BY LOOI SUE-CHERN
Published: 30 May 2015 7:31 PM
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak delivers a speech during a function in Kuala Perlis today. Najib says Myanmar has the right to make decisions but it should not be at the expense of other countries in the region.
– The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, May 30, 2015.Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today said Myanmar had the right to make decisions but it should not be at the expense of other countries in the region.
He said this as Asean countries tried to reach an amicable solution over the Rohingya refugees’ crisis, which has led to a serious human trafficking problem in the region.
Najib said Asean policy was not to interfere with the affairs of its members.
"We have an understanding that we do not interfere with the internal affairs of other Asean countries.
"Myanmar has its right to make its own decisions but those decisions should not cause problems at the expense of its neighbours and cost lives.
"When such things happen, it badly affects the image of Asean collectively," he told reporters in a press conference in Kangar, Perlis after attending the Desa Sejahtera 1Malaysia award ceremony in Kampung Kurong Tengar in Perlis this afternoon.
How Malaysia dealt with the crisis is being watched by the international community, as well as the media, as the country is the current chair of Asean.
Najib said all member nations of the region must come together and he was thinking that Malaysia should host a mini Asean summit to address the issue.
"I have asked our Foreign Minister to see if we can host a mini summit, where we can discuss in an Asean spirit to reach a solution to this problem,” he said.
The Malaysian police announced on Monday that they found 139 suspected graves near 28 human trafficking camps in the jungle of Wang Kelian near the Malaysian-Thai border when they began combing the area from Tangga Seratus to Kampaung Wai from May 11 to May 23.
The camps were built deep in the hilly jungle and are difficult to access. Some camps were huge and could have held hundreds of migrants, who were mainly believed to be Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and Bangladeshis brought across the border to Malaysia from Thailand.
Myanmar has refused to acknowledge the Rohingya minority, who are Muslims, as citizens of the country. Faced by oppression, many have been risking their lives to seek asylum in countries like Malaysia.
More than 30 remains of suspected victims of human trafficking had been found in Wang Kelian
On what Malaysia planned to do to resettle the Rohingyas, who have landed in the country and now held at the Belantik immigration detention depot in Sik, Kedah, after a year, Najib said the focus noe was saving the people who were still adrift.
"If possible, we want to safe them and shelter them so they can live in dignity and can have a future.
"What we will do later, we have to discuss with the leaders of other countries, including the United States, so everyone will be playing their part.
Earlier today, PKR international bureau chief and Alor Star MP Gooi Hsiao Leung in a statement urged Najib to take the lead on the issue.
He said with Malaysia as a member of the United Nations Security Council and the current chair of Asean, Najib has to make a clear and unequivocal public stand on Malaysia’s position.
Among others, he said Malaysia has to fully support the UN General Assembly resolution passed last year to urge Myanmar to provide “full citizenship” rights to its Rohingya Muslim minority and to allow them basic freedoms, such as education, healthcare, and the right to move freely throughout the country. – May 30, 2015.
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