Malaysia praised for raising plight of Rohingya
BY SUZANNA PILLAY – 18 DECEMBER 2016
MYANMAR Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia (MERHROM) president Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani is thankful to Malaysians for raising awareness about the plight of the Rohingya to the world.
Zafar said the support shown by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the Ummah Solidarity Gathering for the Rohingya at Titiwangsa Stadium on Dec 4, to show solidarity against the atrocities committed against the Rohingya, had sent a strong message to the world community.
“The event helped in highlighting the severity of the situation to the international community.”
On Dec 12, news agency AFP reported that Myanmar had called for an emergency Asean meeting to discuss the Rohingya crisis, according to a diplomat, as regional tensions deepen over a bloody military crackdown on the country’s Muslim minority.
“More pressure must be put on Myanmar to cease the senseless violence on the Rohingya.
“Recent media reports mentioned that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will be holding a meeting to discuss the plight of the Rohingya and seek ways on what needs to be done,” he said.
Zafar said the Rohingya were disappointed in the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) government for ignoring international human rights and charters.
He urged the international community, the United Nations, OIC, European Union, Asean, the United States and the United Kingdom to continue to put pressure on the NLD-led government.
At the launch of the 10th anniversary of Iskandar Malaysia in EduCity, Johor, recently, Najib said the gathering had caught the attention of the OIC.
“The gathering that we held was heard by the OIC and it will hold ameeting to discuss the issue,” Najib was reported as saying.
According to Zafar, as of October, there were 150,669 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Malaysia.
Some 135,475 were from Myanmar, comprising 54,856 Rohingya, 41,420 Chins, 10,928 Myanmar Muslims, 5,221 Rakhines and Arakanese, and other ethnicities.
“It is our hope that the Malaysian government will enable Rohingya the right to work and earn a living to support themselves, and to allow their children to go to school.”
He said there were 3,000 Rohingya refugees in Cheras who called Malaysia home.
The low-cost flats in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, where many Rohingya families are staying.