Malaysia should not interfere in Rohingya refugee issue — Masing

Tan Sri James Masing

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, April 27: The increasingly debated issue regarding the Rohingyas is best left to their country Myanmar and its neighboring country Bangladesh to find amicable solutions to their predicaments, opines Deputy Chief Minster Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.

He also asserted Malaysia must exercise Asean’s police of non-interference amongst its member states.

“The increasingly debated issue whether Malaysia should consider taking in Rohingyas should not arise as we must respect the Asean spirit of non-interference among member states.

“At best, Myanmar and Bangladesh should find an amicable solution to settle their internal conflicts. So, in the spirt of Asean, Malaysia should not interfere,” Masing told DayakDaily here today.

Masing opined that the international community must categorise the Rohingyas either as political refugees or economic refugees.

“Once we know what refugees category they are, then the world and not only Malaysia, can formulate ways of dealing with them.”

He added that Malaysia cannot afford to play the good guy in the case of the Rohingya issue as it has enough problems of its own.

“We have our own domestic problems, especially regarding socially related issues. So, at this juncture especially during MCO (movement control order), it is best that we look after ourselves first and foremost,” he said.

Masing was asked to comment on the Rohingya issue which has gathered momentum lately in light of conflicting reports about hundreds of Rohingyas who were seeking refuge in Malaysia.

Yesterday, five Dayak NGOs expressed their disagreement with calls that Malaysia should consider taking them in.

Among these NGOs are, the Dayak National Congress (DNC), Dayak Think Tank Sarawak (DTTAS), Persatuan Iban Sarawak (Pais), Balang Bala Nyabong (BBN) and Society of Indigenous Peoples of Sarawak (Scrips). — DayakDaily