Amanah calls for boycott of Asean football tourney

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GEORGE TOWN: Malaysia should be in solidarity with the plight of the Rohingya and pull out from an Asean football tournament being co-hosted in Myanmar as a sign of protest, Amanah said today.

It joins a big chorus of leaders demanding the same.

Penang Amanah Youth chief Mohd Saifullah Abd Nasir said Myanmar was known for its atrocities against the minority Rohingya.

“This protest would be similar to the one made by the Football Association of Malaysia in 1980, when it refused to take part in the Moscow Olympics after Russia attacked Afghanistan,” he said in a press conference outside the state assembly today.

The Asean Football Federation’s Suzuki Cup, which began on Saturday, is co-hosted by Myanmar and the Philippines.

Malaysia played Vietnam in Yangon today. Malaysia’s cautious approach failed to stop Vietnam from recording a 1-0 win in the AFF Cup Group B match at Thuwunna Stadium today, NST Online reported.

Violence in the restive north-west Myanmar state of Rakhine has sent 30,000 ethnic Rohingya to neighbouring Bangladesh.

The Rohingya are predominantly Muslims. Some 90 people have died as a result of clashes at the borders between Myanmar soldiers and Islamists.

Saifullah said the Malaysian government should send a clear message demanding that Myanmar find a solution to the Rohingya problem.

He said the government, for a start, should allow Rohingya refugees in the country to find jobs here.

“Companies should be given incentives to hire more Rohingya refugees, too,” Saifullah said.

He said Amanah Youth would be handing over a protest memorandum to the Myanmar embassy this Friday.
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Malaysia may quit AFF Suzuki Cup over Rohingya issue