Senior minister urges public to remain calm and let cops investigate allegations against Rohingya community

General view of a Rohingya settlement in Bandar Baru Sentul, Kuala Lumpur April 24, 2020. — Picture Hari Anggara
General view of a Rohingya settlement in Bandar Baru Sentul, Kuala Lumpur April 24, 2020. — Picture Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 — Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today called on Malaysians to let cool heads prevail and not to resort to unnecessary provocations in light of an apparent social media campaign against the Rohingya community.

He assured the public that the police are investigating the issue that has of late created a feeling of hatred against the Rohingya community during the movement control order (MCO).

“There are some who think that part of the videos and audios may be fake, but no one can validate their authenticity except the police.

“So, the police will investigate the videos, audios and all news related to the Rohingya community.

“In the meantime, I urge the public to remain calm and not to incite issues that will lead to unwanted incidents,” said Ismail Sabri during his daily Covid-19 briefing that was broadcasted “live” today.

Earlier, Ismail Sabri said the fact that the Rohingya issue has seemingly turned into something larger during the MCO period had taken him by surprise, especially since the community have been in Malaysia for several years now.

“Before this, we had no major issues about the Rohingya community as we sympathise with them because they had been tortured in their own country.

“So, as a country, Malaysia accepted them and there was no issue. However, of late, during the MCO, they have become a major issue,” he said.

Ismail Sabri, who is also the defence minister, said Malaysia, as a peaceful nation, had shown sympathy to the Rohingya community.

He advised the public to remain calm while the police investigate the matter.

In recent days, some social media users in Malaysia have railed against Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia president Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani and the Rohingya community in general, accusing them of being lawbreakers and criminals.

In addition, an online petition has been launched, urging the government to ignore tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees affected by the MCO.

Yesterday, the Rohingya Women Development Network (RWDN) and Elom Empowerment (Elom) issued a joint statement denying that Rohingya refugees are dominating the Selayang wholesale market and habitually breaking laws, saying this claim is “factually incorrect”.

Both organisations explained that the Rohingya community working in the area, also known as the Kuala Lumpur wholesale market, are merely employees and have no economic control over it.

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