February 3, 2017
Malaysia has sent off an aid flotilla to aid beleaguered Rohingyas in Arakan state. Prime Minister of Malaysia Nakib Razzaq set off the ship carrying tonnes of food and other essential goods on Friday.
The Malaysian government led by Razzaq has shown unprecedented support for the Rohingyas as a draconian crackdown killed hundreds in the restive region. Popular support for the Rohingyas have peaked among the Muslim majority countries of South East Asia.
The move has however been rebuked by the government of Myanmar which continues to deny atrocities and calls the Muslim problem of Arakan their internal matter.
The flotilla is being organised by the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organisations and a coalition of NGOs from the region.
The aid shipment is however destined for Yangon from where it is unclear how the aid will reach the Rohingyas. Myanmar’s authorities have earlier diverged aid meant for Muslims to the Buddhist populace or have simply siphoned foreign aid for their personal use.
The ship is later destined for Teknaf in Banglades, home to hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees.
Some organisers however expressed hope they will reach Akyab but at the moment this seems unlikely.
Rohingya organisations however hailed the move as a strong show of political support from Muslim majority Malaysia. A show of support from Malaysia has marked a radical breakaway from the ASEAN’s long standing policy of not interfering with member state’s internal matters.