Before UN meet, Malaysia vents frustration at Suu Kyi over continuing Rohingya crisis

Rohingya Muslims gather outside their makeshift homes on land belonging to Bangladeshi farmer Jorina Katun near Kutapalong refugee camp in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh February 9, 2018. — Reuters pic
Rohingya Muslims gather outside their makeshift homes on land belonging to Bangladeshi farmer Jorina Katun near Kutapalong refugee camp in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh February 9, 2018. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Sept 26 — Malaysia believes Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi should have done more to alleviate the plight of the Rohingyas.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said here that when the Nobel Peace Prize winner was forcibly confined to her house, Malaysia had sympathised with her and campaigned to get her released.

“But now we find that she is not standing up for other people who are distressed.

“We had hoped that she would not back her government, but apparently she has not, because she cannot or because she would not.

“But the thing is that nowadays, despite our talk about freedom, about the world trying to abolish war and all that, we find that when a country carries out such atrocities there’s practically nothing we can do.

“You may remember in Cambodia the government killed two million people and the whole world stood by and did nothing, until the Cambodians themselves overthrew the Pol Pot regime.

“In the case of Myanmar, there doesn’t seem to be anyone there willing to take the risk and overthrow the government that is obviously cruel.

“And the whole world cannot do anything either. If Myanmar says, ‘you cannot come to my country,’ you know something wrong is being done there,’’ he said to a question on the Rohingya crisis during the World Leaders Forum at Columbia University here.

He again reiterated that there was a clear weakness in the United Nations, in that “when it sees a government being absolutely brutal towards its own people, we can do nothing”.

“We can preach, we can pray, we can ask them ‘please don’t do such things’ but they can continue doing it because we don’t invade countries to remove such regimes.

“However, having said that, one has to remember that when Saddam (Hussein) was accused of killing people and being a dictator, the US went in and removed him.

“But in the case of Myanmar it seems nobody wants to invade Myanmar and overthrow the government.

“So, for a long, long time the people in Rakhine state will have to suffer.

“They cannot go back because they are afraid of the military there that has been treating them very badly.

“We are really not in a position to help people in this modern world despite the fact that we talk of human rights and the like,” he added.

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