KL may act against Myanmar for blocking Rohingya probe

PUTRAJAYA • Malaysia will consider action against its Asean counterpart Myanmar following the latter's decision to deny entry to a United Nations fact-finding mission probing the alleged abuse of Rohingya in the country.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the government will seek the foreign ministry's advice on whether humanitarian or diplomatic action would be taken.

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

Last Friday, the Myanmar government led by Ms Aung San Suu Kyi said it would refuse entry to members of a UN probe focusing on allegations of killings, rape and torture by security forces against the Muslim Rohingya community in the north-western state of Rakhine.

Myanmar, which is predominantly Buddhist, has insisted that its domestic investigation - headed by former lieutenant general and Vice-President Myint Swe - is sufficient to look into the allegations.

Some 75,000 Rohingya fled Rakhine to Bangladesh late last year after the Myanmar army carried out a security operation in response to attacks by Rohingya insurgents that killed nine border police.

A UN report in February, based on interviews with some of the Rohingya refugees, said the response involved mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya, and "very likely" amounted to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak had been an outspoken critic of the alleged mistreatment of the Rohingya minority, and had earlier this year called on the Myanmar government to stop its attacks.

In February, Malaysia sent a ship carrying tonnes of food and emergency supplies to the Rohingya, saying their suffering would not be ignored. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2017, with the headline 'KL may act against Myanmar for blocking Rohingya probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe