Malaysia disagrees with Asean chairman’s statement on Rakhine fighting

anifah-rakhinePETALING JAYA: Malaysia has strongly criticised an Asean chairman’s statement on the fighting going on in Rakhine state in Myanmar.

Foreign Affairs Minister Anifah Aman said Malaysia was disassociating itself from the chairman’s statement “as we are of the view that it is a misrepresentation of the reality of the situation”.

He said the chairman’s statement was not based on consensus.

“The statement also omits the Rohingya as one of the affected communities.”

The Asean chairman’s statement on the humanitarian situation in Rakhine state was issued in New York yesterday, Anifah said.

He said Malaysia had made known its concerns on the plight of the Rohingya but this was not reflected in the chairman’s statement.

“While Malaysia condemns the attacks against Myanmar security forces on Aug 25 launched by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa), subsequent ‘clearance operations’ efforts by Myanmar authorities were disproportionate and led to deaths of many innocent civilians and caused more than 400,000 Rohingya to be displaced.

“Malaysia expressed grave concerns over such atrocities which have unleashed a full-scale humanitarian crisis that the world simply cannot ignore but must be compelled to act on,” he said in a statement last night.

“Malaysia strongly urges the government of Myanmar to end the violence, stop the destruction to lives and properties, allow immediate unimpeded access for the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Rohingya and all affected communities, and to resolve the Rohingya refugee problem.

“Viable and long-term solutions to the root causes to the conflict must be found in order for the Rohingya and the affected communities to be able to rebuild their lives.

“We also urge Myanmar to fulfil its commitment to immediately implement the recommendations of the final report of the Advisory Commission of the Rakhine State.”

Malaysia on its part has dispatched humanitarian aid to Bangladesh on Sept 9 and will continue to do more.