Five work­ers from Myan­mar hacked to death

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

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.

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