Burma Times Desk Report: May 26, 2015
Former president of Malaysia, Dr Mahthir Mohammed has expressed deep regrets over the persecution of Rohingya Muslims by the Burmese government.
Speaking at the ‘Oslo conference to End Myanmar’s Systemic Persecution’, Mahthir said that his role was instrumental in bringing the former pariah state within the folds of ASEAN. While maintaining that Myanmar is geographically a part of South East Asia and their inclusion was thus warranted, he said that Myanmar did not treat its own people in the generous way others have treated Myanmar.
He said that while Malaysia and ASEAN did not want Myanmar to be excluded, the country seems determined on their part to expel their Muslim population form Arakan.
Drawing a parallel to Malaysia, Mahthir said that while his country is a Muslim majority nation, they have welcomed with open arms people from other faith. The international community must ensure that Myanmar treats their minority population in the same way.
Mahthir also criticised the role of pro democracy leaders especially Aung Saan Suu Kyi. “I had expected that those who benefited from our struggle to get Myanmar to release (for example Aung San Suu Kyi) that they would realise that oppression by the government is something that is intolerable; and yet few people from Myanmar have risen to the occasion to defend the rights of the Rohingyas who after all are citizens of Myanmar,” said the former leader of Malaysia.
He ended his speech asking for help from the international community for these unfortunate people of Myanmar.