Malaysia calls for justice over Rohingya crisis

A Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency officer on a boat carrying Rohingya refugees on April 3, 2018, after it was intercepted off Langkawi.
A Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency officer on a boat carrying Rohingya refugees on April 3, 2018, after it was intercepted off Langkawi.PHOTO: MALAYSIAN MARITIME ENFORCEMENT AGENCY

BANGKOK (BLOOMBERG) - Malaysia's Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah has called for justice to be brought to the perpetrators of the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, the ministry wrote in a tweet.

The social media post was sent during a regional summit in Bangkok on Saturday (June 22).

South-east Asian leaders have faced pressure this week to take a tougher stance on Myanmar ahead of the annual Asean Summit. Myanmar has been criticised for failing to ensure the safe repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims forced into Bangladesh.

Ministers are scheduled to discuss a report by the Asean Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management that offers recommendations for repatriation.

The United Nations and others have accused Myanmar's military of murdering thousands of Rohingya Muslims in western Rakhine state since 2017 with genocidal intent.

In the tweet, Malaysia's Foreign Ministry also called on Myanmar to grant citizenship to some 730,000 displaced Rohingyas during the repatriation, something Myanmar's government has long refused to do.

Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in Bangkok on Friday to participate in this weekend's summit where Rohingya repatriation is one of the priority issues for the 10-country bloc.

 
 

Myanmar's military has repeatedly denied committing atrocities against the Muslim minority, dodging accusations that include gang rapes, murder and torching whole villages.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, speaking on the sidelines of the Bloomberg Asean Business Summit in Bangkok, vowed to help Rohingya Muslims seeking refuge in Malaysia.

"They are refugees," he said. "As much as we can do for them, we will."