KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has debunked the rumours that Sarawak would receive Rohingya refugees and settle them in Bau and Serian districts.
Abang Johari responded to the issue by saying “No, there is no such thing,” when asked whether the state government would allow the Rohingya to come into Sarawak.
“I am puzzled as to who started it (the speculations that the Rohingya refugees are settling in Bau and Serian). We don’t want to get involved in this issue,” he told the media after opening the International Conference on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) organised by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak here today.
Recently, social media posts stating that Rohingya refugees would be received and settled in Bau and Serian districts have been going viral.
The media in their attempts to verify the posts, had earlier turned to Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin.
Manyin stated plainly he would oppose such an arrangement if the social media posts were true.
Following Manyin’s statement on Sept 9, Muara Tuang state assemblyman Datuk Idris Buang told the DayakDaily that he did not agreed with Manyin, who is PBB vice-president.
Idris stressed that his support in giving temporary shelter to the Rohingya refugees was not based on religion or race but humanitarian grounds that it was the universal right of every man to live.
Idris had earlier also shared his views on his social media page where he referred to Manyin’s response to the Rohingya refugees issue.
In response to Idris’s post, PBB Tebedu Youth stated their support for their branch chairman Manyin.
Dayak Bidayuh National Association had also responded by issuing a statement on Sept 11 that it stood united with Manyin in opposing the sending of Rohingya refugees to Sarawak, especially to Bidayuh populated areas.
The association also condemned the fake posts on social media stating that Rohingya refugees would be sent to Bau and Serian districts.
“We in DBNA express concern over viral social media posts claiming Rohingya refugees will be sent to Bau and Serian districts, both of which are Bidayuh populated areas.
“We condemn such posts because this can lead to racial tension.
“We also stand united with our chief advisor Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong that the sending of the Rohingya refugees to Sarawak, especially to Bidayuh areas, must be opposed,” said DBNA.