Five workers from Myanmar hacked to death
YANGON/KUALA LUMPUR: Myanmar said yesterday it had sent out safety instructions to its workers in Malaysia after attackers hacked five of them to death with swords, weeks after it barred workers from going there, partly because of security fears.
Tension between the Southeast Asian neighbours has risen in recent months over the fate of Myanmar’s stateless Rohingya Muslim minority, with Malaysia accusing Myanmar of genocide over its treatment of them.
Myanmar rejects reports of abuses by its security forces against the Rohingyas in the course of a crackdown launched after attackers killed nine Myanmar policemen in border posts near the Bangladesh border in October. On Thursday, four masked men wielding swords attacked Myanmar workers after they had left a factory in the Serdang district on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. Five were killed and two wounded.
Malaysian police said seven Myanmar men had been detained shortly after the attack and they did not see any “religious motivations” behind it. They gave no more details.
Mostly Buddhist Myanmar stopped its workers going to Malaysia last month, after Najib Razak, prime minister of the predominantly Muslim country, described Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya as “genocide” and called for foreign intervention.
Labour-short Malaysia hosts about 147 000 Myanmar workers, according to Myanmar data.