‘Malaysia must lead Asean on Rohingya crisis’

Source: The Malaysian Insight

The Malaysian Insight pic, December 16, 2017.

(From left) Iftikhar Rashid, Prof Romel Zaman, Prof Emeritus Marika Vicziany and Prof Greg Barton at an international conference in Melbourne, Australia. – The Malaysian Insight pic, December 16, 2017.

ASEAN must end its principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of a member state and get tough with Myanmar over the Rohingya crisis, experts said at an international conference in Melbourne, Australia.

Malaysia should take the lead, given that it bears the brunt of the human migration crisis out of Myanmar, the experts on South Asian and Southeast Asian affairs said.

Since August, an estimated 650,000 refugees have fled a military operation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, described by the UN and US as “ethnic cleansing”. Most are in Bangladesh but an estimated 62,000 Rohingya now live in Malaysia.

Recently, the Bangladeshi authorities arrested an alleged human trafficker and intercepted two Rohingya refugees preparing to board a boat for Malaysia. 

“This is not a domestic issue anymore (for Malaysia),” Monash University PhD candidate Iftikhar Rashid told The Malaysian Insight, expanding on remarks he made at the Rohingya roundtable organised by the university’s National Centre for South Asian Studies (NCSAS) and the Asia Centre in Bangkok.

“Malaysia should take the lead, given (that) out of all the Asean countries, it bears the brunt the most, that is, about 200,000 refugees.” Read more

Perak Sultan: Courage needed to stop Rohingya genocide

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 — National and regional leaders must find the will to stop the mass killings of the Rohingya people in Myanmar, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah said.

The Sultan of Perak also stressed that considerations such as non-interference and financial concerns should be secondary to the addressing the sectarian crisis in Myanmar.

“We cannot allow fears of upsetting our neighbours; or fear of being accused of interference; or fears of affecting our regional trade and commerce to prevent us from voicing out our anxieties and alarm at what is happening in Rakhine state,” he said at a dinner to raise funds for the Rohingya people this evening.

In his speech, Sultan Nazrin quoted Myanmar’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who once said, “It is not power that corrupts but fear”. Read more