Syed Hamid: Don't go to places that label us terrorists

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 07 Jan 2003


PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians have been advised against visiting countries that are antagonistic towards Malaysia to avoid facing problems such as possible mistreatment by officials in the countries. 

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said it would be self-punishment for Malaysians to decide to go to such countries. 

“Why do you need to go for holidays at places that are not friendly towards you and create mental torture or anxiety? My advice to Malaysians is to avoid some countries that categorise us (as a terrorist state),” he told reporters after receiving 20,000 ballpoint pens for Afghanistan and Timor Leste at Wisma Putra here yesterday.  

The pens, worth RM10,000, were presented by the National Co-operative Organisation of Malaysia (Angkasa) president Royal Professor Ungku Aziz.  

Syed Hamid was commenting on The Star report yesterday on two Malaysians who were sent home after Sydney airport officials suspected them of being terrorists. 

Rajendra Prassad Arul, 23, an oil palm factory worker, and Murugan Ramasamy, 29, a crane operator, who wanted to spend New Year in Australia, were detained and interrogated by airport officials for five hours. They were also effectively banned from entering Australia for the next three years. 

Syed Hamid, however, said he had yet to receive any complaints from the duo. “If there is a real complaint from the individuals we will take up the matter and investigate it accordingly.”  

On Washington’s plan to isolate North Korea and refuse dialogue with the regime until it agrees to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme, Syed Hamid said: “I don’t think it is a correct approach to isolate North Korea. Isolation and non-engagement have never produced intended results.”  

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