KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — Thousands of Muslims, mostly Rohingya, turned up at the Titiwangsa Stadium here today to protest an army crackdown in northern Rakhine, Myanmar, that has killed dozens and displaced thousands of people.
Most inner roads in Jalan Titiwangsa heading to the stadium were shut from public access to facilitate the growing crowd.
One of the demands made is to force Bangladesh to open its border in Chittagong and to provide passage to volunteers heading to Rakhine to hand over food and medical supplies to the Rohingya.
Chants of Allahu Akbar also filled the air.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang have arrived to address the crowd.
The Junta military crackdown in northern Rakhine, Myanmar, has reportedly killed almost 90 Rohingya and displaced thousands of people who fled to Bangladesh, where they are also shunned.
Singapore’s state-owned media agency Channel News Asia (CNA) reported Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi as accusing the international community of stoking enmity between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine.
Suu Kyi reportedly appealed for the world to understand Myanmar’s ethnic complexities, adding that the military operation was only launched after attacks on the country’s security forces that the Myanmar government has blamed on Muslims.
UK daily The Guardian reported that Myanmar’s military and government have denied claims by human rights groups and residents that soldiers had raped Rohingya women, killed civilians and burned houses during the military operation in Rakhine.
Two days ago, the Myanmar government warned Malaysia to steer clear of its internal conflicts and to respect the Asean principle of non-interference in the sovereign affairs of member states.
However, in a strongly-worded statement, Wisma Putra said the spillover effect of the Rohingya humanitarian crisis would affect the safety, security and standing of Malaysia.
Most of the Rohingya in Myanmar, numbering about one million, do not have citizenship despite having lived in the country for generations, are denied access to healthcare and education, and face restrictions to movement.