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