Malaysiakini Yoursay

Let's not take religious sides on Rohingya plight

Yoursay  |  Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY | 'The Rohingya are not terrorists, but there are terrorists among them.'

Are the Rohingya terrorists?

Hamzah Paiman: Writer FA Abdul, I sympathise with you. I think your religious beliefs have made you see things along that line. It is sad that you have not even interviewed a single Burmese who had suffered at the hands of the Rohingya but have concluded who the good guys and the bad guys are.

I am a Muslim, but I'm proud to say that I seek justice for whoever had created this problem in the first place.

The Rohingya may look to you as the victims because they are Muslims like us, but you have to acknowledge that they are the cause as they have allegedly terrorised the locals over three decades, and there are records by UN to prove that.

Mlsykn: Fa, interesting that you decide to speak about Arsa (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army), but leave out that most international media, though sympathetic to the plight of Rohingya, have pointed out that the Arsa sparked the latest series of conflicts on Aug 25 when they attacked up to 30 police outposts.

The mess that is the Rohingya and Rakhine was due to the British bringing them to Burma as labourers without bothering to grant them proper citizenship before Burma gained independence.

You also conveniently leave out the conflict in the 60s where the Rohingya fought to be annexed by East Pakistan (Bangladesh), and instead attribute all blame to the Myanmar government for the problems they face now.

I do agree that the refugees aren't terrorists, but the root cause of the issue has to be tackled. The militants amongst them will have to lay down arms as they are doing a disservice to their own people.

Demi Rakyat: Indeed, the Rohingya are not terrorists, but there appear to be terrorists amongst them.

This latest refugee problem is caused by Rohingya militants (or terrorists) attacking dozens of police stations. It is possible the Rohingya problem is caused by the Rohingya themselves.

Basically: We have to be careful about romanticising a complex and long-standing issue and looking at it through an emotional lens.

Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi is now the favourite punching bag of commenters worldwide, but we forget she is not in complete control of the Myanmar government as the military still pulls the strings.

Myanmar is still no US-styled democracy (we can see how that has turned out). It is like Malaysia, which is not a democracy either, despite its boasts. While the present situation is wrong, two wrongs don't make a right.

There is a history of conflict between the Rohingya and those living in the area that we have yet to fully comprehend without full facts from an independent party.

We should avoid simplifying the conflict into Muslim vs Horrible Hypocrite Suu Kyi’s government.

Anonymous 1811351504586755: Fa, you can't compare Malaysia's Chinese and Indian migrants before independence with the Rohingya today.

Without the Chinese and Indian migrants to run the tin mining and rubber industries, Malaya would not have been self-sustainable nor be granted independence.

Stop insulting and intimidating the non-Malays here, our forefathers have contributed much to gain citizenship. Malaysia was built based on that agreed right.

Anonymous 2475091498015598: Fa does not quite understand the difference between refugees and migrants. The Chinese and Indians were brought here by the British colonisers hundreds of years ago.

The Rohingya are fleeing from civil turmoil in the Rakhine state only recently. There had been some Rohingya legislators elected to the Burmese Parliament.

Why Burma did not offer them citizenship and include them as a minority is vague. Many minority groups were given citizenship. Talking to two local journalists does not give a complete, comprehensive picture of the state of affairs.

It is misleading to say one side is the culprit. Go to ground zero to get the true picture. Only then, there would be meaningful support for the refugees.

Mlsykn: Take a step back and reflect on Malaysia's own history - have Malaysians (especially those who lived and fought during the Emergency) been able to truly forgive and forget the violent past of the communist insurgency?

Can you really blame the Burmese when the Rohingya have actually had a history of violence, and still are fighting a separatist "war" that has gone on since 1947?

6th Generation Immigrant: What's real on the ground, what's historical, what's geographical, and what's political all cannot be just summed up through the religious lens, and certainly this story is totally incomparable to the Malayan circumstances of yesteryear (incidentally, such simplistic arguments like this article are one of the causes for Malaysia's uncertain political climate today).

East Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Rakhine and the Rohingya people themselves all had a part to play in today's turmoil. Nobody is blameless or guiltless.

Remember the Vietnamese refugees? The first batches were in fact economic migrants as opposed to refugees after real assessments were conducted years later.

So what's the Rohingya's true story without any religion being weighted on the findings? It may not be religious, but certainly religion makes a good defence for claims of persecution, and even better to garner blind support universally.

Vgeorgemy: The narrative against the Rohingya’s right to citizenship in Burma is the ideology of the hate movement purportedly protecting the political and economic interests of “the majority”.

So we should not give much value to such a narrative if we believe the minorities have every right to life and dignity.

One thing is very clear, that there is no iota of credible evidence of the presence of foreign trained or foreign fighters so far in Rakhine state. It is a humanitarian catastrophe imposed by the hate politics of the majority on the minorities.

We have given accommodation to boat refugees in the 1980s and have seen their relocation camp even in Sungai Besi where Astro Broadcasting is located. Why did we fail the Rohingya? Is it because of hate and supremacist politics?

Or is it because Rohingya refugees have become the antithesis to the type of politics and religion propagated by these hate groups?

Cogito Ergo Sum: Let's not be simplistic in our views on this matter. The fact remains that a planned and deliberate attack is being mounted on a small group of people who had to run to safety. We need to be humane in our attitude towards this untenable situation.

No one can just sit by and watch another holocaust taking place under our very noses. The problem has far more reaching and deeper geopolitical significance than meets the eye.

China and India are said to be playing puppet masters in this cruel tragedy. As Malaysians, we do not have the influence or trajectory to intervene. But we do have compassion, I hope.

Leave out rabid groups like Perkasa or Isma. The majority of Malaysians of all colour, creed or persuasion are a generous and sympathetic lot. We ought to extend our hand in friendship to the oppressed, and the sick.

The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. Over the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.

These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

Share this story


Welcome back,

Your subscription expires on

Your subscription will expire soon, kindly renew before

Your subscription is expired
  Click here to renew

You are not subscribed to any subscription package
  Click here to subscribe now

Any questions?
  Email: [email protected]
  Call: +603-777-00000