KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 ― Sarawak will oppose any effort to house Rohingya refugees, state minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin said.
Manyin, in charge of the state education, science and technological research portfolio, was responding to social media postings claiming that the Rohingya refugees will be sent to the Serian and Bau districts.
“We totally oppose it. How can we just accept them in?” he was quoted saying by the Borneo Post on its website today.
The news report did not provide further explanation of the state minister’s objection, except to say the influx of Rohingya refugees would not be good for Sarawak.
In the same report, Bukit Semuja assemblyman John Ilus and Serembu assemblyman Miro Simuh dismissed the social media postings as “a rumour, a spam intended to disrupt racial harmony in the state”.
Ilus reportedly said there was no such plan by the Sarawak government to house the Muslim refugees from Myanmar.
“As far as I know, there’s no such thing going to happen. Such postings are irresponsible as they could create racial tension and divide the people.
“We should preserve peace and harmony, and remain united,” he was quoted as saying.
Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency director-general Admiral Datuk Zulkifili Abu Bakar yesterday said his team was stepping up patrols in several areas of the country’s waters to face the possibility of an influx of Rohingya refugees.
The stateless Rohingya who hail from the northern Rakhine state in Myanmar have been described as among the most persecuted communities worldwide.
The Myanmar government has repeatedly denied allegations it is practising “ethnic cleansing” amid outbreaks of violence in the area.