Zahid slams Aung San Suu Kyi over Rohingya killings

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today slammed Myanmar leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi over the killing of the Rohingyas, describing it as "pure madness".

The Deputy Prime Minister said it was appalling that the murder of the Rohingyas had taken place in their homeland, by their own citizens.

"We really hope that what is happening at the Rakhine state will end soonest possible.

"I urge our friends in Myanmar to stop this madness, the craziest crisis, and prove to Asean communities that you have a big heart that can accept Muslim minorities as one of your citizens," he said at the closing of the International Conference on Rohingya (ICR), here.

Ahmad Zahid said Myanmar should realise that their act could have repercussions, warning that continuous killing would only trigger anger among the other Muslim countries in the world.

"When we say Myanmar is committing genocide through this ethnic-cleansing, they strongly disputed us. They ignored us when we sent our diplomatic message to them, and asked Asean members not to interfere. But Myanmar has to remember the objective of Asean when they joined in 1997," he said.

He added that the Myanmar government should instead come up with other resolutions if it truly does not want to recognise the Rohingyans as their citizens.

He also disclosed that Qatar has agreed to channel USD50 million to Malaysia through the National Security Council and other local NGOs to help in implementing the various Rohingya programmes here.

Among other programmes, he said, Malaysia would provide skilled and semi-skilled training to select Rohingyans who have potential to be absorbed for labour besides helping NGOs here to provide pre-school and primary school education to Rohingya children.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, National Security Council director-general Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin and Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed were also present.

Presently, about 56,000 Rohingyas live in Malaysia having fled unrest and persecution in Myanmar with Malaysia continuing to champion the plight of the Rohingyans.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak had also recently attended a solidarity gathering in Kuala Lumpur December last year to protest against state-sanctioned violence against the Rohingya community in Myanmar.