Kuala Lumpur: “The eight pirates who confessed to hijacking a Malaysian oil tanker earlier this month were identified as Indonesian nationals”, officials said.
The tanker, ‘MT Orkim Harmony’, went missing on June 12 after leaving Malacca on Malaysia’s west coast for Kuantan on the east coast. It was carrying 6,000 tonnes of fuel worth $5.6 million.
The suspects were identified by a team of officials from the Indonesian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City and the Indonesian Embassy in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi, the Jakarta Post reported on Friday.
The Indonesian foreign ministry dispatched the identification team after media quoted Malaysian Navy chief Admiral, Abdul Aziz Jaafar, as saying that the hijackers spoke with Indonesian accents.
“On June 24, a team was able to ascertain that the hijackers were indeed Indonesians,” Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam, Mayerfas said at a press briefing.
Mayerfas said the team did identity checks and document verification of the men to determine their nationalities.
Of 22 people on board, 16 were Malaysian nationals, five were Indonesians and one was a Myanmar citizen. All 22 were safe but the tanker’s cook was shot in the thigh.
The pirates were arrested near the Vietnamese archipelago of Tho Chu on June 19, hours after they fled from the hijacked tanker.
Malaysian police said a popular ethnic Chinese rapper has been detained over complaints that his latest music video featuring dancers wearing dog masks and performing “obscene” moves insulted Islam and could hurt racial harmony.
It was the second time in two years that Wee Meng Chee, popularly known as Namewee, has been investigated over his music videos.
Police said in a statement that Wee was detained Thursday after they received four public complaints that his video marking the Chinese year of the dog had “insulted Islam and could negatively impact racial unity and harmony.”
In the video entitled “Like a Dog,” Wee sits on a chair in a public square in the government administrative capital of Putrajaya with dancers wearing dog masks around him. Several of them mimic the “doggy-style” sex move. A green domed building in the background led some people to speculate it was filmed in front of a mosque, leading to criticism, but Wee later said it was the prime minister’s office.
The song includes the sounds of dog barks from various countries. In an apparent reference to government corruption, Wee sings that dogs in Malaysia go “mari mari, wang wang,” which in the Malay language means “come come, money money.”
Several ministers have called for Wee to be arrested. He has defended the video as a form of entertainment and said he has no intention of disrespecting any race or religion.
Earlier Thursday, Wee posted a picture on Facebook of himself at the federal police headquarters as he was wanted by police for questioning.
“I am not afraid because I believe Malaysia has justice,” he said.
In 2016, he was detained after enraged Malay Islamic activists lodged complaints that a video titled “Oh My God,” which was filmed in front of various places of worship and used the word “Allah,” which means God in the Malay language, was rude and disrespectful to Islam. He was not charged.
In one of his earliest videos, he mocked the national anthem and was criticized for racial slurs. He also produced a movie that was banned by the government in 2014 for portraying national agencies in a negative way.
Race and religion are sensitive issues in Malaysia, where the ethnic Malay majority has generally lived peacefully with large Chinese and Indian minorities since racial riots in 1969 left at least 200 people dead. (VOA)