Malaysians will protest Rohingyan plight with rage, then they forget — Zan Azlee

Source: Asian Correspondent

Newly arrived and long-term Rohingya refugees close to the Kutupalong makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar District, Southeastern Bangladesh, Nov 21, 2016. Source: Amnesty International

Newly arrived and long-term Rohingya refugees close to the Kutupalong makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar District, Southeastern Bangladesh, Nov 21, 2016. Source: Amnesty International

IT was only a few months ago when Malaysians grew livid and disgusted with what was happening to the Rohingya in Burma, accusing the Burmese government of not only oppressing the people but even of ethnic cleansing as well.

They carried out protests, chanted and fumed at the Burmese government. Even the Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak got in the act and attended a huge rally at a stadium organised by his ruling party.

Why a prime minister and his administration would need to organise a demonstration leaves a big question mark since they are in a position to create policies and use diplomatic ties to act. But that is not the point of this article.

The point of this article is to question what has happened following all the angry protests. It seems that as the trend of protesting in support of the Rohingya slowly fizzles out, the passion exuded by most of the Malaysian people followed suit. Read more

An annual demand to end to human trafficking around the world

Source: The Washington Post

Migrants including Burma’s Rohingya Muslims wait to be rescued by Aceh fishermen on the sea off East Aceh, Indonesia, in May 2015. (S. Yulinnas/Associated Press)

WITH ANOTHER year comes another report from the State Department on trafficking in persons and another shocking account of human rights abuses around the world: Laborers sweat past nightfall in brick kilns for no pay. Girls are trapped in hotel rooms with barred windows and are repeatedly raped by whomever their captors let in the door. Young boys are made to beg for money on the streets — but maimed first to increase profits.

The study, which the State Department released last week, is an annual chiding for countries that fail to crack down on abuse within their borders. It’s also an annual opportunity to demand that those countries change. So it is important that the report reflect reality.

Last year, when Malaysia was promoted from lowest-level Tier 3 to the Tier 2 watch list, human rights advocates said politics had snuck their way into the report; Malaysia is regarded as an important ally by the Obama administration. This year, the country stayed where last year’s rankings put it. Thailand ascended to the Tier 2 watch list, and Burma and Uzbekistan were demoted. Read more