Zahid: Malaysia to call for UN resolution on Rohingya refugees

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh: Malaysia will propose a United Nations (UN) resolution that would seek the creation of a safe zone so that Rohingya refugees can return safely to their homeland, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic).

The Deputy Prime Minister said this safe zone would also need to be monitored by UN observers or security officials.

This was among several measures Malaysia is taking to help Rohingya refugees currently taking shelter at camps in Bangladesh.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said there are fears that the Rohingya refugee issue will become a prolonged humanitarian crisis if no concrete steps are taken.

Among the measures Malaysia will be implementing is the creation of a humanitarian and welfare attaché at the Malaysian High Commission in Dhaka to manage relief efforts for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

“The attaché will not only help to coordinate assistance coming from many sources for the Rohingya, but will ensure that aid will be distributed properly,” he told the Malaysian media after visiting the Kutupalong refugee camp, about 35km from here.

He also said the National Security Council would be the main coordinating body which will manage all forms of assistance from various Malaysian groups meant for refugees.

“The NSC will also be involved and will handle donations for distribution to Malaysian NGOs in Bangladesh and other welfare bodies helping the Rohingya here,” he added.

Dr Ahmad Zahid expressed his gratitude to the Malaysian NGOs helping the Rohingya in various capacities at several refugee camps in Bangladesh.

He also said that the Rohingya issue could not be settled by Bangladesh by itself and would need involvement of other groups and countries.

“Malaysia believes that the Rohingya humanitarian crisis needs to be settled through regional cooperation, especially among Asean countries.

“Although Myanmar is an Asean member, we want to make it clear that the Rohingya issue transcends geographical borders.

“We have no wish to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, but it should be understood that the Rohingya issue is a regional problem.

“Our concern is the mounting humanitarian crisis that has emerged due to ethnic cleansing which should not have happened,” he added.

Earlier, Dr Ahmad Zahid presented six million Bangladeshi taka (RM309,000) to the Malaysian Consultative Council for Islamic Organisations (Mapim) and two million taka (RM103,000) to Mercy Malaysia.

Both groups are now here to provide aid to the Rohingya.

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