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PRESS RELEASE : STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF MALAYSIA DATO’ SAIFUDDIN ABDULLAH ON THE REPATRIATION OF DISPLACED ROHINGYAS FROM BANGLADESH TO MYANMAR

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF MALAYSIA

DATO’ SAIFUDDIN ABDULLAH

ON THE REPATRIATION OF DISPLACED ROHINGYAS

 FROM BANGLADESH TO MYANMAR

 

 

  1. The prolonged crisis in the Rakhine State, and its regional consequences, continues to be a matter of deep concern to Malaysia. To date, more than 727,000 people, mainly Rohingyas have been forced to flee to Bangladesh. Additionally, there are at present, 80,018 Rohingyas in Malaysia.

 

  1. Since the violence began in the Rakhine State, Bangladesh has time and again exhibited great generosity by accepting victims of this violence. Consequently, Bangladesh is now host to more than a million Rohingya refugees. I wish to re-affirm Malaysia’s gratitude to Bangladesh and express our commitment to continue to contribute towards humanitarian needs of the Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar.

 

  1. Malaysia has been observing very closely the process of repatriation of the Rohingyas to Myanmar. The recent repatriation plan, which was scheduled to begin on 15 November 2018 has been postponed indefinitely. Malaysia supports a repatriation process, which is voluntary, safe and dignified. While it is important for the channel of repatriation be opened as soon as possible to allow those who voluntarily wish to return be able to do so, the repatriation process itself needs to be credible. That is to say, those returning should never again be subject to the threat of persecution and violence, which they were initially subjected to.  

 

  1. Malaysia believes that a credible repatriation must first involve guarantees of citizenship for the Rohingyas. The granting of citizenship is an important means of ensuring the protection of their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and an important assurance for a sustainable return of the Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.

 

  1. It is imperative that the Rohingyas eventually return to their places of origin to rebuild their lives. Malaysia believes that Myanmar and Bangladesh, with the assistance of United Nations’ agencies, community leaders and civil societies can enhance cooperation to make this a reality. ASEAN in particular, remains committed to work together to help Myanmar on this matter. Malaysia will continue to be a neighbour willing to assist by all means within its capacity.

 

 

 

DATO’ SAIFUDDIN ABDULLAH

Putrajaya, 22 November 2018