‘Mismanagement on the Rohingyas may lead Asean into being Daesh’s nest and bedrock’

 |Sep 20, 2017
AP file pic.

KUALA LUMPUR: The precarious situation pertaining to issues on the Rohingyas in Rakhine State, must be addressed urgently, or else it will provide a fertile breeding ground for recruitment of extremists, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.

While expressing Malaysia’s grave concerns on the matter, Anifah said, the fear would come into realisation since the militant group Daesh was seeking to make South East Asia and South Asia as its nest and bedrock, and would take advantage on the crisis.

“Should this happen, Malaysia and neighbouring countries would bear the brunt of serious instability to the region (Asean),” he said during the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group’s session on the Rohingya Muslim Minority in Myanmar, held at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Building, New York, yesterday.

Anifah said as Malaysia reiterated it’s commitment to extend support and assist the Myanmar Government to address the complex challenges in Rakhine State, the latter must also stop the military action immediately and allow unimpeded access for the delivery of the humanitarian aid.

“We urge the Government of Myanmar to ensure the return of all Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) with safety and dignity to Rakhine State, including the restoration of their status since the revocation of their rights in 1982,” he said, adding that this was to ensure the Rohingya’s unjustifiable statelessness be reversed.

On top of that, Anifah said, Malaysia also called on the State’s Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi for immediate implementation of all the recommendations of the nine-member Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, which was chaired by the former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan.

The findings of the commission, which were released recently, among others, stated that the Government of Myanmar must scrap restrictions on movement and citizenship of the Rohingyas in order to avoid fuelling “extremism”.

The commission also stated that while Myanmar had every right to defend its own territory, a highly militarised response was unlikely to bring peace to the area of Rakhine State.

Speaking further, Anifah said, the perpetrators who had committed crimes against humanity must be held accountable and be brought to justice.

“We must act now. We must move beyond rhetorics. We must save lives. We must ensure that the ancestors’ land of the Rohingyas is restored,” he said. – Bernama