No choice but to deport Uighur Muslims, says Zahid

Bernama | February 10, 2018

BATU PAHAT: Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says other countries should not be worried or upset over China’s request to Malaysia to extradite 11 ethnic Uighur Muslims reportedly arrested in the country after escaping from a Thai jail last year.

He said Malaysia was currently considering the request, but detailed investigations were also being done by the police to see whether the 11 individuals were involved in any terror activities.

“We have received an official request from China to extradite the 11 Uighurs,” he said.

“Our principle is that if a country requests that their people be extradited, we (will consider it) based on the extradition agreement, which is also included in the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) treaty,” he told reporters after meeting new students of Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia here today.

Also present were his wife Hamidah Khamis, Johor Menteri Besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin and UTHM vice-chancellor Prof Wahid Razzaly.

Zahid said that since Malaysia had signed the MLA and extradition treaties with China, it was only right that the treaties be respected.

Prior to this, he said Malaysia had also made an extradition application for Malaysians detained in China for credit card fraud and other crimes to be brought back and prosecuted in Malaysia.

Yesterday, Reuters reported that 11 Uighurs were detained in a northern state of Malaysia, and China had been discussing with the Malaysian government about their expulsion.

The report claimed that Malaysia was under pressure from China to hand them over to the country, and not to Thailand.