Malaysia believes that a credible repatriation plan for the displaced Rohingyas to Myanmar must include guarantees of citizenship for them, said Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said the granting of citizenship was an important means of ensuring the protection of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
“It is an important assurance for a sustainable return of the Rohingya refugees to Myanmar,” he said in a statement today, adding that Malaysia had been observing very closely the process of repatriation of the Rohingyas to Myanmar.
The recent repatriation plan, which was scheduled to begin on Nov 15, has been postponed indefinitely.
Saifuddin stressed that those returning should never again be subject to the threat of persecution and violence, which they were initially subjected to.
“It is imperative that the Rohingyas eventually return to their places of origin to rebuild their lives,” he said.
Malaysia believes that Myanmar and Bangladesh, with the assistance of United Nations’ agencies, community leaders and civil societies, could enhance cooperation to make it a reality.
“Malaysia will continue to be a neighbour willing to assist by all means within its capacity,” Saifuddin said, adding that the prolonged crisis in the Rakhine State, and its regional consequences, had continued to be a matter of deep concern to Malaysia.
To date, more than 727,000 people, mainly Rohingyas, have been forced to flee to Bangladesh.
At present, there are 80,018 Rohingyas in Malaysia, the minister said.