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Umno Youth, Puteri on Rohingyas: Review Myanmar’s Asean membership

The Star Online
December 1, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno's Youth and Puteri wings have called for more urgent action on the Rohingya issue in Myanmar, even suggesting that Asean review the country's membership in the regional bloc.

Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin (pic) said the wing "demands that Myanmar's membership in Asean be reviewed."

"The principle of non-interference is void when there is large scale ethnic cleansing in an Asean member state.

"Let us raise our hands in prayer to Allah for the deliverance of the Rohingya people from injustice and ruin," he said in his policy speech, to shouts of approval from delegates at the wing's general meeting at Putra World Trade Centre here.

The Myanmar government, led by Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has been accused by the international community of ethnic cleansing of the minority Rohingyas for years.

"I want to unequivocally state that Umno Youth condemns and denounces to the highest level, the cruel and oppressive treatment of the Rohingya community in Myanmar that is grossly inhumane and unacceptable for any human being with a mind, heart, and soul.

"Therefore, Umno Youth demands that the Myanmar government take immediate action to stop all forms of this brutality at once," he added.

Soon after starting his speech, Khairy played a heart-wrenching video showing the suffering of the Rohingyas.

Puteri Umno urged international and regional bodies to make a stand on the violence against the Rohingyas.

Its chief, Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, said the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Asean should play a role to end the violence orchestrated by the Myanmar regime in the Rakhine state.

She also wants Aung San Suu Kyi, who is foreign minister, to be stripped of her Nobel Peace prize.

"Besides political action, we should also learn from these events.

"What is happening there can also happen here if we are negligent," she said at the wing's general assembly on Wednesday.

A large-scale gathering of Muslims in Malaysia is expected to take place here on Dec 4 to protest against the Myanmar government.

This is a follow-up to last Friday's march to the Myanmar embassy from the Tabung Haji complex in Ampang to hand over a memorandum voicing solidarity with the Rohingya, many of whom have fled to neighbouring countries such as Malaysia.

Violence in Rakhine, Myanmar for the past few weeks has resulted in at least 86 people being killed and more than 30,000 being displaced.

Human rights groups have accused the military and border guard forces of raping Rohinya women, torching houses and killing civilians, although this has been denied by the Myanmar government and military.

Considered to be stateless, often subjected to arbitrary violence and forced labour in Myanmar, the Rohingya are considered by the United Nations as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.

As of October this year, there are 54,586 Rohingya refugees registered with the UNHCR in Malaysia, although unofficial estimates put the number at three times as high.

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