An article published in The Diplomat contrasted the different approaches of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on the Rohingya issue, warning about the dangerous consequences one of them could have on the region.
The Tokyo-based international magazine published a column on Dec 24 by David Hutt, who claimed that one of these leaders' actions risked seeing the Rohingya issue being hijacked by international jihadists.
He said Najib, as pointed out by Singapore's Straits Times, attempted to turn the issue into a religious one to burnish his domestic Islamic credentials.
However, Jokowi, he noted, despite leading the world's largest Muslim nation and facing religious tension at home, chose not to do so.
"That he (Najib) would exclusively call upon Jokowi (rather than the premiers of other Asean countries) to stand in solidarity with him and the Rohingya people clearly shows he was hoping to turn it into a religious issue.
"One can only praise Jokowi for not taking the bait, which must be tempting for the Indonesian president considering the religious tensions currently mounting in his country.
"In fact, Najib even attempted to inflame these when he called upon the protesters who rallied against Jakata’s mayor Basuki 'Ahok' Purnama to expand their fight to defending the Rohingya," he added...