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Crocodile tears for the Rohingya?

September 11, 2017

One doubts that our ministers would have taken up the Rohingya cause so emotionally if GE14 were not so imminent.


rohingyaBy Pak Tam Derma

When Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi called for donations for the Rohingya cause in a highly emotional speech last month, it was just a week after Bangladeshi immigrants were dragged off the streets for demonstrating over the same cause.

The hypocrisy cuts deeper when one realises that the oppression of the Rohingya in Myanmar has been big news since 2013.

Where were all the politicians four years ago when the Rohingya were already facing genocide? They were around all right, but they were practically chasing away Rohingya refugee boats from Malaysian shores, telling us they didn’t want to encourage illegal immigration.

The only reason they are now shedding tears for the Rohingya is that the election is near and they are hoping to draw votes from Muslims in the rural areas.

But there are consequences from this hypocrisy. In the worst case scenario, there will be young Muslims who take the emotional speeches seriously and decide to fight a jihad alongside the militant groups in Myanmar.

It will be like Syria all over again. One cannot discount the possibility that some of the Malaysian mujahidin in Syria were influenced by similar emotional speeches years ago.

The Rohingyas, Syrians and other refugees should not have to endure more suffering for being treated like a political football. We need to act humanely towards them.

* The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.


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