Malaysia asks int'l community to monitor Rohingya resettlement

World Sunday 23/June/2019 17:50 PM
By: Times News Service
Malaysia asks int'l community to monitor Rohingya resettlement

Bangkok: Malaysia's Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad called on the international community to monitor returning Rohingya refugees.

"Their opinions must be taken into account because they are afraid to go back to Rakhine State," he said.

Mohamad added that if Rohingya refugees were sent back "the international community could monitor and ensure that they will not have to face any action from the Rakhine State and Myanmar authorities,” he told a press conference.

The Rohingya issue was among the concerns raised by the Malaysian premier at the summit.

Mohamad said that Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) was very vocal in raising issues concerning Rohingya refugees at the summit.

“He (Jokowi) spoke only on that subject (Rohingya)."

When asked whether he raised the issue with Myanmar's de facto civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi at the 34th ASEAN Summit, Mohamad said, “She was seated next to me, arranged by alphabetical order, even when we eat.”

The Rohingya have been described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

Since August 25 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience".

Over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalised, it added.