Ministry monitoring case of M’sian held in Somalia

KUANTAN: The Foreign Ministry is closely monitoring the detention and legal process imposed on a Malaysian man who allegedly entered Somalia to engage in the activities of the Al-Shabab group, said minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said Malaysian Embassy officials in Khartoum, Sudan, made a consular visit to ensure the welfare and health of the man, known as Ahmad Mustakim Abdul Hamid, is taken care of.

“The ministry will continue to monitor developments in the case and will provide the necessary assistance to him by ensuring his rights and welfare are always protected and that he gets a fair trial in accordance with the law.

“We are allowed to make consular visits, and we have also contacted his family to inform them of his condition.

“We must respect the laws of the respective country, and we may ask for our embassy representatives to attend his court proceedings,” he said at the Indera Mahkota parliamentary service centre yesterday.

On security partnership involving Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, known as Aukus, Saifuddin said he had asked for detailed information on the ownership of the assets concerned.

“I was contacted by Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne, and she explained the submarine project with the intention to avoid misunderstanding,” he added.

During the phone call, Saifuddin stressed that Malaysia adheres to the principle of the Asean Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality, as well as the South-East Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

“Our view is that this matter may trigger reactions from other superpowers, and we don’t want to get caught up in an arms race,” he said.

Saifuddin said Asean foreign ministers are expected to issue a joint statement soon on Aukus, which aims to help Australia obtain nuclear-powered submarines. — Bernama

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