KUALA LUMPUR: A major gathering will be held to express the concerns of Malaysian society over the Rohingya issue on Dec 4, said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said it would be attended by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and other leaders, including PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.
Ahmad Zahid urged leaders of other parties, such as PKR and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), to participate in the meeting which would be held at a location to be announced later.
“We put aside our political differences and as Muslims we gather to express our concern for our fellow Muslims in Myanmar,” he said on Saturday (Nov 26) night.
Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia had done more than other countries over the issue of Rohingya, including providing children of the ethnic Rohingya born in the country with birth records.
“We are not belittling other countries, but we have demonstrated our deep concerns over the Rohingya issue because as fellow Muslims we can feel their sufferings,” he added. He also urged the Malaysian society to contribute towards funds which had been set up to help the Rohingya community who were reported to be persecuted.
In the meantime, Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia would send a protest note to the Myanmar government to demand their concern on the alleged persecution of the Rohingya community in the Arakan (Rakhine) region.
“A cabinet meeting has decided to send a protest note to the Myanmar Embassy in Kuala Lumpur,” he said. “Indeed, according to the existing charter, we cannot interfere in the internal affairs of another country, but we want to tell them that the people of Malaysia want the Myanmar government to be concerned with the Rohingya in Myanmar.”
On the call to withdraw the Nobel Peace Prize from Myanmar’s icon of democracy Aung San Suu Kyi, Ahmad Zahid said it would be discussed in the meeting on Dec 4.
“If someone who is given the award can no longer maintain peace, it (the conferment of the award) can still be questioned,” he added.