Rohingyas in Malaysia are pinning their hopes on Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership to acknowledge their rights as Myanmar citizens, saying that it is one of the more important elements to be a truly democratic nation.
Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia (Merhrom) president Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani said Rohingyas here have mixed feelings over the victory of National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Suu Kyi, which secured victory in the two houses of parliament and enough votes to pick the next president.
“We are both happy and sad about the recent general election. Sad, because we could not exercise our rights as voters, we couldn’t do anything from here.
“Happy, because after she won, there is now a glimmer of hope that we may return to our country,” Zafar told The Malaysian Insider, referring to opposition leader Suu Kyi.
Despite Suu Kyi’s silence over the plight of the Rohingya, Zafar said she could still bring changes to Myanmar.
“Now it is up to Aung San Suu Kyi to give back Rohingyas their rights as citizens. I hope she can change Parliament, support and accept us back.
“If they want to uphold democracy, they have to accept us, and I really hope Myanmar becomes a democratic country, where freedom, justice and equality for all citizens are upheld.”
In the elections – the first openly contested in Myanmar in 25 years – NLD won in a landslide victory.
Suu Kyi’s party secured 348 seats, enough to choose the next president, ending decades of military-backed rule.
The military will, however, retain a quarter of the seats.
Hoping for less violence
Rohingya Ulama Council Malaysia (MUR) deputy president Ustaz Rahimullah M.D. Hossin said the opposition party could pave a new future for Arakan (Rakhine) state, especially in terms of reducing violence there.
“We are not sure, but we are hoping for less violence or killing and that people there can get protection.
“But if she (Suu Kyi) really wants to change Myanmar, she has to allow the Rohingyas to go back, give back our rights as citizens. That is true democracy.”
Note: Changes have been made, Malaysian Insider is not responsible for these.
Source: Malaysian Insider