BANGKOK, Feb 9 (Bernama) — ASEAN should take coherent and concerted efforts as a regional body in solving the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Anwar said he discussed issues concerning Myanmar with his Thai counterpart, Prayuth Chan o-cha, during their meeting here today.
“I appealed to the prime minister (Prayuth) although Thailand has its own issues with the borders. We face the same problems.
“There are 200,000 refugees (in Malaysia) and there’s very little we can do except continue our so-called constructive engagement with the Myanmar junta.
“Malaysia has the highest number of Burmese refugees. However, there’s a limit to what we can do as we are a small country. There are humanitarian concerns but (we) suggest that ASEAN take a coherent, concerted effort together as a regional body,” he said at a joint press conference today.
Anwar said Prayuth was in a better position to express the region’s concern about Myanmar.
Anwar said he had discussed issues concerning Myanmar with his counterparts in Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore during his official visits.
“But I am a junior in this game and the seniors (leaders) will have to resolve (the issue) effectively, at least reduce the number of refugees.
“If we don’t resolve (the issue), we then have to shoulder the burden,” he said.
Meanwhile, Anwar said Malaysia and Thailand will enhance collaboration in food security and digitalisation.
“Malaysia may excel in rubber and palm oil in the past but in terms of food security (such as) Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) and also energy, Thailand is ahead. We can share our experience,” he said.
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