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M’sia should ink Refugee Convention to help Rohingya

COMMENT | Looks like refugees have become the flavour of the week. Everyone is talking about them and they all have their opinions. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. The topic is trending and I am more than happy to discuss refugees and migrants because I, too, have my opinions.

Malaysia says that they support the Rohingya cause, as evident in Wisma Putra’s summoning the Myanmar ambassador to voice their displeasure on how Yangon is handling the Rohingya issue and the escalating violence in the Rakhine state.

There was also last year’s rally in a stadium where even the Prime Minister Najib Razak made an appearance along with several of his cabinet members. And they made really rousing speeches condemning the Myanmar government.

Here’s the deal. The Malaysian government can talk all they want about this but with no real action, nothing is going to happen. Foreign Minister Anifah Aman even said that he has lost confidence in Asean because little has been done on the matter.

He says Malaysia will continue voicing out their concerns anyway on other platforms such as the United Nations and Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC). But again, it’s just talk but no real action.

In fact, this may even just be the Malaysian government playing on political rhetoric. Just because the general election is around the corner, many accuse our leaders of taking advantage of the Rohingya issue to further their political mileage.

I would like to make a few humble suggestions for some action to be taken. Number one, how about just taking the simple step of signing the 1951 Refugee Convention and accept refugees into the country and treat them well? That would definitely show that we are sincere in helping the Rohingya. For now, they’re all just considered illegal immigrants...

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