Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s administration has been called the US’ “errand boy” for remaining silent about President Donald Trump’s travel ban on the citizens of seven Muslim countries.
“Malaysia is only an errand boy for Trump, and the wellbeing of the Islam community worldwide is not their concern… saving Najib and BN is more important to them,” said Amanah international bureau chairperson Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad in a statement today.
It has been over a week since the US imposed the travel ban, he said, but Malaysia remains silent, even though the BN administration claims they champion the cause of Islam.
Raja Bahrin, who is Kuala Terengganu MP, asked if there were fears that speaking up on the travel ban might exacerbate the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) lawsuits linked to 1MDB.
“Therefore (perhaps they think) it is better for Malaysia to keep quiet on the seven-country travel ban in the US.
“Are they acting in the interests of the unity of the Muslim community, or for the safety of Najib?” he questioned.
While Malaysians gathered to protest the travel ban in front of the US embassy, Umno and PAS gathered to launch the food flotilla for Myanmar’s Rohingya as a form of diversion, he added.
“This is more about making up for the fact, and making the rakyat forget, that Umno and PAS had rejected and failed to support a motion to officially debate the Rohingya issue in Parliament last November,” he said.
Raja Bahrin speculated it was also to make the people forget that the authorities barred Rohingya refugees from entering the country when they arrived by sea last year.
Malaysia’s attitude towards refugees, he added, is no different from the US and Australia.
“The aid is only symbolic. ‘Take this aid, but you are not welcomed on Malaysian soil,” he said.
On Jan 27, Trump ordered a temporary travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries – Iraq, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia.
A federal US judge has since granted a stay on the ban, following a lawsuit filed by the rights watchdog American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of two Iraqis detained at New York’s JFK airport.
Separately, PKR Youth information chief Lee Chean Chung said in a statement that he was disappointed that Najib’s administration did not take the initiative to sign the Refugee Convention to protect Rohingya refugees.
Even though the Najib led the solidarity gathering for Rohingya in December last year, he reminded that the government was the one who refused to deal with the Rohingya and even barred them from entering the country at one point.
Last December, Najib had led a Rohingya solidarity gathering along with PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang at Stadium Mini Titiwangsa in Kuala Lumpur.
To prove that Malaysia is genuine in its concern to resolve the Rohingya issue, he urged Putrajaya to sign the Refugee Convention.
“Only by ratifying the convention can the human rights of the Rohingya such as the freedom of movement and religion, right to work, education and travel documents be validated, and they cannot be send back to their country of origin as long as they still face threats there,” he said.