(Washington Post calls us “champion of double-talk” in relation to Hamza Kashgari who is a Saudi poet and a former columnist who was wanted in Saudi for crossing red lines and denigrating religious beliefs in God and His Prophet. He almost got away with it – if not for 1 small mistake – he landed on the wrong country to transit. Image source: PRI.ORG)
At least, that is what Washington Post is calling the country:-
Malaysia has been labelled a “champion of double-talk” by the Washington Post after deporting Saudi Arabian blogger Hamza Kashgari to face allegations of insulting Prophet Muhammad, a crime punishable by death in the oil-rich kingdom.
“His persecution has been facilitated by another champion of double-talk, the government of Malaysia, which claims to respect the rule of law but bundled Mr Kashgari onto a private Saudi jet Sunday in spite of a court order prohibiting his deportation,” the leading American daily wrote.
And whilst we were left wondering why the Saudis had been left to meddle freely with the execution of the law in the country in the above case, this thing happened:-
Thailand charged two Iranians today over an alleged bomb plot against Israeli diplomats, officials said, piling pressure on Tehran over accusations of a terror campaign against the Jewish state. A second Iranian suspect was detained trying to board a flight out of the country while a third suspect is believed to have fled to Malaysia, they said.
To be fair, the police had managed to catch the third suspect (Thai police say that there are 5 suspects – did the other 2 managed to sneak into the country?) although the extradition of the suspect back to Thailand is still in the process – the latest report states it may even take several weeks (perhaps the Thais should send their plane like how the Saudis did for quick deportation).
It seemed Malaysia is the preferred country for the Iranian bomb suspects to escape – perhaps due to a large number of Iranians in the country or due to soft tolerance to Nigerian so-called “students” in the past?
The Home Minister had said he will not compromise. He had told others not look at Malaysia as a safe transit – he had told them not to think that they can come in and out of Malaysia. And whilst we applaud the steadfast of the Home Minister in ensuring no criminals, scumbags, human traffickers and scammers easily come in and out of the country and endangering the peaceful citizens in the country and creating trouble for others, there is still plenty of work to be done.
There is still the Nigerians scammers, Iranian drug syndicates, human traffickers and now Iranian assassins who been easily coming in and out of the country without anyone pressing on the panic button and who have not suffered the same fate as one poor soul who was on the way to another country and bundled off to his original country despite a court order prohibiting so.
The Home Minister now also need to make sure that there is no double-talk when it comes to detention and deportation of foreigners who is wanted in other countries. There should not only be a standard law that deals with detention and deportation of foreigners but also a standard treatment on how we deal with other Governments when they come knocking on our doors to get their hand on those who have been caught.
Kashgari being denied access to his lawyers and refused repeated requests by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, for access to assess whether Kashgari wished to make a claim for political asylum and deported before the injunction can be served on the authorities whilst the extradition of the Iranian bomb suspects to our nearest neighbour being subject to local laws that may take weeks to resolve.
The Home Minister has stated his stand but we need him to follow through with more consistent enforcement and execution – otherwise being called “champion of double-talk” is hardly a big surprise.