It is an honor to be given an opportunity to participate in the International Conference on Rohingya . A conjunction event between Institute of Public Security of Malaysia (IPSOM), Yayasan Amal Malaysia, International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) and International Federation for Relief & Development held between 14th March 2017 to 16th March 2017 at Marriot Hotel, Putrajaya. The theme was “Plight of the Rohingya: Searching for Solutions”.
The peak of the event was the sharing of five distinguished speakers followed by break-out session to discuss on the ideas to help solving the issue.
The first speaker was Tun Khin, the President of the Burmese Rohingya Organization UK. Tun Khin spoke on the history of Rohingya people where they were originated from Arakan State, western Burma. It has been proven by the researcher, Francis Buchanan when he wrote that the Muslim in Arakan called themselves Rooinga, or natives of Arakan. Besides, their ethnicity was also identified in the Journal of London published in 1811.
Despite being proven as citizen based on historical studies, the citizenship of Rohingya is gradually been stripped off by the constitution. They were given temporary registration cards known as ‘white cards’ making them neither citizen nor foreigners in the country. Their rights for movement and education were also been taken away.
Tun Khin then shared the current condition of Rohingya where massive ethnic cleansing take place up until today.
Realistically, there’s not much that Malaysian can help directly. In the latest ASEAN Summit event, the governor of Myanmar refused to take our advices in dealing with the Rohingya issues. However, efforts been taken by our government in order to support the Rohingya refugees in Malaysia. They’ve been promoting the rights of Rohingya globally including ASEAN and OIC. Recently, they also allow 300 of Rohingya’s refugees to work in Malaysia starting from March.
There were several more efforts been proposed by the participants later in the break-out session. The proposal will then be presented to the government of Malaysia for further action.
This is no longer a regional issue. This is a matter of humanitarian. It is our duty to keep on supporting Rohingya people from any aspect that we are able to.
The least thing that we should be doing is, pray for Rohingya.
Saidatul Syafiqah bte Abdul Rashid
Deputy President Sinergi Gerakan Mahasiswi (SIGMA)