Malaysia may act against Myanmar: DPM Zahid

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia will consider action against its Asean counterpart Myanmar following its decision to deny a United Nations fact-finding mission on alleged abuse of the Rohingya.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Government will seek Wisma Putra's advice on whether humanitarian or diplomatic action would be taken.

"I will discuss with Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman. We will look into the latest report of the ongoings in Myanmar," Dr Ahmad Zahid told a press conference at his Hari Raya open house at Sri Satria.

Recently, the Aung San Suu Kyi-led Myanmar government said it would refuse entry to members of a UN probe focusing on allegations of killings, rape and torture by security forces against Rohingya Muslims.

On another matter, he said Malaysia's upgrade to Tier 2 in the Trafficking in Persons (TiP) Report 2017 shows the Government's commitment to tackling the issue of human trafficking.

When Malaysia was last on Tier 3, there was a lack of awareness on the issue of human trafficking, Dr Ahmad Zahid said.

As the Government took drastic measures, the country was upgraded to Tier 2, he said.

"We formed a high-level committee (HLC), which involves seven ministries and 10 government departments and agencies.

"All the respective ministers were in the HLC meetings.

"I took the initiative to chair the committee because I want to improve Malaysia's image in the world.

"We deserve this rating because of our efforts," Dr Ahmad Zahid said, adding that during the visit of former US president Barack Obama to Malaysia, the country was given the opportunity to apply for the visa waiver programme.

"This was because we have achieved all seven terms and conditions to be part of the programme.

"This includes keeping the percentage of rejected US visa applications below 3 per cent. This proves that Malaysia is on a high level in terms of security and anti-human trafficking efforts," said Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister.