Foreign Minister Anifah Aman is prepared to discuss with his Myanmar counterpart, Aung San Suu Kyi on how Malaysia can assist Myanmar in finding a just, expeditious and durable solution to the protracted issue in the northern Rakhine state.
The Foreign Ministry, responding to a news report published by Free Malaysia Today said Malaysia was concerned that if the crisis in northern Rakhine state was not addressed urgently by the Myanmar government, it would impact the security and stability of region, including Malaysia.
As a member of Asean, Malaysia has always followed developments in the region including Myanmar.
In this regard, Malaysia is gravely concerned with the recent developments in the northern Rakhine State, which has resulted in the loss of innocent lives and the displacement of people.
The exodus of more refugees to neighbouring countries, including Malaysia, would witness a repeat of the 2015 boat people crisis, added in the press statement released by Foreign Ministry.
Anifah played an instrumental role by swiftly convening a tripartite meeting in Wisma Putra with Indonesia and Thailand in May 2015 to discuss and resolve the issue, it said.
The outcome of the meeting saw Malaysia and Indonesia agreeing to provide humanitarian assistance and temporary shelter to the 7,000 boat people stranded along the three countries’ maritime borders while awaiting resettlement or repatriation, it highlighted.
“Malaysia’s leading role in this instance led to a resolution of the crisis and saved innocent lives.
“The Foreign Ministry stressed that was why Malaysia viewed the current situation in the northern Rakhine state as no longer an ‘internal affair’ but one of regional consequence.
“Asean member states as a community of nations had a responsibility to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of people in accordance with the Asean Charter and the Charter of the United Nations as well as the Asean Human Rights Declaration,” it added.
The ministry said it was in this context that Malaysia, as an Asean member state, was taking a strong position on the issue to speak out on issues regarding gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.