Last Updated on Aug. 29, 2018, 12:58 p.m.
PETALING JAYA: Human rights organisation Tenaganita has urged the government to begin recognising the Rohingya community in a bid to stop alleged recruitment by terrorist groups.
Its director Glorene Das said she had heard claims of recruitment activity within the community.
“Some of them have been here for more than four decades and many continue to arrive on our shores.
“But they are not recognised or given any form of identity. They have no right to work and no education. As such, they can be exploited and radicalised by such groups,” she told FMT.
She added that the community’s vulnerability and insecurity made it easier to lure its members into joining terrorist groups.
Many of them would likely be enticed into joining such groups if they provided an identity and a sense of belonging, she said.
“If they are left on the fringes of our society, we are equally responsible for the outcome.”
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu recently said the Rohingya refugee crisis could give rise to a potential breeding ground for terrorists.
He said the displaced community could easily be recruited by terrorist groups if its members were convinced that the only way to achieve victory and return to their homeland was through death in combat.
“This is our concern. It may happen to the Rohingya, similar to what happened to the Palestinians. This is why the Myanmar issue is a big issue for Southeast Asia,” he said.
Glorene called on Asean to push for acceptance of the Rohingya in Myanmar, adding that UNHCR had a vital role to play in ensuring the safety and security of all who returned to the country.
Denying that it was a problem specific to Malaysia, she said the crisis must be dealt with by all Asean member states, the United Nations and other key countries.
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