PETALING JAYA, May 18 — Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today to take more proactive action as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) chair and to table a parliamentary motion to resolve the Rohingya refugee crisis.
“I ask the PM as Asean host to make a more effective statement and take a stern stand in Parliament this round on the matter,” Azmin told reporters after launching the Invest Selangor Berhad here today.
“We cannot just leave them on the boats just like that as many problems will arise in the long term. As Asean chair, we should be more focus on resolving this matter immediately,” the Gombak MP added.
National news agency Bernama reported Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as saying Saturday that Malaysia must not be burdened with the “problem” of Rohingya refugees as it is an issue which needs to be addressed collectively by all Asean countries.
International newswire AFP reported that Myanmar, however, has rejected Thailand’s call for a regional summit on the migrant crisis on May 29, saying it was not their problem.
Migrant activists estimate that some 8,000 Bangladeshi and Rohingya remain stranded at sea after people smugglers abandoned ship following a Thai crackdown on human trafficking.
International newswire AFP reported yesterday diplomats and analysts as saying that Asean’s pledge of non-interference and its failure to curb Myanmar’s systematic abuse of the Rohingya — who suffer state-sanctioned discrimination and are denied citizenship despite having lived in Myanmar for generations — have contributed to the migrant crisis in the region.
Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia have been turning away boats of migrants back out to sea as the International Organisation of Migration reportedly criticised the Southeast Asian nations for playing “maritime ping-pong” with people’s lives.
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