Malaysia officially rebutts Myanmar: Violations of human rights of Rohingyas, no longer "an internal affair"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

REBUTTAL TO THE “MYANMAR TIMES” ON THE STATEMENT MADE BY U ZAW HTAY,
DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE, MYANMAR

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs views with concern the humanitarian
crisis in Rohingya, the spillover effect of which will affect the
safety, security and standing of Malaysia, as Myanmar's ASEAN
neighbour. It is in this context that Malaysia has allowed the
Solidarity March to take place. As a neighbour and a responsible
member of the international community, it is Malaysia's obligation to
ensure that its ASEAN colleague takes proactive steps to prevent the
matter from further deteriorating. Malaysia is well aware of the
principles upon which ASEAN was built, being a founding member of the
regional organisation.

In 2008, all ten member states of ASEAN adopted the ASEAN Charter,
which binds the members to the international principles of the
protection and promotion of human rights. Furthermore, all member
states of ASEAN agreed to respond effectively, in accordance with the
principle of comprehensive security, to threats, which the Rohingya
issue poses to Malaysia's own security. The high number of Rohingya
people in Malaysia (approximately 56,000) under the UNHCR banner,
coupled with the hundreds of thousands in other neighbouring
countries, makes this matter no longer an internal matter but an
international matter. The fact that only one particular ethnicity is
being driven out is by definition ethnic cleansing.

This practice must stop, and must be stopped immediately in order to
bring back security and stability to the Southeast Asian region.
Malaysia need not remind U Zaw Htay of the 2015 boat people crisis
which eventually became a regional issue with Myanmar's neighbours
taking the brunt of the burden. It is with this in mind that Malaysia
has repeatedly offered its assistance to the Myanmar government in
finding a solution for a just and durable immediate solution to the
persecution of the Rohingya in Northern Rakhine.

This in keeping with Malaysia's position that this is not a religious
issue but an immediate humanitarian concern.

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
PUTRAJAYA
3 December 2016

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