KUALA LUMPUR: The ASEAN Secretariat should call an emergency meeting involving ASEAN Foreign Ministers as the situation in Myanmar is getting worst with 14,000 armed attacks that caused 866,000 people displaced as of 29th July 2022.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah said, the Foreign Ministers’ meeting could be held via online at any time now like what have been done during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saifuddin added, so far he had received reports on Myanmar from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international organisations and from United Nations related organisations.
“Many more people will be dead if the next meeting is at the ASEAN Summit scheduled in November 2022. It is reported that to date 1.4 million people have been displaced internally including the Rohingyas in Rakhine state.
“We have written to the ASEAN Secretariat a month ago to get updates on the conflicts in Myanmar. The ASEAN task force do not know whether to continue cooperating with the Junta or with the international NGOs based at the border of Thailand, India and China,” Saifuddin said at a press conference here today.
Saifuddin was on his visit to Rabbaniyah Educare , a school for Rohingya children here today.
Saifuddin added, some NGOs get active funding but do not want to work with the Junta and some do not want to work with international bodies that support the Junta.
He also pointed out that many countries in the world had organised the 5th Anniversary of Genocide in Myanmar on 25th Aug. 2022 but the ASEAN Secretariat did nothing on that day.
The Minister urged the ASEAN Secretariat to buck up and act urgently following the bad situation in Myanmar.
On another development, Saifuddin said the Ministry will cooperate with NGOs and activists to come up with a comprehensive status paper to help Rohingya refugee children in Malaysia get proper education.
Elaborating on this, Saifuddin said, the Rohingya children studying at Alternative Learning Centres (ALCs) whether run by the community or NGOs should have proper venues and certified teachers.
The comprehensive status paper will also identify the need for proper certification of ALCs and training the teachers who are part-timers and volunteers apart from looking at the resources and equipments at schools.
“The ALCs are also facing inadequate space for the Rohingya children to study as some of them are conducting two classes in a single classroom,” Saifuddin said.
The Minister also said there are 48ALCs set up by NGOs in Malaysia that could support the education of only 30 per cent of the refugees’ children. According to UNHCR, there are 200,000 Rohingya refugees in Malaysia. –Malaysia World News