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Myanmar must play big role in resolving Rohingya issue

October 22, 2015

Malaysia has taken proactive measures with Myanmar via Asean, OIC and the UN, says foreign minister.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia wants Myanmar to play a big role and take concrete action in resolving the Rohingya issue, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said although Malaysia believed in non-interference, the Rohingya issue was serious and had to be addressed together.

“In finding a solution, Malaysia has taken proactive measures with Myanmar via ASEAN, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the United Nations (UN),” he told Abdul Hadi Awang (PAS-Marang) who asked about Malaysia’s stand and measures in addressing the Rohingya issue.

Prime Minister Najib Razak had voiced Malaysia’s concern about the influx of Rohingya refugees and requested Myanmar’s cooperation in addressing the issue during the visit of Myanmar President U Thein Sein to Malaysia in March.

“As a result of the ministerial meeting on May 20, Malaysia and Indonesia agreed to temporarily accommodate some 7,000 Rohingya refugees waiting in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.”

Anifah said in May, he told his Myanmar counterpart U Wunna Maung Lwin that the country should identify the main cause of the Rohingya refugee problem.

At the multilateral level, Malaysia as the 2015 Asean chair was used as a platform to resolve the Rohingya issue.

“Malaysia will continue to highlight the Rohingya issue on platforms such as Asean, the OIC and the UN and continue close bilateral cooperation with Myanmar and other countries,” he added.

In May, boats carrying 1,158 illegal immigrants believed from Bangladesh and Myanmar, landed in Langkawi, Kedah.

They were detained at the Belantik Immigration Detention Centre in Sik, Kedah.

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