided to release Siti yesterday after her charges were dropped and she is now back home in Indonesia.

Siti’s release is seen as a boon for current president Joko Widodo who will be seeking re-election in April next year, but the move has baffled others.

Mah questioned the safety of Malaysians in VIetnam for fear of reprisals from Vietnam. .

“Are the lives of Malaysian travellers and expatriates in Vietnam, fishermen, marine, oil and gas workers, and navy crew stationed along disputed maritime territorial waters now susceptible to detention by Viet authorities as a bargaining chip to secure the release of Doan?” Mah asked.

“The AGC is expected to safeguard the independence of our legal system without fear or favour. It must resist whatever pressures from the executive and trans-border intrusion,” he added.

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