Suu Kyi must stop Rohingya ‘genocide’: Malaysia PM
KUALA LUMPUR – Agence France-Presse
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak gestures while addressing ethnic Rohingya Muslim refugees during a gathering in Kuala Lumpur on December 4, 2016 against the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. AFP photoAung San Suu Kyi must step in to prevent the “genocide” of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, Malaysia’s prime minister said on Dec. 4 as he mocked the Nobel laureate for her inaction.
Addressing a 5,000-strong rally in Kuala Lumpur, Najib Razak said the Myanmar government must stop the bloody crackdown in its far west that has sent thousands of Rohingya fleeing, many with stories of rape, torture and murder.
“What’s the use of Aung San Suu Kyi having a Nobel prize?” Najib asked a raucous crowd.
“We want to tell Aung San Suu Kyi, enough is enough... We must and we will defend Muslims and Islam,” he said as supporters chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great).
“We want the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) to act.
“Please do something. The U.N. do something. The world cannot sit and watch genocide taking place,” said Najib.
More than 10,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in recent weeks, the United Nations said on Noc. 30, escaping a bloody army crackdown in the north of Rakhine state.
Arrivals in Bangladesh have told AFP horrifying stories of gang rape, torture and murder at the hands of Myanmar’s security forces.
Myanmar has denied allegations of abuse, but has also banned foreign journalists and independent investigators from the area.
Muslim-majority Malaysia has recently upped its criticism of Myanmar for its handling of the crisis.
Last month it summoned the Myanmar ambassador, while around 500 Malaysians and Rohingya marched to the embassy in the Malaysian capital carrying banners denouncing the “genocide.”
A senior minister has called on ASEAN, the 10-country Southeast Asia bloc, to review Myanmar’s membership, while a strongly worded statement from the foreign ministry on Dec. 23 accused Myanmar of engaging in “ethnic cleansing.”
But analysts said Dec. 4 the issue is a convenient smokescreen for Najib, who is fighting allegations he took part in the looting of billions of dollars of public cash through state fund 1MDB.
Both he and the fund deny any wrongdoing.
James Chin, director of the Asia Institute at the University of Tasmania, told AFP that Najib “is there [at the rally] to boost his standing as an Islamic leader,” with a general election looming.