Rohingya issue: Razak Baginda admits mistake, praises Najib Razak


PETALING JAYA: After lamenting about Malaysia’s “silence” over the alleged Rohingya massacre in Myanmar, Centre for Global Affairs Malaysia (ICON) president Abdul Razak Baginda admits he may have erred in his judgement.

Previously, Razak had said Putrajaya’s “silence” on the matter during the 31st Asean Summit in Manila, Philippines, recently was a “missed opportunity”.

Upon further checking, however, Razak found that Prime Minister Najib Razak had in fact spoken not only to Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on the matter but to US President Donald Trump as well.

“I got it wrong,” he said, adding that bringing out this issue at the plenary session of the summit was unprecedented.

“Never before has a fellow Asean leader brought out what could be regarded as a domestic issue of another member country.”

He said Najib’s willingness to speak up on the matter proved to his critics his sincerity in helping the Rohingya.

“Kudos to the prime minister as it shows his commitment to help the Rohingya.

“It also shows that the prime minister is bold and feels so strongly about the issue that he is willing to voice his displeasure.”

Myanmar had announced its initial commitment to resolve the Rohingya crisis in Rakhine State at the 31st Asean Summit, according to Najib.

The prime minister said Aung San Suu Kyi, who led the country’s delegation to the summit, said this in her response when he raised the issue at the plenary session.

“When I raised the issue of Rohingya in Rakhine State, Aung San Suu Kyi in her response announced that several efforts are being done in Myanmar… this is important because she did not say anything about this at the last Asean Summit in Manila last April,” he told the Malaysian media covering the summit.