PETALING JAYA: The government has been accused of practising a double standard by abstaining during a United Nations vote on abuse of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China.
Azmi Abdul Hamid, president of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organisations, said Malaysia should not be selective when it comes to standing against injustice.
He said Malaysia had upheld itself as being “very principled” about human rights and voicing the plight of the oppressed. However, the country made an exception about taking a stand on the alleged abuses faced by the Uyghur community.
Azmi said the government must explain its decision. Malaysia should not allow itself to be dictated by “oppressive powers”, he said.
Last week, Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub and Terengganu Amanah chief Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah questioned the government’s decision, with the latter describing it as embarrassing.
Another group of Uyghur supporters said Malaysia had chosen, by its abstention, not to seek truth and help those being persecuted.
Zuhri Yuhyi, president of the Malaysia4Uyghurs group, said: “We have kowtowed to China because our leaders don’t want it to interfere with trade relations. Our silence is complicity.”
Malaysia4Uyghurs is a coalition of Islamic, Christian and human rights groups advocating the plight of Uyghurs.
On Friday, the UN Human Rights Council voted 19-17 against holding the debate on Xinjiang and the Uyghurs. Malaysia was among 11 countries which abstained. The others were Argentina, Armenia, Benin, Brazil, Gambia, India, Libya, Malawi, Mexico and Ukraine.
In a report on Xinjiang last month, former UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet cited potential “crimes against humanity” against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities being carried out in the Chinese province.