Saturday November 26, 2016
08:32 PM GMT
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 ― Asean must work together immediately and in a comprehensive manner, to resolve the issue surrounding ethnic Rohingyas in Myanmar, says Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
He said Asean must look out for the best approach in solving the issue, rather than objecting to efforts to help the people.
“Two weeks ago, I personally asked the Myanmar defence minister to hold a bilateral meeting during the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM), to discuss the status and fate of the ethnic Rohingyas over there.
“I have reminded him this is (considered) a regional issue and if this is not addressed, we’re worried of (the presence of) certain ‘hotspots’ deemed as areas that have been targeted by the Daesh militant group,” he said.
Hishammuddin was speaking to reporters after attending the Kuala Lumpur International Youth Discourse programme here today.
According to a Wisma Putra statement yesterday, Malaysia condemned the violence which had become more rampant in Northern Rakhine State, Myanmar over the past several months.
Kuala Lumpur also urged the Myanmar Government to take strong action to address the issue of ethnic cleansing which allegedly occurred over there.
Meanwhile in his speech, Hishammuddin said Malaysia needed to intensify efforts to curb terrorist groups.
He said such measures included counter-messaging, curbing underground financial network, deradicalising suspected extremists and monitoring movements of potential recruits.
Malaysia has established a deradicalisation centre and was now working with a Middle East country to set up a centre to counter the narratives and ideologies supported by terrorists and radical groups, he added.
Hishammuddin also said the returning fighters must be closely monitored and dealt with accordingly.
In Kangar, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim proposed the government to build special camps for Rohingya refugees at several states bordering Thailand, to prevent them from entering city areas.
He said the influx of foreigners, particularly the refugees into urban areas could only cause social problems.
“We don’t invite them (refugees) to come but on humanitarian grounds, we give them the necessary shelter, food and clothes although Malaysia did not sign any agreement on refugee rights,” he added.
Shahidan was met at the “Kangar Municipal Council at People’s Heart” programme in the Datuk Sheikh Ahmad Square here today.
Also present was Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail. Shahidan, who is also Perlis Umno Liaison Committee chairman said the state Umno demanded the Nobel Peace Prize given to Myanmar Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi be taken back.
In Kota Baru, Umno Information chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa said it was about time the United Nations (UN) intervened and called for a ceasefire to solve the humanitarian crisis.
“I think the UN should act immediately, declare a ceasefire and send peace-keeping troops to stop the calamity.
“The tortures are intentional so that the Muslims in Rakhine will leave the country. This is a chase-away process to instill fear in the Rohingya which eventually leads to transborder (regional) issues (for Asean),” he said.
Annuar was speaking to reporters after officiating the mass circumcision programme at SK Perol here today.
In Ipoh, a teenage Rohingya said the Myanmar authorities labelled the ethnic minority as terrorists with the intention of covering up their abusive acts and killings of the Muslims.
“We’re not terrorists. They labelled us as terrorists when we don’t even have weapons. We’re not even allowed to keep a big knive to cut fish at home,” said Nojemollah Mir Ahamad, 19, at the Rohingya Emergency Fund programme here today.
Nojemollah, who hails from Maungdaw in the Rakhine State, could not hold back his tears when told that both his father and younger brother were killed by the authorities last month.
“They were shot dead on October 26 but I only found out the news on November 1. I don’t want to do anything at the moment as I keep thinking of my remaining family members over there,” he said, adding that his mother and five other siblings were now still in his hometown.
The teenager who has been in Malaysia for over a year, is now working as a shop assistant at a market here.
Nojemollah also said the violence saw many mosques and copies of the al-Quran torched, while the women were raped. ― Bernama