KUCHING: Two opposing views on the Rohingya refugee issue are expected to provoke some heated discussions within Sarawak.
Rebutting the view of PBB vice-president Dato Sri Michael Manyin who opposed bringing over the Rohingya refugees to Sarawak, PBB supreme council member Datuk Idris Buang state his case for taking them in.
Idris who is Muara Tuang state assemblyman, said his support in giving temporary shelter to the Rohingya refugees was not based on religion or race but humanitarian grounds.
“I made my judgment based on humanitarian grounds and not their religion or race. As human beings, it is their universal right to live,” said Idris when contacted by DayakDaily.com today.
He said as Malaysians, we must re-examine ourselves to see what kind of values we have been holding on.
“Should we not be compassionate to those who are oppressed? They have been murdered, forced to escape by throwing themselves to the sea. As Malaysians, we should have high moral values. We should lend a hand to them.
“This is part of our duty as a member of an international community,” said Idris.
Citing the example of Vietnam, he said Malaysia, including Sarawak gave shelter to the Vietnamese who tried to escape the atrocities in their country by taking to the sea.
“We had helped the Vietnamese before. We should do the same thing for the Rohingya refugees,” said Idris.
He said instead of pushing them away, Sarawakians should come together to think of a solution for the Rohingya refugees whom he described as victims of atrocities.
“We can provide a temporary shelter for them somewhere. If Sarawakians do not want them to be in our midst, we can provide shelter in an isolated place for them somewhere until a third country comes to pick them up.
“In the UN Humanitarian Chapter, everyone has the basic right to live, including the Rohingya refugees,” he said.
Idris had posted his views on social media which he confirmed was his view and not a fake post.
He was responding to Manyin, the Education, Science and Technological Research Minister, who was quoted as saying, “We totally oppose it. How can we just accept them in,” when recently questioned by the media with regard to social media posts stating that Rohingya refugees would be sent to Serian and Bau districts.
Meanwhile, following Idris’ post on the issue on social media, PBB Tebedu Youth stood up and stated their support for their branch chairman Manyin.