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Resolve Rohingya issue at Asean level, says Najib

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak says Asean countries must work together to solve the Rohingya migrant issue. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, May 29, 2015. 

May 31, 2015

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today the Rohingya migrant issue should be resolved at the Asean level with assistance from third countries and international bodies.

He said it was important for all countries in the Asean context to find a solution together.

Third countries should play their role by helping resolve the problem as well as offer humanitarian aid, he said in his blog.

The prime minister said he hoped that international bodies such as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the United Nations would play their respective roles to resolve what he described as a serious problem.

"Recently, we were shocked by the discovery of graves of alleged victims of human traffickers along the Perlis-Thailand border, evidently indicating that they were tortured and subjected to extreme cruelty.

"Furthermore, we were also saddled with an influx of Rohingya migrants. The effects of the humanitarian tragedy were felt by Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

"With regard to national sovereignty, we cannot allow outsiders to easily penetrate our borders," he said.

Nevertheless, Najib said he had ordered a rescue operation in the country's waters based on humanitarian grounds and sympathy, after finding out that the Rohingya migrants and their children were in a state of hunger, thirst and fatigue.

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Rohingya Exodus