IGNORING calls from Burma not to get involved in their “internal affairs, Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak was present at a rally in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday to protest the persecution of the Rohingya Muslims.
The rally was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and the president and youth chief of Islamist political party Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS). Local media reports about 7,000 people gathered at Titiwangsa Stadium to participate.
Slogans such as “Free the Rohingya” and “Rohingya needs your voice to end ethnic cleansing” during the rally. As reported by the Straits Times, Najib was quoted saying: “They warned me, but I don’t care, because I am here in my capacity as representative of the community and the people of Malaysia.
“Asean also protects basic human rights. Don’t read the charter selectively,” he added.
The Burmese government called on Malaysia not to take part in the rally, citing ASEAN principles saying “a member country does not interfere in other member countries’ internal affairs”.
Deputy director general of the President’s office U Zaw Htay told the Myanmar Times that he believes Najib decided to join the protest in order to appease his countrymen.
But Najib said at the protest today that he would not turn a blind eye towards the plight of the Rohingyas “not just because they are of the same faith, but they are humans, their lives have value”, reports the Straits Times.