PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will do what it can to help Bangladesh deal with the growing influx of Rohingya who have fled there to escape the violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said the violence against the Rohingya has escalated to appalling levels.
“They are being persecuted, murdered, raped and experiencing many other atrocities.
“It has come to a point where the Bangladeshi government cannot be left alone to deal with the welfare of a rising number of refugees any longer,” Najib said when launching a Malaysian humanitarian mission led by the country’s Armed Forces to aid Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
He later witnessed the departure of two Royal Malaysian Air Force A400M aircraft carrying 35 1M4U volunteers and 12 tonnes of food and other aid supplies to Chittagong, Bangladesh, at the RMAF base in Subang.
There are currently about 500,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, with 350,000 more expected to cross over due to the ongoing violence, the Prime Minister said.
He thanked the Bangladesh government for its help in the humanitarian effort and said discussions between the two countries will be held in Dhaka soon on further steps that can be taken to help the refugees.
Najib said he planned to bring up the Rohingya crisis with US President Donald Trump during his visit to the United States next week.
The armed forces will also send a team to Dhaka to track the needs of the refugees as part of the humanitarian mission.
Its chief Jen Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohd Noor said a military field hospital team is ready to be sent to Bangladesh.
“We want to find out exactly the type of aid they need so we can provide it accordingly,” he said.
In Bagan Datuk, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Malaysia wants the world’s superpowers to play their part to stop the violence against the Rohingya in Rakhine and resolve the issue.
On the Prime Minister’s meeting with Trump, Dr Ahmad Zahid said: “I have whispered to him (Najib) ... it’s not that we want to ask the superpowers or Donald Trump to help but we want to create awareness.
“We want the superpowers to do something to ensure that the inhumane acts on the ethnic Rohingya will be stopped immediately,” Bernama reported him as saying when opening the 80th anniversary celebration of SM Agama Al-Ulum Al-Syar’iyyah yesterday.
At the event, Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is the Bagan Datuk MP, launched the school’s new building, official song and flag.
He also announced an additional RM3mil allocation for the school to repair its building and gave a personal contribution for the purchase of a van.
In Johor Baru, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said Malaysia is ready to accept more Rohingya refugees.
However, he said that there would be a strict vetting process before accepting the people into the country.
He noted that there are more than 56,000 Rohingya living in the country who are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.