GOMBAK: The Rohingya crisis is costing millions in global taxpayers' money for humanitarian aid because one country allowed genocide and ethnic cleansing to happen, says Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
Speaking at the International Symposium On The Path To Justice For The Rohingyas, Saifuddin said Malaysia had spent “millions” on the Malaysian Field Hospital in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
“Qatar has also pledged US$15mil, Canada pledged US$300mil in humanitarian programmes – these are taxpayers' (money), and we are doing it because one particular country allowed genocide to happen,” he said in his keynote address.
Saifuddin said the Malaysian government did not want to be calculative, but added that the money could have been spent on something else.
“A lot of money has been spent, and surely we can use the money for something else, but we won’t run away from our responsibility. We will continue to spend,” he said, adding that Malaysia remained committed to its humanitarian aid in relation to the Rohingya crisis.
“The point is, this problem arose because of what is happening in Myanmar,” he said.
The Indera Mahkota MP said the humanitarian cost, as well as number of victims, would continue to rise if Myanmar allowed the genocide to continue.
He said Malaysia’s position was to bring the perpetrators to justice, and the International Criminal Court might be the next step in holding the Myanmar government accountable for the atrocities happening in the Rakhine state.
In November 2018, Bernama reported that the Malaysian Field Hospital in Cox Bazar had ben upgraded with the assistance of various civil society groups to provide more inclusive services to the Rohingya refugees and locals there.
According to the commander of the operation of the field hospital there, codenamed Op Starlight, 37,025 patients had been treated and 935 operations had been performed.