Can't take any more Rohingya refugees - Malaysia PM at ASEAN meet | Eurasia Diary -

9 July, Thursday

Can't take any more Rohingya refugees - Malaysia PM at ASEAN meet

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Malaysia can no longer take in Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has said, citing a struggling economy and dwindling resources as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, reports citing Aljazeera.

Muslim-majority Malaysia has long been a favoured destination for Rohingya people seeking a better life after fleeing a 2017 military-led crackdown in Myanmar and refugee camps in Bangladesh.

But Malaysia, which does not recognise refugee status, has recently turned away boats and detained hundreds of Rohingya, amid rising anger towards foreigners who have been accused of spreading the coronavirus and taking up scarce state funds.

"We can no longer take more as our resources and capacity are already stretched, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic," Muhyiddin said in a teleconference with other leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which includes Myanmar.

"Yet, Malaysia is unfairly expected to do more to accommodate incoming refugees."

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