Malaysia debates pulling out of Suzuki Cup
MALAYSIA are considering pulling out of the Suzuki Cup co-hosted by Myanmar in protest over Myanmar’s crackdown on ethnic Rohingya Muslims, a senior Malaysian official said yesterday.
A withdrawal by Muslimmajority Malaysia from the ASEAN Football Federation’s (AFF) Suzuki Cup, which began on Saturday, would run counter to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ long-standing policy of non-interference.
“I raised this issue in Cabinet last week. Will do so again this week and stand guided by decision,” Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Twitter yesterday.
That came in response to a call by a state Islamic cleric for Malaysia to pull out of the tournament, which is cohosted with the Philippines.
Cabinet is expected to meet tomorrow.
Malaysia were beaten 1-0 by Vietnam in Yangon yesterday.
The conflict in northwestern Rakhine state has sent hundreds of Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh and poses a serious challenge to Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who swept to power last year on promises of national reconciliation.
Myanmar soldiers have poured into the Maungdaw area in Rakhine state since Oct. 9, after an insurgent group of Rohingyas that the government believes has links to Islamists overseas launched attacks on several border guard posts. – Reuters