KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 — The humanitarian crisis that has plagued the Rohingya people needs to be dealt with via an international effort rather than Malaysia solely bearing the burden, said PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
In an exhaustive Facebook posting today, Hadi explained that while Malaysia has done its fair share by aiding refugees, it cannot continue an open-door policy as it could be seen as facilitating the “oppressive” acts of the Myanmar government towards the Rohingya people.
Instead, Hadi pointed out that the proper means to resolve the issue would be to stop the ethnic cleansing and oppression of the Rohingya people altogether.
“The proper step is preventing the ethnic cleansing and oppressive acts against the Rohingya people for religious and racial reasons, rather than justifying Myanmar’s action by opening the door for further expulsion and making them refugees openly as if to facilitate the wrongdoing.
“Accepting immigrants is a temporary and limited humanitarian act that the international community must bear together on an international charter, not just Malaysia,’’ he said.
Hadi also explained that proper action must be taken to ensure that the Rohingya people return to their homeland, rather than remaining as refugees indefinitely.
Rohingya predominantly settled in the Rakhine state in Myanmar, a restive region that is plagued with ethnic conflict.
The PAS president again stressed that an open-door policy towards Rohingya refugees would only justify the oppressive action taken against them and possibly lead them to losing their homelands to their oppressors.
In the posting, Hadi also addressed the criticism that PAS and BN leaders have maintained a wall of silence over the plight of the Rohingya.
This comes after PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim lambasted both PAS and BN for not speaking up on the issue compared to in the past when they had held a rally in support of the Rohingya.
“PAS was with BN in addressing the Rohingya refugee issue, although at that time PAS was in the Opposition and BN had its own voice on religious and humanitarian principles.
“This is not the same as PH (Pakatan Harapan) who only heard the voice of Tun Mahathir alone in the UN podium, but PH has been busier with their internal crisis waiting for Tun Mahathir to resign,’’ he said, referring to the former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
While it is a must to support the Rohingya’s genuine struggle for human, citizenship and religious rights, Hadi said the government should be prudent in its judgement as there are groups who only intend to care for themselves.
“There are also groups that do not care what happens, only to save themselves. There are even those who look for opportunities that create social and security problems for the recipient country,’’ he said, adding that there are also countries that also act unjustly towards the Rohingya people.