Malaysia PM Najib to attend gathering on Rohingyas on Dec 4

Ethnic Rohingya Muslim refugees shout slogans as they carry a man in chains during a protest against the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, outside the Myanmar Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25, 2016.
Ethnic Rohingya Muslim refugees shout slogans as they carry a man in chains during a protest against the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, outside the Myanmar Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will attend a major gathering held to express concerns from Malaysian society over the plight of the Rohingyas on Dec 4, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

The gathering will also be attended by other leaders, including the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia's (PAS) president Abdul Hadi Awang, Datuk Seri Zahid said on Saturday (Nov 26), according to the Bernama news agency.

He also called on leaders from the other opposition parties, such as the Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Parti Amanah Negara, to attend the gathering.

"We put aside our political differences and as Muslims we gather to express our concern for our fellow Muslims in Myanmar," he was quoted saying.

He said the location for the meeting would be announced later.

The gathering comes after Malaysia said last week it would summon the Myanmar ambassador to Malaysia over the allegations of an escalation of violence in Myanmar's crackdown on the country's Rohingya minority in Rakhine State.

 

"Malaysia... calls on the government of Myanmar to take all necessary actions to address the alleged ethnic cleansing," the statement said.

"A cabinet meeting has decided to send a protest note to the Myanmar Embassy in Kuala Lumpur," Dr Zahid said, adding that the move was to express to the Myanmar government that "the people of Malaysia want the Myanmar government to be concerned with the Rohingya in Myanmar".

Malaysia, he said, had focused its efforts on the Rohingya issue more than other countries, although he stressed that he was not "belittling" the efforts of other countries.

"We are not belittling other countries, but we have demonstrated our deep concerns over the Rohingya issue because as fellow Muslims we can feel their sufferings," he added.

One way the country had helped the Rohingya community, he said, was by providing children of the ethnic Rohingya born in the country with birth records.

Meanwhile he also called on Malaysian society to donate to funds that have already been established to help the Rohingyas.