Saifuddin: Rohingya crisis costing global taxpayers millions of dollars


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019

Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah. -filepic

GOMBAK: The Rohingya crisis is costing millions in global taxpayers’ money for humanitarian aid due to the actions of one country, says Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

Saifuddin said Malaysia had spent “millions” on the Malaysian Field Hospital in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

“Qatar has also pledged US$15mil (RM61mil) and Canada pledged US$300mil (RM1.2bil) in humanitarian programmes – these are taxpayers’ (money) and we are doing it because one particular country allowed genocide to happen,” he said.

Saifuddin made the comments in his keynote speech during the International Symposium On The Path To Justice For The Rohingyas held at the International Islamic University Malaysia here yesterday.

He said the Malaysian government did not want to be calculative, but added that the money could have been spent on something else.

“Surely we can use the money for something else, but we won’t run away from our responsibility.

“We will continue to spend,” Saifuddin said, adding that Malaysia remained committed to its humanitarian aid in relation to the Rohingya crisis.

He said Malaysia’s position was to bring the perpetrators to justice and that the International Criminal Court (ICC) might be the next step in holding the Myanmar government accountable for the atrocities in Rakhine state.

Meanwhile, former Foreign Aff­airs Minister Tan Sri Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar said Malaysia should consider the ICC as one of the avenues to bring the Myanmar government to justice.

He said since Myanmar did not want to address the crisis in Rakhine state, the genocide and ethnic cleansing there would continue with no concrete solution in sight.

“The ICC is not a last resort, but it is one of the avenues that we have to seriously consider unless Myan­mar takes some positive step to change the situation,” he told reporters.

“The prepetrators of the crime of genocide, crime against humanity and gross violation must be brought to justice.

“It is about humanity and justice,” he said.

Organised by the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia, the symposium also explored other international accountability mechanisms.


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