Conference on Rohingya draws speakers, delegates from ASEAN, Muslim countries

FAIRUZ MOHD SHAHAR and NOORSILA ABD MAJID


PUTRAJAYA: The International Conference on Rohingya (ICR) 2017 rolled out smoothly as planned at the Putrajaya Marriott this evening, featuring prominent speakers such as Organisation of Islamic Co-operation’s (OIC) special envoy to Myanmar Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar Syed Jaafar; Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK president and human rights activist Tun Khin; Kaladan Press Network Myanmar executive director Tin Soe; UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative in Malaysia Richard J. Towle; and International Union of Muslims Scholars assistant secretary general Abdul Ghaffar Aziz.

The three-day conference, jointly organised by the Institute of Public Security of Malaysia, Amal Foundation of Malaysia, the International Federation of Relief and Development, and the International Union of Muslim Scholars attracted the participation of 180-strong delegates across ASEAN and Muslim countries.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is expected to grace the closing ceremony on Thursday.

In his welcome speech, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, as the vice president of International Union of Muslims Scholars said the world’s community, through various international organisations such as the United Nations (UN), Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and international non-governmental organisations, should be in a position to restore the rights of the Rohingya minority.

He said all parties should take immediate action in defending justice for Rohingya.

“All forms of oppression, violence, let alone use of any weapons against the ethnic minority group must be stopped immediately throughout Myanmar.

“Humanitarian aid agencies delivering assistance must be allowed by the Myanmar government and neighbouring countries.

“At the same time, children should be given the opportunity to receive education under any circumstances whatsoever,” he said, adding that the Rohingya minority must also be allowed to receive assistance to facilitate worship such as prayers and fasting during Ramadan.

He added that one should be aware that the Rohingya issue is not an attempt of outsiders to interfere with the internal affairs of ASEAN member countries.

“Humanitarian issues can overflow into neighbouring countries, giving rise to internal tensions in other ASEAN countries itself. This is why humanitarian issue such as this must be addressed collectively and seriously by ASEAN member countries themselves,” he said.

He also called for the world’s attention and that all human rights activists must work together to warn those who violate human rights and deny the rights of citizenships to any community.