KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 2017 : The precarious situation pertaining to issues on the Rohingyas in Myanmar, 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 (Islamic State) 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, today.
Anifah said as Malaysia reiterated its commitment to extend support and assist the Myanmar government to address the complex challenges in Rakhine State, the latter must also immediately stop military action and allow unimpeded access for the delivery of 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.
Anifah said Malaysia also called on Myanmar’s state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to immediate implement all the recommendations of the nine-member Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, which was chaired by 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.
Anifah also 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