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Malaysia gov’t assigns body to verify reports on Uighurs in China

Malaysia gov’t assigns body to verify reports on Uighurs in China

The Malaysian government will appoint the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation (Istac) to filter and verify all reports of alleged atrocities committed by the Chinese government against Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang province.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Istac will assist the government to make a proper assessment.

Saifuddin, who is the Indera Mahkota member of parliament, said Malaysia is moderate in its approach on issues related to Uighurs in Xinjiang.

“We would not accept reports from Chinese government only and not those who criticise the Chinese government in public too. We will be cautious in screening the information before we conclude in an objective manner.

“Information which needs to be verified included whether China has secretly detained one million of Uighurs in Xinjiang to re-educate them in a camp, whether the Uighur separatist movements are active and terrorisms exist in Xinjiang,’’ he said.

Saifuddin said Malaysia finds it hard to receive independent report on these issues.

He said the Foreign Ministry can obtain information of Uighurs through various channels but the information would require verification. Malaysia would not issue statement or make a stand in haste, he added.

Saifuddin said in his conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, he also stressed the stand taken by the Malaysian government. Istac is appointed to assist in verifying the authenticity of the reports compiled from various channels. China has not recommended any agency to be the collaborative partner for Istac, he said.

Asked about a Malaysian netizen Arifin who claimed that he was arrested in a mosque but later released while visiting Xinjiang with a group of visitors, Saifuddin said the ministry would get in touch with Arifin to obtain more information.

He said the ministry did not receive any reports about Malaysian arrested in Xinjiang except for the Malaysian netizen who shared his experience on social media.

SIN CHEW DAILY (CHINA)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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