The issue of Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, who was charged with being involved in the murder of Kim Jong-nam was discussed during a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Manila yesterday.
Najib said the Vietnamese premier had sought clarification regarding his country’s citizen who was indicted in the murder of the North Korean.
“I explained to him that this is our legal process, and that the accused would be given all her rights and fair consideration.”
“He understands that we have a legal process in Malaysia, but he hoped that the facts would emerge showing that the accused had been manipulated. That is his position, that she was being used and manipulated,” he said when asked about Phuc’s reaction.
“That is their stand, but it has to go through the legal process in Malaysia. Let the court decide. He (Phuc) is confident of the legal process in Malaysia, ” said Najib.
Doan Thi Huong and Indonesian national Siti Aisyah, were jointly charged with murdering Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, at the Departure Hall of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 ( klia2) , in February, using the deadly VX nerve agent.
Najib and Phuc are currently in Manila for the 30th Asean Summit.
Najib also said he was hopeful that the framework of the Code of Conduct (COC) for the South China Sea , which is currently at the senior officers level, is finalised and adopted by the end of the year.
“The COC is to be legally binding for all parties to ensure continuous peace and stability in the South China Sea,” he said.
He said Vietnam also has a similar stand that South China Sea should be a peaceful and stable area.
“On the question of peaceful navigation, freedom of navigation as well as overflights over the South China Sea, maritime security must be assured so that nothing untowards happens,” he said.
Najib said Malaysia and Vietnam had the same stand that the area should not be militarised and there should be no tensions in the South China Sea any higher than the level seen currently.
“We hope all parties will not do anything to escalate tensions in the South China Sea while seeking solutions through peaceful negotiations which is the choice of Asean countries on the issue of South China Sea.
Apart from that, Najib also said they discussed the question of defence and piracy in the South China Sea, which requires the close cooperation of Vietnam and Malaysia.
Vietnam has also expressed its desire to send more workers to Malaysia and called for the quota (on the hiring of Vietnames workers) to be revised upwards.
The CoC was mooted following overlapping claims on certain areas in the South China Sea. –Bernama