Rohingya: Bangladesh doesn’t care, why should Malaysians?

By Kazi Mahmood

From Bangladesh to Malaysia, the fate of the Rohingya refugees are now in the balance.

The Rohingya community, embraced by ex-Najib Razak’s regime, is bullied by another Muslim country, Bangladesh.

And they are now not a target in Malaysia.

The New York Times ran a feature story from the Thaingkhali Refugee camp, Bangladesh.

A dark and sad picture came out of the report on Bangladesh. When coupled with the dire situation these innocent people are in Malaysia altogether, one wonders what will happen next.

How Myanmar soldiers led attacks on villages, the culling of those captured and the rape of the women left behind. This is the story many people are still watching on their telly.

A woman said she was raped repeatedly over several days. A government official then slit the throat of her husband during the soldiers’ attack on their village.

Nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim refugees shared similar stories. They told of years of oppression and abuse that culminated in the mass slaughter on Aug. 27 last year.

Hundreds of thousands flee to Bangladesh after raids by Rohingya insurgents on several police checkpoints

In Malaysia, groups armed with cameras and a desire to get rid of illegals in the country are showing an ugly truth.

They say foreign illegals – of which the Rohingya would form part – are occupying a space that naturally belongs to them.

The campaign posted on Facebook – in pages such as the Clean Malaysia Movement or CCM – is to raise awareness and warn the authorities to take action.

But it is adding to tensions in the newly ‘liberated’ country from the claws of a dying but compassionate Barisan Nasional regime.

Was the BN’s compassion towards the Rohingya a way to garner Muslim support ahead of the crucial elections?  Or was it for real? We will never know. But it is not uncommon for Malaysia to show support for refugees.

The country hosted the Vietnamese boat people for decades before deporting them. The Rohingyas are not new on the Malaysian scene. They have been around for decades too, by they roam freely in the country.

Now, armed with UNCHR IDs, they are edging up the social ladder, getting better jobs than the ‘car wash’ classic encounters. This is creating friction among Malaysians too. The Muslims in the country are a bit more tolerant but some other communities are not.

Nevertheless, the fate of the Rohingya has deeper with that of the refugees from the Arab world and Africa flocking all over Europe.

In Bangladesh, the Muslim country has no plans for the refugees. The latter has to fend for themselves or live in absolute poverty if they did not get help from foreign ‘aid’ agencies.

According to Eye Witness, some Rohingya refugees who fled from Myanmar are finding work in the fishing industry in neighbouring Bangladesh.

They are earning a tiny daily income and occasional share of the catch, all under the official radar. If the authorities catch them, the punishment is a lockdown of their camps.

The Shamlapur refugee camp, near a fishing colony on one of the world’s longest beaches, is home to about 10,000 Rohingya refugees,

Compared to the camps in Bangladesh, the number of Rohingyas in Malaysia is nothing.

But pressure is mounting on the Pakatan Harapan regime. With groups witch hunting around in Kuala Lumpur and other major cities for ‘foreign illegals’, the Rohingya are not spared.

They are often the ones who fall into the category of illegals earning a living under the nose of ‘deserving’ Malaysians.

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