PM: Cambodian opposition leader to be sent to third country


  • Nation
  • Friday, 08 Nov 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Cambodian opposition leader, Mu Sochua, who was held by Immigration authorities at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Wednesday night but allowed into the country after being questioned by the authorities yesterday, is to be sent to a third country.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said they would be looking for another country that can take the 65-year-old vice-president of the banned opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

He said Malaysia did not want to interfere in the politics of neighbouring countries as it is not its policy.

“Our principle, for Asean in particular, is that we do not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.

“We do not want others to use Malaysia as a base for their struggle. We want to deport her, but people are asking her to stay here.

“Now we are looking for another country that can take her. We do not want to be at odds with other governments. This is not our affair, it is their affair, ” said Dr Mahathir at a press conference here.

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud confirmed her release but declined to provide details of her detention earlier.

“She has been permitted to enter, ” said Khairul Dzaimee in a text message.

Immigration authorities held mu Sochua, who arrived at KLIA from Jakarta on Wednesday night on her US passport.

The detention came ahead of a planned return of CNRP leaders including Mu Sochua, a former women’s minister and Sam Rainsy, the party’s founder, to Cambodia.

On Tuesday night, KLIA Immigration authorities also held two other Cambodian opposition activists while they were waiting to board a flight to Thailand. According to Khairul Dzaimee, both of them have been allowed to enter the country.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said they had received a request to repatriate several Cambodians, including Mu Sochua.

He said as far as Wisma Putra is concerned, “we are in no position to deport people, and neither do we like doing that.”

“We make our own decisions, not because of any request or any kind of interference from foreign countries, ” he told reporters at the parliament lobby yesterday.

Saifuddin said Malaysia does not interfere in matters related to the sovereignty of other countries but follows them closely.

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