A house is seen on fire in Gawduthar village, Maungdaw township, in the north of Rakhine state, Myanmar. REUTERS

IT is time for the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) to take bold steps in dealing with the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.

It’s good to have a diplomatic approach once in a while, but in this regard, we need to be more realistic.

Tens of thousands of Rohingya have been subjected to years of inhuman treatment and persecution.

While some are taking their own initiative to be reasonable with the country’s authorities by having dialogues and diplomatic discussions, the world is being exposed to many shocking revelations of the inhuman treatment and persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar.

According to international human rights groups, the Rohingya are the most persecuted minority group in the world.

Amnesty International said the Rohingya had suffered from human rights violations under the Burmese junta since 1978, and many have fled to neighbouring countries, including Malaysia.

Some historians said Myanmar had started oppressing the Rohingya before 1978. It would be sad if nothing is done to end this crisis.

It would be even sadder if Asean fails to take immediate action to deal with the ongoing crisis.

Asean cannot have uncivilised members who fail to respect international human rights laws and the right of people to exist.

As such, the time has come for Asean members to meet and issue a strong statement to the Myanmar government, condemning their inhumane treatment and persecution of the Rohingya, while demanding that the government put an end to the atrocities, failing which, Myanmar should be suspended or expelled from Asean.

DR MUZAFFAR SYAH MALLOW

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Syariah and Law, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Nilai, Negri Sembilan

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