Rohingya refugee sisters, who arrived under the cover of darkness in wooden boats from Myanmar, hugging each other at Shah Porir Dwip in Teknaf, near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. REUTERS PIC

THE Rohingya issue is a crisis that Asean is grappling with, both as an entity and as individual countries.

The crisis is worsening by the day. Every state must define its position in accordance with its distinct geopolitical situation and within the context of the country’s values.

Any definitive statement by Asean must be reached via consensus.

The statement by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman gave voice to the sentiments of Malaysians, who are deeply concerned about the Rohingya and who are every day welcoming refugees from Rakhine State as their brothers and sisters.

The perspective of Malaysia on this issue must be given weight proportionate to the nation’s engagement with the crisis, which is greater than any other Asean member state.

Malaysians reject any attempt to obscure the reality of what
is taking place, and no one is better positioned to know this reality than the Rohingya themselves.

We applaud the minister for his bravery and honesty, and for affirming the sovereignty of Malaysia in defining the correct narrative on the violence in Rakhine State.

Azril Mohd Amin, Chief executive, Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy, Kuala Lumpur

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