KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has given his assurance that he will still oversee and give updates on the situation of Malaysian citizens in North Korea and the Kim Jong-nam’s murder case even when he is on a five-day official visit to India which begins today.
“In this modern day, you don’t have to be physically (present) here. I will give instructions even I’m on board the aircraft. They (authorities) know how to reach me 24 hours because I’m available. I have given necessary guidelines, directions, and they know what to do.
“We are concerned about them (Malaysian citizens in North Korea). They live a normal life there. But these guys (Malaysian kidnapped victims by Abu Sayyaf militant groups) are different, (they were) physically, mentally tortured for eight months.
“Imagine…they are on the brink of being decapitated. So they had gone through hell,” he told reporters after an informal meeting with three Malaysian kidnapped victims by Abu Sayyaf militant groups at his official residence in Taman Duta, here today.
The Prime Minister was asked on the latest situation regarding Malaysian citizens — three diplomats and six family members in Pyongyang, and whether the media could get updates if he is not in the country.
Meanwhile, Najib expressed his appreciation and gratitude to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte who had personally monitored the release of and rescue mission for three other Malaysian nationals who were detained by the Abu Sayyaf militants.
“I will personally contact him to convey our appreciation and gratitude on his personal efforts in the release of our nationals in conjunction with his 72nd birthday recently.
“This is a reflection of the closeness of the Philippine-Malaysia relations. I say thank you for this success. Also our appreciation to the Philippine military, Malaysian Armed Forces, Royal Malaysia Police, Wisma Putra, the Sabah state government, and Kelab Putera 1Malaysia which had helped in managing the release of our nationals,” he said.
It was reported that the three victims arrived at the KL International Airport (KLIA) about 8pm yesterday after being rescued by the Sulu Joint Task Force when carrying out the Full Force Military Operations in Sulu on March 26.
Najib said all the kidnap victims would undergo health examination in the near future and could return to their respective homes after completing the necessary processes.
The Prime Minister was also informed that some of the kidnap victims wished to join the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) for duty in the East Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) if they had a chance later.
“I have contacted Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department responsible for MMEA) to take them in as members of the team after undergoing training in the near future.
“This shows their spirit, in fact they know the condition on the islands there. As such, they wish to contribute in the efforts to intensify security in the Esszone areas,” he said.
Last Monday, Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor had met with and heard for themselves stories from two other fishermen who were also victims of the abduction, Tayudin Anjut, 46, and Abdul Rahim Summas, 63.
On July 18, all the five fishermen were abducted by the militant group, and the trawler vessel Serudong 3 which the victims had boarded had been found with the engine still running in the waters of Dent Haven, Lahad Datu. – BERNAMA