JEDDAH – Saudi Arabia has responded positively towards Malaysia’s proposal for a humanitarian fund for the persecuted Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants now still stranded at sea.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Saudi’s ruler King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud had agreed in principle to contribute to the fund.
The proposal, he said, was discussed during his audience with King Salman here yesterday.
“Malaysia made the proposal as ASEAN chairman. Besides Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has also agreed to contribute.
“The Foreign Ministry will handle the matter,” he told reporters after the audience at the As Salam Palace here yesterday.
Najib was accompanied by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.
It was reported that several thousand persecuted Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants were stranded at the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea after being abandoned by traffickers whom they had paid to smuggle them into Malaysia.
The traffickers had fled following a major crackdown by Thai authorities following the discovery of mass graves in the kingdom early last month.
“I have also extended the Government’s invitation to both King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad Naif Al Saud to visit Malaysia,” he said.
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