Mus­lim mi­nor­ity should be treated as cit­i­zens, Zahid tells Myan­mar

New Straits Times - - News - AZURA ABAS PU­TRA­JAYA news@nst.com.my

MALAYSIA yesterday made a fresh call on Myan­mar to end the on­go­ing Ro­hingya cri­sis.

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi ex­pressed hope the per­se­cu­tion against the com­mu­nity in Rakhine State would cease as soon as pos­si­ble.

“I urge our friends in Myan­mar to stop this mad­ness and prove to the Asean com­mu­nity that they have a big heart that can ac­cept a Mus­lim mi­nor­ity, the Ro­hingya, as their cit­i­zens.”

In driv­ing home the mes­sage, Zahid, who is also the home min­is­ter, quoted Bud­dha’s teach­ings from the Dhamma­pada scrip­ture, specif­i­cally verse 270: “One is not called noble who harms liv­ing be­ings. By not harm­ing liv­ing be­ings one is called noble.”

He said this at the clos­ing cer­e­mony of the 2017 In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Ro­hingya, Plight of the Ro­hingya: Search­ing for So­lu­tions, here, yesterday.

Zahid also called on No­bel Peace Prize win­ner Aung San Suu Kyi, who had led Myan­mar since her party’s re­sound­ing elec­tion vic­tory in 2015, to act in ac­cor­dance with the val­ues she had fought for that led to her be­ing given the pres­ti­gious award.

He said Malaysia had played a sig­nif­i­cant role to help the Ro­hingya and this was done not be­cause Malaysia was rich.

“It was done out of com­pas­sion to­wards other hu­man be­ings,” he said.

Malaysia is host­ing some 56,000 Ro­hingya who had fled Rakhine State.

Zahid said the Ro­hingya peo­ple would need short- and long-term so­lu­tions to save them from the tragedy they were fac­ing.


Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi with (front row, from left) In­spec­tor-Gen­eral of Po­lice Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, Deputy Home Min­is­ter Datuk Nur Ja­zlan Mo­hamed, Min­is­ter in the Prime Min­is­ter’s Depart­ment Datuk Seri Dr Shahi­dan Kas­sim, Pas deputy pres­i­dent Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Deputy Home Min­is­ter II Masir Ku­jat and Home Min­istry sec­re­tary-gen­eral Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim in Pu­tra­jaya yesterday.

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