Monday, October 6, 2014

Speaker to push Malaysia on murders



Upper house speaker U Khin Aung Myint has promised to send a letter to his counterpart in Malaysia expressing concern at the number of Myanmar citizens who have been killed in the country in recent years.

Workers who returned from Malaysia with the help of Kanbawza company wait at Yangon airport in October 2013. (Boothee/The Myanmar Times)

U Khin Aung Myint said he would send the letter after receiving a report from the Amyotha Hluttaw. The Human Rights Committee will compile a report on those who have been killed, as well as the apparent attempt to assassinate two prominent Rakhine MPs in February.

The committee should seek the help of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Labour and other government departments to compile the report, he said.

U Khin Aung Myint made the comment in response to a question from U Khing Maung Latt, the Amyotha Hluttaw representative for constituency 6 in Rakhine State, who asked how the government was responding to attacks on Myanmar nationals in Malaysia.

In February a pro-democracy activist was killed in Kuala Lumpur just a day before two gunmen on a motorcycle shot at Rakhine National Development Party boss U Aye Maung and Arakan League for Democracy chair U Aye Thar Aung. The two later blamed the attack on “Islamic terrorists.”

In June 2013 a number of Myanmar migrants were killed in Malaysia following a spike in violence between Buddhists and Muslims. The killings were believed to have been sparked by the communal violence in Myanmar. Malaysia is home to both a large number of migrant workers and refugees from Myanmar, with the refugees mostly Muslim and Christian.

Myanmar Buddhists allege there is at least one killing per month, typically a stabbing, and complain that Malaysia's Muslim-dominated police force has not solved any of them.

But Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Brigadier General Kyaw Zan Myint said Myanmar had to respect Malaysia’s national sovereignty.

“Crimes that happen in another country should be punished by the law of that country. There needs to be awareness that we have no right to interfere with their investigation or judicial processes,” he said.

In regard to the attack on the Rakhine politicians, Brig Gen Kyaw Zan Myint said Myanmar police are cooperating with their counterparts in Malaysia to apprehend the gunmen.

Translation by Zar Zar Soe