Thursday, June 13, 2013

Myanmar nationals lie low after clashes


 
Holed up: A Myanmar family having lunch at their shelter near the Selayang wholesale market. The recent clashes have forced Myanmar nationals to stay away from the streets. — AZMAN GHANI / The Star Holed up: A Myanmar family having lunch at their shelter near the Selayang wholesale market. The recent clashes have forced Myanmar nationals to stay away from the streets. — AZMAN GHANI / The Star
 
PETALING JAYA: A number of Myanmar nationals are believed to be hiding following sporadic clashes at the Selayang wholesale market.
Police believe the clashes were a spillover from the religious violence in their home country, causing anxiety among those here.
“In Selayang, there have been groups carrying the 969 symbol on their vans and vehicles. This has caused alarm within the Myanmar community in the area,” said Rohingya Society in Malaysia president Dr Abdul Hamid Musa Ali.
The movement known as 969 numerals which espouse Buddhist beliefs has been blamed for the troubles in Myanmar. Reports have stated that it was led by ultra-nationalist Buddhists.
The Rohingya Society in Malaysia, however, has not received any complaint from employers about their Myanmar staff not turning up for work.
Dr Abdul Hamid noted that the situation had been calm here since the intervention by the Immigration Department and police.
Selayang MP William Leong said the attacks here were not linked to any armed or organised groups.
“I have been requested by the families and representatives of the victims to call the police to investigate and charge those responsible for murder,” he said.
Operations to thwart violence among Myanmar nationals in the city have resulted in 292 foreigners being detained for having non-valid documents, with 63 holding fake UNHCR Malaysia cards.
Kuala Lumpur Immigration Department enforcement chief James Musa Singa said the operations, which was conducted with the police, were carried out from June 5 to 8 in Cheras, Dang Wangi, Brickfields and Sentul.
“Those detained will be held for two weeks. We are particularly concerned with the discovery of the fake UNHCR cards. We will probe deeper to uncover the syndicate behind it,” he said.
The department, he said, would also seek the advice of the Attorney-General's Chambers.
It was reported that about 1,000 Myanmar nationals were picked up by a Kuala Lumpur police task force to avert more clashes between feuding factions.