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3 Malaysian besieged in Rakhine in safe hands

More then 100 Rakhine Extremists were
surrounded to attack 3 Malaysians in Sittwe Town, Arakan State Photo Soe Thu
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Bernama
February 21, 2014

PUTRAJAYA: Three Malaysians on a
Malaysian Consultative Council for Islamic Organisations (MAPIM) humanitarian
mission who came under siege by local residents in Rakhine, Myanmar yesterday,
are now put under police protection.
Zulhanis Zainol, 36, Mohamed Fithri
Ahmad, 42, and Muhaimin Samad, 28, who were on a humanitarian mission in aid of
the Rohingya community were believed to be surrounded by a group of extremist
Buddhists in Sitwee, Rakhine.
It is learnt that Mohamed Fithri and
Muhaimin were local television employees filming a documentary.
Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah
Zainudin said the three men were brought out of Sitwee to be ferried to Yangon
at 1.30pm (local time) yesterday.
“I understand a group of local
residents had surrounded them. Fortunately police came on time to save them and
put them under police protection. They are now safe,” he told reporters
here today.
Hamzah said the group of activitists did
not inform or contact the Foreign Ministry about their humanitarian mission.
“The MAPIM mission group had been
there for almost two years but they did not inform our representatives in
Myanmar and we only got to know about them when the incident occurred.
“Nonetheless, we have good
relations with Myanmar and assistance was rendered to our people
immediately,” he said.
Hamzah also called on mission organisers
to foreign countries to contact Wisma Putra and the respective embassy prior to
the mission to facilitate contact should any untoward matters arise.    
“Wisma Putra is non-partisan and is
prepared to assist Malaysians irrespective of their political ideology,”
he said.
Meanwhile, Hamzah said Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will be delivering a keynote address on the second
day of the ‘8th Heads of Mission Conference’.
Themed ‘Transforming Malaysia’s
Diplomacy Towards 2020 and Beyond,’ he said 105 delegates will be attending the
conference from Feb 23 to March 1, at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign
Relations in Kuala Lumpur.
“The conference will provide updates on
Malaysia’s domestic policies, priorities and interests, review the performance
of Malaysia’s diplomatic service to clients and stakeholders and extrapolate
challenges to deliver Malaysian’s foreign policy priorities.
“It will also determine strategic areas
as an aspiring high income developed nation by 2020,” he said.
Apart from that, Hamzah said there will
also be a dialogue session with leaders such as Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri
Muhyiddin Yassin, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa and
Peformance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) chief executive office,
Datuk Seri Idris Jala. — BERNAMA