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 Myan- mar 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 a meeting 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 Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani
in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, where many Rohingya, 41,420 Chins, 10,928 Myanmar Muslims, 5,221 Rakhines and Arakanese, and other ethnicities.
Rokeya has been living in Malaysia for three years, after she came here to marry Zakri (who made the journey earlier with friends).
“We have two children. My son Mohd Alam is 2 and my daughter, Ashiah, is 5 months old,” said the young mother as she rocked her daughter to sleep.
She said there were seven people in her flat and she shared her home with another family.
Rokeya also remembered being given fish and rice to eat on the boat which brought her to Malaysia.
She said she could not recall much of anything else.
Just then, Zakri arrived home for lunch.
Zakri’s journey to Malaysia in 2010 was more harrowing. A victim of human trafficking, he ended up in
“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 Thailand first where he was jailed for one month.
He claimed he was beaten so badly by his agent in Thailand that he had to be hospitalised.
Upon his release, he was purchased by another human trafficking agent who then sold him to an agent in Malaysia in 2010.
He was taken to work in a oil palm plantation in Johor Baru for one year.
After a year, he decided he had had enough and ran away. He ended up at a Johor Baru bus stop with no belongings or even enough money to purchase a bus ticket.
While he was waiting there, he met a fellow Rohingya who told him there were plenty of jobs in Kuala Lumpur.
Unfortunately, his new friend was
are staying. their children to go to school.”
He said there were 3,000 Rohingya refugees in Cheras who called Malaysia home.
also cash-strapped and unable to help him purchase a bus ticket.
“I waited for another two days at the bus stop before I met another Rohingya, who was kind enough to buy a ticket for me.
“Finally, I made it to the KL Pudu bus station.
“There, I met someone who offered me a job cleaning drains for RM800 a month.
“I did this for a couple of months but it was difficult for me because of my previous head injury.
“So, I left and looked for other sources of income.”
Today, Zakri earns a meagre income from collecting and selling used household items for recycling.
He makes about RM30 to RM40 a day. On the day of this interview, he said he only made RM9.
Source by: https://www.pressreader.com/