By M.S. Anwar | December 4, 2016
Kuala Lumpur – Thousands of local Malaysians and members of the Rohingya refugee community in the Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, held rallies on Sunday (December 4) against the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Rohingya minority in Myanmar’s Arakan state.
The protesters held banners with the slogans such as “Stop Extrajudicial Killings, Stop Raping Women, Give us Our Citizenship Back, and Rohingya needs Your Voice to End Ethnic Cleansing” and called on the concerened quarters to step up to end the sufferings of Rohingya.
Malaysian PM Najid Razak, Deputy PM Zahid Hamidi and the opposition leader, Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) President Abdul Hadi Awang have all joined the mass rally organized Islamic NGOs in Malaysia.
Mr Najib said “they warned me (not to participate in the rally). But I don’t care. I am here to represent the community (Rohingya) and the people of Malaysia.”
Earlier, U Zaw Htay, the deputy director of the President Office of Myanmar, called the participation of the PM in the rally as ‘Interfering in Myanmar’s internal affairs.’
The Malaysian foreign ministry has hit out at Zaw Htay stating that the persecution of Rohingya is not an internal of Myanmar anymore but a serious concern for the stability and security of the ASEAN nations and an international humanitarian concern.
In the rally today, the PM responded to the accusation by Myanmar “don’t read the ASEAN charter selectively. The ASEAN Charter also defends human rights.
“We must defend them not only because they are of the same faith with us but also because they are humans and their lives matter.”
Mr. Najid added that he would call on his Indonesian counterpart ‘Joko Widodo’ to lead the Indonesian community to protest against the Myanmar’s persecution of Rohingya.
He also said that Myanmar’s state counselor Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi has turned down his call to meet him to discuss over the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya and hence undermining the credentials of her Nobel Peace Prize.
Meanwhile, the PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang said “the international community also needs to stand up for Rohingya. Where are those powerful countries? Where is humanity?
Today, we are to protest against the persecution of Rohingya not just because we are Muslims, but because it is a matter of grave humanitarian concern.”
Mr. Hadi Awang asked the Malaysian government to ask to other countries and find diplomatic channels to end the barbaric treatments of Rohingyas.
Malaysia hosts more than 50,000 Rohingya refugees registered by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), whereas many thousands are still unregistered.
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