coup de maître

Many would have thought that President Rodrigo “The Punisher” Duterte of the Philippines as a difficult man to come to a deal with.

When the President visited Malaysia last November, there were five Malaysians being held captive by bandits in the south of the Republic as a result of Kidnap-for-Ransom incidents.

Many criticised Najib Razak’s joining in Duterte’s karaoke diplomacy but as a seasoned diplomat and a leader Najib knew that it was Duterte’s way of asking him to loosen up before concluding business.

As a result, Duterte himself oversaw the rescue efforts and as a result the five Malaysians held as hostages were returned to their families.


Last night, as a result of another masterstroke conjured by both Najib Razak and another seasoned and internationally-respected diplomat Anifah Aman who worked behind the scene to secure the release of Malaysians held in Pyongyang since 7 March 2017.

The RMAF Global Express jet upon arrival

This morning a Royal Malaysian Air Force Global Express jet arrived in Kuala Lumpur with the Malaysian embassy staff as well as their family members.

Anifah Aman was there waiting.

Anifah Aman with family members of the Malaysian embassy staff waiting at the airport

Speaking later to reporters Anifah said that the efforts to bring back the Malaysians showcases diplomacy at its best.

“There can be no substitute for diplomacy, for level-headedness in dealing with such situations, and this has served Malaysia well in this instance,” said the Foreign Minister.

He thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for placing his trust in the Foreign Ministry to lead negotiations with North Korea.


There is no substitute for level-headedness and skillful diplomacy, and definitely no substitute for a great leadership and solid friendship that delivers each time.

Kicked Out For Being Kan Cheong

One of the last photos of Kan Cheong with a car. He’ll be riding bicycles soon if not executed using an anti-aircraft gun
Kim Jong Nam, the once heir apparent to former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was assassinated on the 13yh February 2017 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) by Vietnamese and Indonesian women believed to have been recruited by North Korean agents.

Jong Nam was travelling using a North Korean diplomatic passport under the pseudonym Kim Chol, a name he had used since 2010 to travel and also for his Facebook and e-mail accounts.

That was probably how North Korean agents had tracked him down.

Although Jong Nam (or Kim Chol) was using a diplomatic passport, he was not on the list of accredited diplomats to Malaysia, and his assassination was an act of crime conducted in Malaysia, in breach of Malaysian criminal law.

Former North Korean ambassador Kang Chol, or Mr Kan Cheong, went on an overdrive to pre-empt any investigative action the Royal Malaysian Police was going to take, first by declaring that the investigation by the police cannot be trusted, and that Malaysia was working with regimes that were bent on destroying North Korea (read: South Korea and the US), and demanded that the body of the unimportant Kim Chol be returned to North Korea.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was the first to blast Mr Kan Cheong for his undiplomatic behaviour, and Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Anifah Aman rapped the former for his conduct unbecoming of a diplomat.

That did not stop Mr Kan Cheong from continuing his attacks on Malaysia’s reputation.

It is like him (Kang Chol) speaking with a North Korean gun pointed to his head!” a senior Malaysian Foreign Affairs Ministry said.

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi earlier this week announced the cancellation of the visa-free facility for North Koreans travelling to Malaysia.

Zahid who spoke as the Home Minister said, “I hope the decision of the home ministry will be implemented by the immigration department for the sake of national security.”


Malaysia established diplomatic channels with North Korea in the early 1970s but did not have an embassy in Pyongyang until during the Mahathir administration in 2003.

Other than Malaysia, 23 countries including have an embassy in Pyongyang and host a North Korean embassy on their soil including Indonesia, Sweden, Germany and the UK.

The next phase of escalation would be to cut-off diplomatic ties.

A North Korean suspect who is also a chemist deported from Malaysia accused Malaysian police of threatening to kill his family unless he confessed to killing Kim. 

Ri Jong Chol, who was released after police said there was insufficient evidence to charge him, spoke to reporters in Beijing while on his way to Pyongyang.

Ri said that he wasn’t at the airport the day Kim was killed, but that police accused him of being a mastermind and presented him with “fake evidence.” He said they showed him a picture of his wife and two children, who were staying with him in Kuala Lumpur, and threatened to kill them.
I am surprised the police let him go instead of killing him and his family for his refusal to cooperate.

I am sure he said all that so he would not be made to walk through a minefield at the Great Leader’s pleasure.

Finally, at 6pm on the 4th March 2017, Mr Kan Cheong was declared a persona non grata by the Malaysian government and now has less than 35 hours to leave the country.

In a way, declaring Mr Kan Cheong almost a month after he started the fracas is a way of giving the North Korean diplomat some face. Had Malaysia sent him back during the first week, he would have been turned into dog faeces at the pleasure of the Great Leader within 60 hours of being sent home.

So Mr Kan Cheong, for your sake I do hope the Great Leader thinks you have done enough for the morherland before you got sent home.

I know you are going to miss your black Jaguar but do consider yourself lucky if the Great Leader would be kind enough to let you stay alive so you could ride on one of the People’s bicycle.

The Folly That Kan Cheong Is

KAN CHEONG

The word is both Cantonese and Hokkien meaning nervous, harried or uptight.  It also sounds very much like the name of the rudesby North Korean Ambassador to Malaysia, Kang Chol.

kancheong

First, let me share what the Foreign Minister of Malaysia, Anifah Aman, had to say about Mr Kan Cheong:

 

PRESS STATEMENT
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia

YB DATO’ SRI ANIFAH HAJI AMAN, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY H.E. AMBASSADOR OF THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S
REPUBLIC OF KOREA TO MALAYSIA
RELATING TO THE DEATH OF ITS CITIZEN IN MALAYSIA

1. On 20 February 2017, the Ambassador of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to Malaysia issued a Press Release. The Press Release contains a list of allegations related to the investigation surrounding the death of a DPRK citizen which occurred on 13 February 2017. 

2. These allegations, culled from delusions, lies and half-truths, are the basis from which the Ambassador concluded that “there could be someone else’s hand behind the investigation”, and that the “investigation by the Malaysian police is not for the clarification of the cause of the death and search of the suspect, but it is out of the political aim”.

3. When the Ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on 20 February 2017, it was emphasised by the Deputy Secretary General for Bilateral Affairs that the police investigation has been done impartially without fear or favour. It was also conducted in compliance with Malaysian laws and regulations.

4. Any suggestion to the contrary is deeply insulting to Malaysia, as is the suggestion that Malaysia is in collusion with any foreign government.

5. This police investigation has been based on, and will also pursue, all leads available, including leads which go beyond, or not related to, the information provided by embassies and other entities.

6. In all civilised nations, it is the norm for cases such as these to be comprehensively investigated. It is the responsibility of the government to do so. The public also rightly demands it. It is for this reason that information has been made public as and when needed.

7. It is also customary for embassies to cooperate fully with the host government in order to ensure that the investigation is as thorough as possible, and not to impugn the credibility of the investigation.

Minister of Foreign Affairs
PUTRAJAYA
20 February 2017

Earlier, Mr Kan Cheong said to reporters, “We cannot trust the investigation by the Malaysian police.”  Those are big words coming from an Ambassador of a country that has carried out extra-territorial assassinations of not just its dissident citizens but also of foreign citizens.

It is the Malaysian law as it is in most other civilised nations that sudden death victims to undergo a necropsy to ascertain the cause of death.

North Korea had strongly objected to Malaysia’s decision to conduct a postmortem on Kim Jong Nam, and then went on a public tirade when it emerged it was inconclusive and that a second postmortem would be needed.

Only a court order for a second necropsy.  Neither has the family of the deceased filed for one nor has the pathologist seen the need for one.

In order for the body to be released, family members with matching DNA, if required, need to be present to receive the body.  If Kan Cheong does not understand the requirements of the Malaysian legal system then he is not fit to become an Ambassador. Kan Cheong is here to replace former North Korean Ambassador to Malaysia, Jang Yong-chol, who was recalled and sentenced to death for being the son of Jang Song-thaek, an uncle to Great Ignominious Leader, Kim Jong Un.  The uncle was also executed by firing squad and his body was later fed to dogs.

If Kan Cheong has any brain or international relations training (if mentally-capable) at all, the Vienna Convention for Diplomatic Relations of 1961 states in Article 41 (1) that without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the Receiving State, which in this case is Malaysia.

All official businesses with Malaysia shall be conducted with or through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia or such other ministry as may be agreed.  It means that MOFA has to be consulted beforehand, and Mr Kan Cheong as well as other agents of the Dismally Pathetically Repulsive Korea (DPRK) cannot just barge into a mortuary and disrupt the process of the law in this country.  This is stated in Article 41 (2) of the said Convention.

If I were the Minister for Foreign Affairs, I would immediately inform the DPRK that Mr Kan Cheong is a persona non grata without having to give any reason.  This is the right given to Malaysia as the Receiving State in Article 9 (1) of the same Convention.

If the DPRK is serious about having a cordial and beneficial relationship with Malaysia, it should send another Ambassador for Malaysia to receive and take Mr Kan Cheong back.

This would be the best option for Malaysia to stop this Kan Cheong nonsense.

This is also probably why Kan Cheong is doing his best to make Malaysia a scapegoat and a diversion from the actual path the investigation is taking.  If Malaysia decides to declare him a persona non grata Great Ignominious Leader Kim Jong Un would be extremely displeased with him and his family, parents, cousins, uncles, aunties and dogs that they would all be tied to the next nuclear weapon the demented Great Leader decides to test.

Hopefully Kim Jong Number Un would upload a video on YouTube as well.

Ji-ral-Ha-Ne (지랄하네)

Diplomatic Insanity

The latest incident involving a Warrant Officer of the Malaysian Armed Forces attached to the Malaysian High Commission in New Zealand who was arrested on 9th May for attempted burglary and sexual assault is one that is both simple but complex in nature, but comes with a simple solution.

The crime may not be as bad as the crimes committed by Arjen Rudd, the South African diplomat in the blockbuster movie “Lethal Weapon 2” (played by Joss Ackland) nor is it as bad as an incident involving the Ambassador of Myanmar to Sri Lanka, but the crimes committed by this Warrant Officer warrants a serious action. In all the instances above, the clause “Diplomatic Immunity” was invoked.

Contrary to popular belief, Article 37 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations says that as long as you are a member of the Embassy staff, you are entitled to the immunities prescribed in Articles 29 thru 36; and this includes spouse, children, maids, servants working there, plus minus one or two articles for non-staff. The Warrant Officer is a diplomatic agent, and under Article 29 he is inviolable: he cannot be prosecuted for any crime committed in the Receiving State which, in this case, is New Zealand.

As in the case of the Myanmar Ambassador to Sri Lanka, the Ambassador in 1979 suspected his wife of having an affair, shot her. Then, on the grounds of the Embassy, he built a funeral pyre and cremated his wife in full view of the police, media and the public AND STILL REMAINED AN AMBASSADOR! This is how strong Article 29 is.

The Warrant Officer was brought back to Malaysia on the 22nd of May after the Malaysian High Commission invoked the man’s diplomatic immunity. On the 29th May, the Malaysian Armed Forces convened a. Board of Inquiry into the incident, and none of us would have known of this until someone in New Zealand kicked up so much fuss to not notice!

Is it right, however, to not send him back to New Zealand to face charges?

The Government of Malaysia should use Article 32 para 1 of the Convention to waive his diplomat status and express this waiver as prescribed in Para 2 of the same Article. Then send this guy back to. New Zealand to dance to the tune he had asked for, while the Foreign Ministry work on repairing the damage done.

We cannot ignore nor condone blatant criminal acts by our civil servants or by any individual of the public, especially when in other countries. We should not jeopardise Malaysia’s reputation abroad just for the sake of one criminal.

Therefore, I call upon Anifah Aman to do the right thing: crucify the Warrant Officer and stop this diplomatic insanity!

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