Rohingya solidarity rally kicks off

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 04 Dec 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: Cabinet members joined Malaysians and Rohingya refugees for a solidarity rally against the persecution of the Muslim minority group in Myanmar on Sunday.  

Despite facing criticism from his Asean counterpart, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is expected to attend the rally, along with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.  

Present at the rally were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom and Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim, Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar and Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin.   

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan were also present.

The rally, held at the Titiwangsa Stadium here, has overspilled into the park outside with Rohingya refugees and Umno members gathering to protest Myanmar's so-called "ethnic cleansing" of Rakhine.  

The event kicked off with political party branch leaders hitting out against Malaysian civil society and the international community.  

Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma)  deputy president Aminuddn Yahya questioned why the Bar Council was not up in arms over the Rohingya issue.  

"Aren't they defenders of human rights? Don't they make a lot of noise when small things happen? So where are they now?" Aminuddin asked.  

Sarawak PAS secretary Mukhtar Suhaili said the world's selective ignorance over the Rohingya smacked of double standards.  

"They can call us Muslims as terrorists. But I want to ask them, are you seeing the Muslims all over the world who are being taken advantage of? In Palestine? In Syria? We want a safer world for us, too," he said.  

Speeches were also lobbed against Myanmar and its top leader.  

PAS central committee member Dr Rosni Adam called for Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi's Nobel Peace Prize to be revoked over her inaction in addressing the plight of the Rohingya.  

"What woman's heart is willing to let her own people be persecuted until the United Nations can call the Rohingya the most at risk ethnic group in the world?" she said.  

PAS member Ustaz Norazli Musa called for Malaysia to severe economic ties with Myanmar until it recognised the Rohingya as legitimate citizens of the country.

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